What I am asking of Izzy is always the same. I just want him to become familiar with the rhythm of our barn. He needs to be able to do the most basic of things: come to me when I go into his stall, stand patiently while I groom or doctor him, lift his feet when asked, follow quietly on the lead line, and be okay when one of his neighbors leaves the barn.
To teach him that Speedy will come back, I've either ridden him in the arena or taken him for a walk out of sight. Each day, Izzy has gained confidence and was less stressed about Speedy leaving. On Thursday, I rode Speedy around the neighborhood. Izzy didn't even call to us until we had left the driveway. I watched my watch carefully; we were gone for eighteen minutes. Izzy called for us about every minute and a half, but the whinnies were more "whiny" in nature as opposed to full-bodied cries of panic.
When we got back, he was dry (no nervous sweat), and gave a sassy buck when Speedy was back in the barn. It was the first confident thing Izzy has done since his arrival. And it was definitely sassy. He shook his head and gave a little squeal at the same time. I was actually delighted at his show of spunk. It was quite a cute little demonstration, and he actually looked proud of himself.
We walked very slowly, partly because of his leg, but I also wanted him to really think about what was happening. He wanted to crowd me a bit or dart around me, but I insisted he stay behind me, or at least at my shoulder. By the second lap around, his confidence was beginning to grow. He began to lower his head to the ground looking for grass to eat, and his stride got a bit bigger.
On our last lap around, I stopped at my trailer and sat on the wheel well. Izzy's head went sky high and he was blowing rather noisily at being asked to stand so close to the trailer, but he accepted the situation and finally started looking at me and placed his face in my lap for a scratch.
I am really looking forward to this weekend. I'll finally get to visit with Izzy in the daylight, ride Speedy more thoroughly, and work with Austin as well. I went from two horses, to one horse, to three! I think my pot is filled to overflowing!