Sorry about having two posts in one day. I had an interesting thing happen with Gabbrielle and wanted to mention it while I have time. She a very affectionate mare, always looking for hugs and kisses. I went in for a hug, and she startled me by snorting and jumping away from me. I figured the annoying neighbors were around and did something to spook her, so I tried to hug her again, and she spun to get away from me. I reached out to pet her face and she ran backwards. She was clearly afraid of me.
I figured I had cleaning fluid on my hands and the smell was bothering her. I didn't think much about it until I went outside later and got the same bug-eyed, terrified reaction from her. This time I was wearing gloves, so I didn't think it was a scent on my hands that was causing the problem. I started cleaning stalls and noticed that Gabbrielle was sticking her head in each stall watching me with fascination. Each time I reached out to pet her, she snorted and backed away.
I realized that she was looking at my Christmas sweater, which is warm, so I wear it all winter and not just around Christmas. It is red and green and black and white with bold lines. I wondered if the bright colors and design were scaring her. Horses are supposedly color-blind, so that didn't really make sense. I worked on desensitizing her to the sweater by letting her slowly approach it, and eventually I got my horse hugs.
I relayed the story to my husband and he pointed out that the green on my sweater glitters. It's funny, because I've had this sweater for years and never noticed that. I'll bet the sparkling scared Gabbrielle because it was like sudden movement, and she couldn't figure out what it was. Bombay was also a little freaked out about it, and Lostine couldn't care less. Isn't it amazing how it takes a horse lifetime, nearly 25 years, for a horse to feel comfortable around new things? With people, it seems to be the opposite. Kids are confident and fearless, always up for new things, and as we get older we develop fears.