Dobe is my gray Mustang. I don't mean riding him in there, I mean housing him in there loose with her so that she can start learning some mannerisms from a broke horse instead of the feral horses she's always been around.
IME, riding a horse in with a feral horse really doesn't help them get accustomed to a person on the ground. The only way to get them gentler is just to spend a ton of time with them.
Okey-dokey, be prepared for another picture overload (though I'll try to sort through the 119 new ones for the best of them LOL).
I went ahead and put Dobe out there with her. It reminded me quickly why I liked putting an older broke horse in with wild ones. In the first couple of minutes, he sort of herded her around until she was following him.
She even tried to nurse once before she figured out there was no milk down there LOL
If she didn't do what she was told, he would pin his ears, snake his neck, and mock charge her to get her moving.
Once she figured that out, she was following him everywhere, even up to sniff around on me (he was sniffing for treats, she was sniffing just because he was).
After that, she would follow me around and even let me walk up to her out in the open round pen and scratch her on the head/neck. There was none of the scared snorting and trembling she would do before when I walked up to her.
Whenever I would go to walking away, she would follow me.
In just a short time, she was feeling very confident and would walk right up to me
(these pix are not zoomed in at all)
For a little while, I've been worried about her not eating as much as I thought she should. I've offered her a mix of really good alfalfa hay and medium quality grass hay, along with keeping a tub with some alfalfa pellets out there with her. She would eat the grass hay but hadn't touched the pellets or the alfalfa since she's been here. Since her momma wasn't here to teach her that it was okay to eat them, she just wouldn't. So, once she hooked onto Dobe, I let him show her that the pellets and hay are okay to eat.
LOL, thanks, guys. I darn sure don't know where I'd be if not for Dobe. He's the perfect babysitter as he's taught manners to all 3 of my young'uns (Rafe and Taz, now Talyn). I think maybe he is a better communicator because he wasn't raised in captivity.
Now that she's eating the alfalfa (she was still eating a few minutes ago while I was finishing chores, she must have been hungry...or just finally decided that the food tasted dang good ), I'm keeping her and Dobe separated during feeding times. Lord knows he doesn't need all that rich food, he's fat enough already LOL. BUT, I'm keeping them in side-by-side pens so that they are still close and I am going to start turning them out in the roundpen together during the day.