Yesterday, the barn farrier was out to do his rounds, and Imogen was on his list of trims. (I don't do her at this point.) Since she behaved herself so well for her trim (for the most part, save for one moment when she lost her balance and pulled a front foot back from the farrier), I decided that she had done quite enough for the day and opted to forgo our lunge session. Today, I took a big step forward on the road from uncatchable to saddle horse - a surcingle. This was a HUGE step - even just blanketing her used to be an enormously big deal - and I wasn't too sure what she was going to do when she first felt the squeeze from the girth. She was none too thrilled about belly straps when first being blanketed, so I figured she might have a similar reaction. This was not her first time having things tossed nonchalantly over her back, of course. I have spent a lot of time tossing a grooming towel over her, and by extension I also began rubbing her with a saddle pad, eventually desensitizing her to the point where I can just toss it on without any sort of reaction on her part:
(Notice the mane? I have successfully tamed it to lay on the right side!!)
You have no idea how huge that is for me. This once completely terrorized mare went into her lunge session wearing a scary surcingle for the first time, and didn't care at all. The mare who was once terrified of halters and being touched didn't so much as bat an eye at the entire process. She bopped along on the lunge line with a soft eye and complete compliance. Walk, trot, canter, and whoa, and she nailed every one of them. She never so much as tucked her tail or turned a worried ear to the surcingle.
You'll see she is a bit footsore today after yesterday's trim, which isn't too surprising. We kept the session short and sweet, and she was perfect. Absolutely perfect. She'll have tomorrow off, and we'll work again on Thursday. Obviously she's not lame, but I'd rather let her have another day off to rest those toes. Another post needs to be done on her feet... they're not awful, but they're not great either!
SHE'S SO AWESOME I LOVE HER SO.