Mary: When I first got Trail, I had only had a few months and it was quite a handful. And he reared a lot. Draged me everywhere. And I wasn't sure if I was enough for him.
I couldn't figure him out and couldn't understand it all. So one day when I showed up to Windcrest Farm, Gail, the owner of the farm, she's like, you have to see this. Watch this. I know what I was going to get Trail from his paddock so I could brush him up and get him used to standing on cross ties.
And she's like, no, just watch. Just watch. This boy goes over. He was taller than I am. He's maybe 18 years old. And he grabs Trail. I cried out, "Oh my God. Don't let him walk Trail. He'll get hurt. And she learned ver and said, "Stop. Just watch."
His entire body language changed when this kid put that lead line on him. Trail softened his head, dropped down, and he just went totally submissive and walked like a perfect angel next to this boy. He behaved perfectly. I just couldn't believe what I was seeing. Gail explained, "Your horse. His soul is so good. You just have to find it."
Mary: And that stuck in my head forever.
When I used to get frustrated with him I reminded myself he walked some ugly mile I don't know about. So when he does things, I have to look deeper, beyond this behavior, and find what's triggering it.
What can I do to counteract that behavior? And tell him he's OK? That's everything. Every thought, everything we do when he does something.
I look back and imagine what is it for me? I know they're not humans, but they still have very similar fears. What would I do if it were me.
Or what did I do for my daughter who has bipolar to get her through all her issues? I started intertwining the two and treating both of them the same way.
He's bomb proof now. He can do so much stuff and he'll always calm down.
Today his attitude is "We got this. Relax."
Mary: So I started taking Aria around Trail when she was about two.
Trail is 16-3 hands and thirteen hundred pounds. She wouldn't go near him she was so afraid. I'd sit her at the farthest point. She'd watch me brush him and give him treats and he was always a good boy.
When I started taking lessons with Dave at Flying High Stables I would bring her around and the children there of took her in, "Oh, come with us, come with us." And then she started to really enjoy the children.
I would touch Trail's nose and hold his head putting my hand round to make sure he didn't do anything. One time we're standing in front of his paddock, Trail reached down and he was smelling her. I said to Aria "It's OK." Trail reached over the paddock fence and he brought his head down, her body was the same size as his head.
Trail kissed her forehead. Aria burst into tears because this scared her. He just barely touched her. But his face is so big to her little tiny face.
She continued visiting Flying High more because she was getting a little more used to the horses. Plus the girls had taken her under their wing and they would say, "Come here. Come touch this one, he won't hurt you." And she started touch the horses.
Usually they were the smaller horses like Mya's Kisses, the paint. Just last Monday she just said to me she wanted to ride in some way. I Scuffled about to put tack on Trail and a helmet on her head. Alex held her leg and we walked her around. She sat up there beaming with a big grin on her face. I couldn't stop looking at her.
I asked, "Are you done yet?" She said, "No, no. A little bit more. A little bit more. I want to jump the jump like you did." It was just a ground pool. " OK, hold on, sit up straight. Hold the strap. Sit up straight." She walked the ground pole.