Here are some photos from last weekend of Beau and Gracie, two of our sanctuary residents at the horse rescue. I’ve written about both Beau and Gracie before, both of them were horribly abused and were completely untouchable for the first several years that they were at the rescue. They were terrified of people and did not even want someone to approach within 15-20 feet of them.
The three pictures below show just how friendly Beau is now. He followed us around the whole time last weekend (several hours) and was really enjoying getting scratches on his forehead. He kept trying to “help” Dawn check things on her cell phone and even let Dawn spend some time getting the tangles out of his mane. He wasn’t too sure about having his mane brushed, but he did let us get a few big knots out.
Last summer, myself and some of the other volunteers at the rescue spent a lot of time working with Beau and Gracie and we had some pretty big break throughs! Both horses are now pretty friendly and will seek out interaction with people. Beau will even do this with new people who he has never met before! Gracie, on the other hand, still usually prefers people who she knows well.
Both horses are still not halter trained — they are very, very sensitive about hands and objects around their head because of their former abuse. However, that’s one of our big main goals for these two horses for this summer and I think that we will be able to make lots of good progress! I have also already started working some with Beau on the beginning steps of picking up his feet for hoof care, and I plan to continue working on that with both Beau and Gracie this summer.
Last weekend, Dawn and I had a great time hanging out in the pasture for a couple of hours with Beau and Gracie, as well as a few of our other sanctuary residents. Beau and Gracie have been on another property for the past several months and they only recently have been moved back to the rescue’s main property. Gracie had some itchy spots on her back, shoulders, and neck and was really enjoyed getting scratched! She also let me brush all of the tangles out of her mane. She doesn’t have nearly as much mane as Beau does, so she doesn’t get the same amount of knots and tangles that he does.
I love how relaxed Gracie looks in all of these photos. She has always been much more skeptical of people than Beau. We do not know the exact nature of the abuse these two horses went through. However, it must have been pretty awful.
Beau’s reaction to people before we started working with him was always to run as far away as he could get. Gracie, however, would hold her ground and whirl and kick if she felt threatened or afraid. Because of this, we have gone much more slowly with her training. We never wanted to push her even a tiny little bit because we did not want anyone to get hurt. You can read a bit more about CAT training, the type of training that I have done with Beau and Gracie, in this post.
One more photo of two of our old timers at the rescue. The black gelding is Shadow and the white gelding is Jim. Both are over 30, which is quite old for a horse. They are the best of buds and have a great time hanging out together at the rescue. You can read more about Jim’s story or Shadow’s story on the rescue’s website. Beau and Gracie get along well with Jim and Shadow and I know all four horses were happy to see each other when Beau and Gracie were brought back to the rescue’s main property recently.