Throughout the first few days of Faith’s time here, I allowed her to settle in to her new herd. Previously, she had been given very little time out at pasture, and so her coat was fine and smooth, and she relished the opportunity to gallop around, calling to the other horses.
I soon found that when I entered the field I had her attention, but she was at first, wary to approach. I dropped my shoulders and lowered my head, lowering myself toward the ground. With this simple movement she immediately relaxed her neck and ambled towards me. Within minutes I was stroking her head and speaking softly to her. I began to use this approach each time I entered the field. And by the fourth day, she was happy to walk over to me as I entered the field. During these moments I gently removed the build-up of discharge from her face, and assess as best I can the situation beneath the fur. She is accepting of my fussing, and I am happy not to ask too much of her at this stage. Once I am happy she is settled with her field-mates, I begin to attach a leadrope to her headcollar and practise some leading work. At this point I do not know her history, nor what training she has had in her past and so I am starting with small foundations. Faith obliges, walking gently alongside me, careful not to step in front of me. Seeing her so willing swells my heart. This poor soul has had a rough start, and a near-miss, and yet here she is, still so giving and trusting. I am humbled by her kindness, and proud to have given her the fresh start she may not otherwise have had.
By the end of the first week, I have been cleaning and treating Faith’s face with regularity. Keeping regular records of her progress is a well-worn habit here, and so each day I make a note of her behaviour, the condition of her hole, and anything unusual I notice. I receive her veterinary records and immediately think there must be a mistake. In them, the vet has recommended no action be taken. I am confused and hurt for Faith. Who has made the decision to just give up on her? And why? This poor, defenseless young pony has been sent to her death when the veterinarian is happy to leave her be. I make a call to my own vet and arrange for him to visit. I trust my vet deeply and want his honest opinion. He agrees to come in a few days time.
I immediately make a resolve to delve deeper into Faith’s history but also to ensure she can have a bright future under my watch...
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