Today was Goat Boot Camp for the pony. The scary corner of the arena is the corner that the goat lives behind. Yes, we have a goat at the barn. She lives in a pen on one side of the barn. It's not the side that Tess stays in during the day so she's never actually seen much of the goat. This is the most she's ever seen of the goat. The next picture is the pony's usual reaction to the corner that the goat is behind. This is her "omigodwhatisoverthere?!?!" stance.
And the last picture is her just hanging out in the corner, though obviously still uptight. The mounting block and muck bucket are on the wall that the goat lives behind, so now you have some perspective. This is the corner that we don't ride in. Even hand walking her over there, she has a limit to where she'll go. Since I have been nervous about it, I haven't been helping her so today L had me do a little Pony Goat Camp where we walked over the other side of the barn and showed her the goat. She was a very brave pony and stood still, but did not trust that goat at all. There was an empty stall across the aisleway from the goat so we ended up putting her in there and letting her hang out and mellow out. When I last left her, she had settled down to eat but would pop her head up every minute with her mouth full of hay. Just to make sure that goat didn't escape or something.
I'm excited to start being the leader that Tess needs to explore her world. I think we're going to make a point of visiting different barn aisles and maybe grooming her on the other side of the barn, so that she learns she can be quiet in all cross ties, not just the familiar ones. I see long walks in our future together. It will be interesting to see if showing her the goat on the other side of the wall makes any difference. I wonder if she'll make that connection?