Overcoming our fears..
Yep, this is the child that just a few short years ago would not pat a dog, let alone lead a Clydesdale by himself!
Yesterday the farrier came to service the feet of the horses, ponies and the donkey. Given we’re always keen to learn something new we went down and watched the Farrier Glen do their feet. Elaine from Barcoos Farmstays Bathurst asked Jaiden if he wanted to walk back one of the Ponies to the paddock, after some initial hesitation he accepted so he got the job of leading everyone to and from the paddock.
Last on the list was this lovely Clydesdale, Jaiden whispered to me “That one is too big, I don’t want to do that one”, I offered to help him and he insisted “It’s way too big for me!”. After her feet had been done Elaine said “Here you go, you can lead her back”, Jaiden looked at me and I said “It’s ok mate, she’s a very friendly horse, I’ll walk with you and help you if you need it” He accepted and off he went!
I got a thumbs up from Jaiden as they entered the paddock gates so I stood back and watched, Prudence (the Clydesdale) started walking towards Jaiden and started nudging him with her head, somewhat curious no doubt. But rather than dropping the rope and running, Jaiden stood his ground and held her for a good few minutes, despite this massive girl towering over him, making him visibly uncomfortable!
As we walked back to the caravan Jaiden says to me “Dad, that horse was way big and way scary, but it’s actually pretty friendly and gentle, I like that horse, it’s my favourite now”. This morning Elaine had to practice loading Prudence onto the horse float in preparation for a trip to the vet. She asked Jaiden if he’d like to lead her to the float and without hesitation he accepted and was shown the correct way to lead a horse, he was very happy with himself I got the obligatory high 5 and power punch from a very proud boy.
Through all the stress and setbacks it can be easy to lose sight of why it is we do this. But seeing just how far he’s come in so many areas through desensitization serves as a constant reminder why we chose this lifestyle, and ya know what? I’d not have it any other way.