After spending the day with my mare, I'm convinced that this move was the right one for my girl. When I showed up today, she was standing quietly in her pen, relaxed and happy. One of her hind legs was cocked, her ears were flopping and her eyes were closed. She wasn't watching her surroundings warily at all. When she heard my foot steps, she raised her head and met me at the gate to her pen. She stood while I haltered her and we worked on some groundwork. For the first time in a long time, she was completely focused on me. The stress I'd felt radiating from her even two days ago was gone and she was ready to work and learn.
Within half an hour, I had looped her lead line over her neck and she was following my vocal cues. Walk on, back, over... she was right there with me. She never placed a hoof wrong, stopping as soon as I did, walking forward and side-stepping when I did. When I pointed to her tail, she shifted her hind end away and spun in circles around me. When I jogged forward, she matched her pace to mine, keeping her muzzle on my shoulder. She saw raised poles for the first time today and very carefully stepped over them. When I told her to watch her feet, she lowered her head and carefully stepped over every obstacle in her way. No hesitation, no veering off... if I asked her to go over it, she did.
Then I spent nearly 2 hours grooming her while she sighed in pleasure. She wasn't tied and was free to move away when she wanted, but she chose to stay with me. Her 'whoa' is strong and she immediately stops when she hears that command. She even allowed me to thin and clean up her mane without being tied, and then allowed me to deworm her sans halter. Most surprisingly, she didn't budge when hay was thrown into her pen... she stayed beside me as I rubbed her ears.
Today was a good day. I'm so happy that my girl is back and she feels safe and secure in her new home. I feel bad that she was so obviously upset at her last barn, but I didn't realize quite how bad it was until I saw how happy she is at her new home. It was a good move, a wise one.