We have three foals at the barn that I spend a lot of my time at. Ariel is an absolute sweetheart; while not particularly enthusiastic about human contact, she certainly doesn’t mind it and sometimes even enjoys it. However, the other two, Tessa (short for Contessa) and Posey, are terrified of humans.
Tessa is the worst of the two. There was a time when I was cleaning her stall, and needed to exit. Tessa was positioned so as to be between the door and me, and her mother was in such a position that she couldn’t hide behind her. Therefore, instead of taking the risk of letting me come near her, she attempted to fling herself through the door.
Needless to say, this isn’t exactly the kind of behavior we want in our young horses. Through several sessions of squatting in the stall, holding still, and talking softly to her, I’ve actually gotten Tessa to come up and sniff my hand cautiously a couple of times.
I’d like to have something edible to tempt her with, so that she’ll associate me with yummy treats. However, the foals don’t seem quite as enthusiastic about carrots and apples and peppermints as the older horses do. Anyone have any suggestions for little treats they won’t be able to resist?