Today was wonderful because I finally felt like a wall that Sora and I have been struggling with has been crossed. We were having trust issues and it felt like either I would cross the wall and Sora would smack into it or, more often, Sora would cross the wall and I'd smack into it. Today I feel like we both gathered ourselves and jumped it together =)
It started with me feeding hay. Sora as usual got to come into the barn for her grain and easily left when I asked. However as soon as she was out, instead of going to eat hay, she spun around and wanted to come back in so I opened the door and let her. I filled my pockets with treats (I always assure Sora that we've had a bountiful harvest so not to worry) and we did some simple behaviors like leg lifts, shoulder targets, backing and yielding, all of this halterless. She was good so I invited her to come out the other end of our barn. This leads right onto our lawn where we keep the VERY tasty grass. She followed me softly out and started grazing just as I hoped she would. However unlike normal she kept coming to me to get treats!
I spent a little time with her before leaving to get the cats some food. This gets kept in the garage or four LARGE raccoons fight over it which tears our barn apart. I was a few steps away from Sora when she started following me! I was so ecstatic and Sora got a jackpot but I didn't really think she would come any further. Happily Sora proved me wrong and came all the way to the door with me, waited for me to go and come out and then followed me, at the trot!, back to the barn. I had run out of treats at that point so I had to race in the barn to get her some and she trotted next to me all the way in. We went back out and spent some more time together and in the end I didn't even need a halter or rope to put her back in with her herd. She did really want to come back with me though =)
My sister, Hanna, has agreed to come out and get some more pictures of us as soon as her schedule is a little lighter. She just finished auditioning for several of the biggest music conservatories in the country and is now getting ready for two different concerts so she has a lot on her plate. Hopefully more of her wonderful pictures will grace this blog soon =)