I spent the better part of the afternoon sitting on the ground picking bunches of grass and feeding them to a big blue-eyed brown and white paint horse. He’s still not at all sure he wants to be my friend, but he started being convinced by the end of the session. I had a friend to talk to, so we chatted and for the most part ignored him. Whenever his curiousity got the better of him, he’d venture over and there would be a yummy bite of something waiting.
I’ve found a horse rescue to volunteer at fairly close to where I live (in reasonable driving distance, at least) and went out there for the first time this afternoon. They have some lovely horses, including 3 beautiful Belgians, a couple of friendly yearlings, and a whole herd of others, including 2 sweet donkeys.
I spent quite a bit of time with one of their paint geldings who had very little positive human contact before coming to the rescue. He’s extremely skittish and very hesitant to let anyone approach him, let alone touch him. He is curious, though, especially when there’s food involved. I just played with him a bit, but in just a short time, he did get slightly more comfortable with me. We worked incredibly slowly and gradually. I started off sitting on a stool tossing treats into a food bucket a couple feet away. At first, his head would shoot up and he’d get wide-eyed every time I tossed a treat into the bucket. Gradually he realized the treats were not, in fact, dangerous and I slowly moved the bucket closer. Later I fed him handfuls of hay out of the bucket and even fed him some big handfuls of hay with a very outstretched arm. At the end, I sat near the fence and fed him by hand handfuls of grass that I picked from the outside of the fence. He was still pretty cautious about eating from my hand, and usually wouldn’t if I was staring at him. However, he did venture close enough to sniff me a few times.
He was a beautiful horse and seemed curious and smart. He’s just the kind of horse who’s never had anyone take the time to teach him that humans aren’t always all that bad. Anyways, all in all, it was a wonderful afternoon. I met 2 of the ladies who run the rescue, and they both seemed wonderful. They have a handful of horses who need quite a bit of work and not quite enough time to work with them all, so I think it will be a great place for me to volunteer. And I’ll have some horses I can spend some time with again, which should be a blast. It should be fun, I’ll keep you updated!