Ok, so it wasn't the rock. Apparently when they had opened the pasture gate Little Love had been the first to go in and inspect the entire area before the other horses dared venture much further than the gate. It's interesting to see this "brave" side of her, it's definitely something new! After she had checked out the area, she came back to the paddock area and settled into the shade under the canopy. I think the main reason she doesn't want to be in the grass pasture are the bugs; they're pretty bad. I have really heavy duty bug repellent which helps a bit, but not enough. I took her down there today with a halter and she ate for about 30 seconds and then decided it was too much. Manta and Kira stayed behind but even Manta gave up after an hour. Kira is not too happy with the bugs, but she endures them because of the grass.
Lilo has always been real sensitive with the insects. She gets fairly upset when there is even just one fly on her, let alone twenty (or fifty...). Well, at least the "bug season" is a lot shorter here in Finland than in Switzerland. But it's really a shame that she is missing out on great pasture time, but what can I do? Her fly sheet would be dangerous down there, since she would probably get stuck on a tree branch in no time. I was thinking of trying it out when I have the time to watch her, maybe tomorrow. Although I'm not sure it will help a lot either since the bugs have a way of getting around that stuff.
Today when I got to the barn, it was early morning and the horses had just gone out. Manta and Kira were down in the pasture, but Little Love was hanging out under the trees in the paddock. She was happy to see me again. I tied her to the tree, this time she stood patiently while I put on her boots. We walked down the road, past the neighbor's house and even further. She was alert, but listening to me. We hiked down the road about five minutes and then turned back; I didn't want to push it the first time. Little Love's confidence surprised me, although I have to say she started walking a heck of a lot faster when we turned home. By the time we were back at the barn, she was anxious, not wanting to stop and graze at her usual spot in front of the barn. I walked her to the paddock and as soon as she saw the other two horses, she calmed down. So, we turned back and spent 45 minutes grazing.
We also went into the barn. Standing in the aisle Little Love was significantly calmer than before. She was also very curious, touching everything in sight, even the scary white garbage can. I turned her around several times in the center and even though it is a tight turn (her bottom sort of brushes against the walls if she isn't careful), she didn't panic. The barn has an interesting lay out with a stall in each corner and four short aisles going each way. The best place for Lilo is the center, where there is the most room. She is a long horse!
Little Love is settling in well, but today when I was with her, I felt a sadness from her. Perhaps she misses Col, they were quite a tight team in the end. I feel so bad I had to separate the two, but that is how it is for horses; they must live with our decisions. Despite her sadness, there is also a certain kind of peace that surrounds her. I can see the changes that have happened in her in such a short time and I do believe she is finally becoming the horse she really is; kind, curious and strong.