Over the past few days, when I come out of the house and head towards Timber’s pen, he comes to the gate and watches me approach. Of course, when I get to the gate he backs off a bit. He’s not quite ready to greet me and let me pet him. However, the signs of his interest in me coming out to see him are increasing.
I have been feeding Timber 4 times a day, instead of the usual 2 times a day that I feed my other horses. Of course, the portions are smaller so he’s getting the right amount. This gives me a chance to see him more frequently. I scoop poop and then feed him. This afternoon I scooped poop and went to get his feed. When I came out of the barn with the feed Timber actually nickered at me. Yes, I know, it was more about the food than it was about me. But, it was the first time he has done this. This is yet another sign that Timber is getting more comfortable with me. When I went out for the evening feeding, he nickered again. I know this doesn’t sound like a big deal to most people, but to a real horse lover who is trying to earn the trust of a skeptical horse trust me: this was a big deal.
(Not sure what a nicker sounds like? Click here for an example)
Timber’s fear is slowly melting away and he’s starting to think seriously that this particular human might be OK and that he can start trusting me. What a marvelous process this is. And what a privilege to be a part of it.