So Ari and Jessie settled in well. Saturday morning, my dad planned to bring Bronwyn. He would load her at the old farm alone because we still had some address updating, etc, to do in town since moving to the new place. And the plan was that I would be there when he unloaded. Unfortunately, we got caught up and while I was standing in line at the grocery store picking up a few necessities, my mom tagged me on Facebook in this picture:
Not gonna lie, I totally teared up standing in the checkout line! G thought I was nutters, which was okay. I wrote it off as pregnant lady hormones. She doesn't show up very often, but occasionally, CPL (Crazy Pregnant Lady) shows up and you can't talk her out of tears, or fears, or thinking her husband is cheating on her (that one was a tough one to explain to my extremely faithful, very anti-cheating husband when he got home a little later than normal after stopping at his own brother's house to pick up some sheet rock for our impending kitchen mini-reno). So she cried in the middle of the Superstore, and that was okay too (coincidentally, we got free groceries because of a "market minute" promotion they had going on, so I could have easily been crying tears of happiness for that!).
She unloaded and hardly even made a grump face at Ari. When I got home, they were all grazing quietly near one another. Clearly, if Ari thought that Bronwyn was a threat, she wouldn't be comfortable enough to graze a couple feet away. I watched them the rest of the day and there were the occasional 'Move! *grumpy mare face, stalks her off two steps*', but nothing serious -- nothing like what had been happening at home for the last six months every time I tried to re-integrate Ari into the herd.
So my plan worked! And it was probably better that I wasn't there to wring my hands and stress about it while it was happening. Sometimes the most important part of the equation is to take me away from it and let someone else with an outside view who doesn't spend hours obsessing over the bad things that can happen inside her mind. My parents were both there, are both competent horsepeople (I mean, I did learn almost everything I know from them!), and they read the situation as well (maybe better than!) as I could have.
Less than 12 hours later, I saw this:
And then on Sunday morning, this:
I would say my plan to trick Bronwyn into loving Ari again was a resounding success!
I was originally planning to bring Rex this weekend...but I'm still having trouble catching Bronwyn so until that is going smoothly, I think he'll stay at the farm alone. It's good for him to eat a *little* humble pie (don't worry, I won't give him too much!), and I think it will go further toward cementing my herd back the way they were before.
I fully admit to cheating by calling them to the gate a couple of times per day and feeding treats. At this point, with the ground wet in some spots and uneven in others, and myself in as bad of shape as I am, I don't have the physical ability to push her around the field until I catch her (though I do think my fitness is improving as it's downhill a bit from the house to the paddock and if I walk out the paddock at all, I'm out of breath when I come back!), so I am okay with re-establishing our relationship with the currency she understands: food. If we were at a different place in our relationship (instead of so out of touch that I couldn't even say I've consistently seen/handled her biweekly for the last six months or so), I absolutely wouldn't do this. But right now (and especially with hubby extra nervy about me getting kicked last week!), I have to do the best with what I can, and that's lure her and bribe her. Once our working relationship is re-established, I'll have different expectations, but I do feel like I'm starting from scratch all over again at this point.
She does come in close and will eat out of the palm of my hand, but I haven't made a grab for her yet. I'd like to get to her shoulder and scratch a few times before I make an attempt to catch.