When Ginger arrived last June she was scared of everything. I thought moving out into the great big world just temporarily blew her mind. Now that I know her better, I know that's the way she is naturally inclined to always approach things. Once she trusts you, things are of course greatly improved and she becomes much more outgoing. The catch is, she doesn't trust just anyone. Each new person she meets has to prove themselves to her. The contrast became pretty obvious the day G (my ever so wonderful partner) came out to the prairies to visit us. After burying him in video of the horses (of which he watched every minute, knowing he'd be questioned on it later), he had "seen" Ginger when she arrived, the first time I tacked her up, lunged her, etc. This was pre-trainer and I was doing it all myself so I was of course super excited to show him in real life how far I had come with my wild pony.
It went sort of like this:
We pull into the driveway.
Ginger: "Oh hi, you're here!" (leans over the fence)
I get out of the truck.
G gets out of the truck.
Ginger: "OMG! There is someone in your truck!!! Look, he was hiding in your truck all along...run while you still can!!!!" (Runs away)
G: "Well...she's sure pretty"
I do damage control and catch Lainey and give G the job of "looking after" Lainey. Lainey, smart girl, works it for all she's got and gets ear rubs and belly scratches out of the deal. Lainey loves G, because he treats her like a dog and even takes her for walks. This, combined with the fact that, in her opinion, he needs a little looking after makes them the perfect match.
I'm still anxious to show him how hard I've been working with Ginger. Just one small catch, no matter what I do she will not let him within about 10 feet of her. So he saw me ride, but had to hide on the other side of the fence. Not quite what I had in mind. Finally, in a moment of inspiration, I handed him (the very end!) of her lead rope, and told him to try taking her to graze. Turns out the way to a pony's heart is most definitely through her belly.
Pre-bribery Ginger: "OMG! He's LOOKING at me!!"