After what felt like months, TJ finally came home to my boarding barn. Having not been trailered in a year, or at another facility in eons, TJ was a super star. He loaded into the trailer with a bare hint of hesitation. He was slightly pushy when I went to unload him, I reminded him that the rules we have established still apply. My expectation reaffirmation seemed to give him confidence and TJ was calm… curious… but calmly absorbing his new turf.
TJ continued in a collected manner when I put him on individual turnout, brought him in to explore the barn and be brushed (ground tied!), and practice with clippers- he has Friesian feathers, I swear! All the while horses were being fed, a lesson was happening, and other boarders were about.
Finally, I put Apache in the individual paddock next to TJ, so they could get acquainted over night, before we put them together. They sniffed for 20 seconds and did their own thing: no squeals, no kicks, no biting. Apache wanted to gorge himself on grass. And TJ wasn’t fussed about being blown off.
I could not be happier with TJ’s first day home. I see a very happy future illuminating the horizon. 🙂