Today he’s quieter in the pasture, down the hill a bit and away from the gate when I go out to get him. He sees me coming and yawns, I lift the halter and lead rope up and slip the halter over his face. He is quieter than yesterday but still not totally relaxed. He walks behind me, giving me more space, I like that. It doesn’t feel like he’s going to run over me or clip my heels.

We go through the barn door and I feel his anxiety go up and he crowds me. I step away and gently send him in a circle until he is behind me and I walk on with him at a comfortable distance away. We go into the arena and I unclip his lead rope. He stands a minute then steps over to me, again he crowds me. It feels like he wants reassurance, but I want him to feel comfortable enough in his own space. I walk away and he snorts at the hula hoop as we pass, I circle it with him right on my heels, his head is so close I feel his breath, I quietly change direction and circle the other way, he quiets a bit in the circle and I feel him slow down enough to give me space.

Relaxed and curious

We walk on, he in his own space, me in mine. I like it this way, it feels like we are two friends enjoying each other’s company. Not like I’m protecting him or consoling him, but like we are just walking together and experiencing the same things. We circle around the barrels, then around the hula hoops and mounting blocks. There are times he snorts and scoots into my space, and other times he stays in his space and we move together without the need to reassure each other.

He drops his head and walks away from me, he is curious about the smells in the sand and he notices the dogs. He becomes curious about Gunner and they actually sniff each other. He then walks away, he steps into his own space and explores the sand, the barrels next to him, and then takes in a deep breath. A horse in the barn bangs his bucket which startles him again, his eyes widen, his head pops up, and he comes into my space. I back away from him a little and he stops. He looks at me, I see the worry in his eyes and body and I quietly say his name, I open my heart and send out support, my heart whispers “I’m here, I won’t leave you, I will protect you. We are ok”. I ask to come into his space. I allow my energy to come into my hands and ask if he wants energy work. His eyes blink, and he visibly relaxed. I come into his space, my hands are warm with energy, I feel them heating up and am amazed at how God does this through me as I barely touch his hair and run my hands along his body. He starts to blink and it’s slow, his eyes lose their anxious look and his head comes down. He works his mouth a bit and I think he is going to yawn, but he doesn’t, he moves away instead and I step away as well. He leaves my space again and explores the area around us. I step over and away from him. I walk towards the other end of the arena. I hear him follow but he’s not so close that it feels like his trying to jump in my skin. I step sideways and circle back around him. He circles as well, his head drops and he makes a tighter circle. His nose is touching the ground and he is sniffing the sand. His legs buckle and he lays down and rolls.

I smile at him and my heart says, “good job little man, you’re doing it. You’re going to be okay, I love you and I am thankful for you”. He stands up from his roll and shakes like a big dog. He looks over at me and I know what he wants, it’s very clear. If he was a person he would say, “I’m hungry, where is my breakfast?”. He makes me laugh and I head out of the arena and get his meal.

I feed Buzz and turn him out. I know his journey back from his fear isn’t over, there will be days of healing and days it doesn’t feel as good, but he is on his way. I just know it.

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