A few days ago I sat on my tailgate feeding Lyra handfuls of rye grass hay from a bale in the back of my truck, enjoying the gentle rain. We just sat quietly together for some time, enjoying the peace of our own little tailgate party. Lyra has changed so much in the last 2 months, or perhaps it is more accurate to say she has revealed so much of herself.
She is beginning to trust me, she looks at me when I walk through the general pasture and if I don't approach her she will seek me out. Tonight I asked one of our barn mates to hold her while I ran to the bathroom. The entire time I was gone Lyra stood with her head facing the bathroom door. Not facing the herd, facing me. Yep, Lyra is starting to reveal herself and is beginning to look to me for comfort and leadership. I am deeply, deeply touched by this sweet mare.
Her former owner just told me that in November it took two people two hours to get Lyra (then Zelda) into the barn. She has made so much progress! I tried something a bit different tonight as we entered the barn. Lyra usually takes 3 or 4 steps and then plants herself. I have always insisted that she continue with me to the tie post. Tonight I accepted her choice to stop and that is where we stood for the evening (most other horses were already in bed so we weren't blocking the door). I fed her there and just sat, talking to her. She remained calm the entire evening. NOT ONE POOP PILE. No pee. I think I will ask her to show me where she wants to stand. I will count her entry into the barn as her "try".
This evening is my official "end of summer vacation". Children return to school on September 2nd, but us adults start back this week. I have had the best summer of my . . . well, possibly of my life. One huge goal has been met, I wanted to bond with Lyra - back at the beginning of summer this seemed like an insurmountable goal and yet as of this week I feel we are truly connected. She has stopped standing with her head pointing to her herd. Today she rested her head in my arms, and just leaned into me, enjoying being rubbed on the forehead. Finally, Lyra has turned to me.