Happy Birthday to Lilja – she was one year old on 20th May.
Today, I found Lilja by herself – the other two mares, Fivla and Vitamin, were the other side of the fence. Her choice, I think.
Lilja is learning fast. She is easily caught, walks peacefully while listening and learning my body language.
These past few days we have been working on a very special skill – loading.
With the help of a bucket of mare and foal hardfeed, Lilja will now load calmly into the horsevan. This is Day 2. Yesterday, Fivla showed Lilja how to do it and now is just around watching on.
Fivla does not need hardfeed, possibly ever, but she serves a purpose. Fivla is the one Lilja has attached herself to so acts as a guiding influence. Fivla also never panics – bombs could go off and Fivla would never mention it – so she is the perfect step-mother to learn from.
We left Vitamin behind. She can get hysterical and that is not something we want to show Lilja.
As you can see, Lilja now loads fine.
She calmly walks in and out of the van on a loose rope.
As there won’t always been hardfeed around (we usually only buy it in the winter), I tried Lilja out with a carrot as the reward.
It was considered perfectly acceptable.
So all is good.
I am no longer worrying that Lilja will be the only horse in the world never to load.
(It was beginning to feel a bit like that, if I am perfectly honest!)
While we were in the area, I also showed Lilja the flappy big doors at the back. My theory is the more things she sees and is calm about, then the better her world will be. She behaved beautifully.
So onwards and upwards.