Yesterday Melissa and I went to the barn together. The herd dynamics had changed a bit, the three horses were now moving as a unit together, rather than Manta and Kira as a pair with Lilo trailing behind. Kira still seemed to be the leader and it will be interesting to see if she maintains that position.
We took Little Love out of the paddock and this caused some minor distress in Kira and Manta, who stayed at the gate and called out. After while, however, they walked off, accepting her temporary absence. Little Love seemed much calmer than the day before. She stopped to graze in front of the barn door, which meant she was relaxed. We brushed her briefly after which I took her to the other side of the barn. It was raining lightly, something that used to bother her quite a bit (if you can remember), but despite the weather, she did much better with leaving the paddock area than before. We also ventured onto the road and although her stress levels definitely went up, she was able to manage her anxiety. We never went further than 20 feet from the barn, but that was enough for the time being.
Next we went inside the barn, but like the day before, this was too much for Little Love to handle. I think we need to practice standing in the aisle of the barn while the other two horses are inside. Maybe the company, even if the horses are in their stalls, will help Little Love maintain her composure in the tight space. It is imperative for her to learn this fairly soon, as she really needs a trim and calling out the trimmer when my horse can't even stay in the barn for a minute, is a waste of time and money. Not to mention setting Little Love up for failure.
I won't be going to the barn until on Monday. I'm hoping this two days on "her own" in the herd will help Little Love establish her place in the group and recover further from the transportation. Every day she seems to look better, gaining back the lost weight and finding her energy again. In the mean while I am taking care of "family relations" at the summer cottage. My family has been more than understanding when it comes to Little Love's needs, but every now and then I need to work on my relationship with my family as well :-) I think anyone with horses AND a family will know what I'm talking about... it's called human herd dynamics.