Today I did the same with Beautiful Girl, trying to use both hands and cover more area of her body. She is getting to where she seeks out being touched. If I leave her, she follows me or Shiloh.
Then, my neighbor, Grace, a thirteen year old, horse-crazy girl who comes to my house to ride horses and hang out, went out to see her, and Beautiful Girl let her pet her through the bars. My husband went out, and Beautiful did the same thing for him.
I felt confident enough to introduce Beautiful to Grace face to face--no bars. Now, Grace has only been hanging out around here since last July when her grandparents bought the dairy next door--and she isn't completely horse savvy, just horse CRAZY--but I still felt Beautiful was gentle enough--and Grace smart enough--to pull it off.
I was in there with them at first, and I showed her the basics of reading the horse and when to approach or retreat and how to stay out of kicking range. Grace figured it out with good intuition, and they bonded!!
I was so proud of Grace and Beautiful. My husband drove by on the tractor and was grinning from ear to ear, too. What progress!!
Things were going well enough that I joined Grace, and Beautiful let us pet and scratch her back, neck, hind, and back legs--at the same time. That's good since there will be two of us in there when the farrier is doing his work.
Later, right before feeding, Grace entered the 12x12 stall with Beautiful and petted her in there, too--a first for my little mustang filly who seemed to think the 24x24 turnout was her petting parlor, but the 12x12 stall was dangerous.