I love a challenge, and my ex-trainer and current BO knows it. She also knows that if there is nothing else I can do well, I CAN bring back horses that no one else seems to be able to handle or bring back from abuse.
One of the boarder's horses, a Trekhner (sp??) mare named Blitz (an appropriate name, really), is, according to the BO and owner, a compelete psycho. She apparently goes ape-****-crazy when removed from her (large) pen. They moved her to the pen directly acorss from her normal one one day, and the mare paced for 24 hours straight, never stopped. Wouldn't eat, wouldn't rest, and never stopped screaming at the top of her lungs. By morning she was covered in lather and still pacing. Fearing she would do herself an injurgy or create and ulcer or colic, and she was working up the other horses, she was returned her to her pen. Apparently she is also terrified of everything when being led and is constantly in your lap when she is frightened. I don't know if they are just exaggerating of if she really is this bad. Whatever the case, she's bad enough that the owner has slated to be euthinized if I cannot bring her around.
When my BO told me that I was "the defining factor as to whether or not this mare is put down", I nearly had a cardiac.
'You can't put that on my shoulders!" I objected. "I can't have that on my concence."
My BO then said,
"Look, the mare is either psychologically tripped out,in which case she can't afford a paid trainer, or there is some physiological issue like a brain tumor that cannot be detected without vet work the owner can't afford. If you can't get through to her, don't feel bad. If anyone can do it, its you, and if you can't then there's no hope for the mare. Give her the chance."
Finally, I agreed to it.
"Ok," I said. "But I'm laying this rule down now. If I take this mare on, I want all the time in the world I need. Don't rush me. If she's as crazy as you say I'm going to be taking such tiny baby steps at a time she won't realize she's taking them. If I take her on, I want every last second with that mare that I want. I do NOT want this decision to put her down to be made until I hand the lead rope to you and say,'that's it. I can't get through to her'. Until I say those words, I want your promise that I will not be rushed, and she will not be put down until I am convinced there is NOTHING I can do."
The BO agreed to this. While I am not comfortable with this mare's life being on my shoulders, it's either try to help the mare through, or her life is taken from her immediately. I figure, I should at least give the mare a chance.
We'll see what happens when I work with her tommarrow.