The cutest pony in the world has been changing a whole lot lately, which I hope is a reflection of changes in me. After that one incredible trailer loading day, things have really started to fall into place:
- She’s less skeptical of me in general. The times that I go up to her and she backs up are now rare rather than a lot of the time. She’s more and more interested in what I am doing, and over all seems just a lot more relaxed when we’re together.
- She’s is much less braced and resistant. It is incredible to me the change that she has made when it comes to treating her sweet itch. She used to high tail it out into the pasture if she thought I would even look at her belly. No joke, it was almost impossible for me to even get pictures of it because she was so worried about me looking at it. Good luck trying to touch it or rub lotion on it… Now, she enjoys our nightly routine of calamine lotion. She stands quietly, enjoys when I get her itchy spots, and will often drop her head and relax on her own. Seriously, so amazing. I love all the fun things we get to do together, but it gives me so much joy to be able to help her feel better without having to force it.
- A few weeks ago I broke down and bought her a sweet itch sheet. I thought they were ridiculous and that she would be hot, but when it started spreading to her legs, I knew I had to do something different. So I bought the sheet and all of a sudden Bella became the first pony-astronaut. It was a little scary for us both the first few times we took it on and off. The elastic around the top of her neck has very little give, so there are many moments when she is totally blinded or has totally smashed ears. I have to say that I am extremely impressed with how quickly she calmed down with it. I can successful put it on and take it off without a halter or any issues. Phew! (And for the record, she never gets sweaty under it!)
- Her trailer loading is amazing. She is now walking all the way on, standing for the butt bar to be hooked and door to be shut. Then she backs off quietly! SUCH a star! To top it off, we took a quick trip around the block today and she did wonderful! I am totally impressed!
- We haven’t had as many play sessions as we were, mainly due to weather (heat/bug/rain=misery). But we have certainly been doing fun things in a short amount of time! At some point I noticed that she was trusting me more and that things that previously made her panic were no longer causing her to bat an eye. For instance, she used to be so nervous when I would get on the mounting block (even if I was using it for Estella), but before I knew it I couldn’t keep her away long enough to get on Estella. I started playing around with it and went exceptionally well! Over a course of a few weeks I went from just standing by it, then tried jumping around, then laid over her back, then laid down her back (parallel with her). She was so brave and calm through the whole experience, it was really fun for me to see the change in her. So on the fourth of July, I asked Matt to come with me in case I felt it was a good time to fully sit on her. It went so, so well! She was absolutely wonderful and I couldn’t have asked for a better first experience for both of us. What an incredible moment!
Here are a few videos of our mounting block progress. Hopefully we’ll get to play more with it soon :).