This term--gentling--what does it mean? Beautiful Girl is gentle, but that doesn't mean she wants us to pet her. If we take steps toward her, she takes steps back.
So, a better word for this process might be--hmmm...--peoplfying her.
Let's look at it from her perspective. To her heightened, prey-animal senses we are probably:
1. Stinky (we do eat meat, after all)
2. Noisy and annoying (our whiny voices)
3. Ugly (I mean, compared to a horse...)
4. Stupid (We don't seem as cool--with it--as the other horses. Horses look at us like retards half the time).
What we have going for us:
1. We have the food. (Even though they wish we'd let set them free so they could eat grass like they're programmed to do).
2. We have the power. (Our developed carnivorous brains know how to forge steele cages, mimic other animals (like horses), invent bits, bridles, halters, ropes, trucks, whips, locks, and on and on.
It's a wonder they like us at all!!
However, despite all of our unattractive qualities--we do need and insist on a relationship with the horses under our care--for their safety and ours. Not just a relationship, but RESPECT.
This is day 3 with the wild-horse, and at times she doesn't seem "wild" at all. She looks like any other yearling in the barn, but closer observation shows that she's nervous about us, and much more independent than domestic horses.
She'll still eat out of our hands, but takes steps back if we approach. She does not seem afraid of us, but leery. She watches the other horses a lot and pines to be with them--quietly--and with dignity. She never does anything wild--she seems too proud to act up. She walks with confidence and a keen eye.
I thought she'd be an easy-keeper--horseman's term for doesn't eat much--but boy was I wrong!! She eats and eats and eats. I told my husband she'd hardly raise our hay bill. **cough, cough**
Shiloh went out with her after school yesterday. She can't wait to get home to see her. She's heading up the peoplfying training and has told me NOT to grab her lead rope until she wants to come to us and be touched. (See what I told you about her being smarter than me??)
I'll take pictures today and write more tonight.