I find myself going to the pasture gate and almost yelling, " Ohia!" It stings, but I am coming, somewhat, to terms with it. My husband really helped me out this last week - taking care of buying the lime and dealing with the burial. I just couldn't go back there - I won't be able to for awhile, but I am going to plant a yellow-flowered Ohia Lehua tree there when I can. We have lots of the more common red-flowered ones around, so I want to distinguish his resting spot with something different.
I had a long talk with Gibby Crazy Horse about how he had to be much less crazy because I miss my Ohia and I am so lonely without him. It seemed to work a little, because the next day on a whim I whistled to him in the pasture. Usually any attention means he moves smartly away from the area where humans are, but he ran right in and ate grain off my hand. Yes, I am aware the grain probably had more to do with it than my speech - but this horse could only eat cubes off your hand prior to that - and only if they were big enough to grab without touching your palm. Mostly, he stand as far back as he could from you and stick out his nose and generally freaks out when he muzzle touches any part of your hand, knocking the feed onto the ground where it becomes available for a grab and run move.
I tested the process again that evening and the next day, and he was still coming in when called and still eating happily out of my hand. He will actually stand by the gate with his head over it and eat. This is a BIG change.
It took him a bit longer to come in this afternoon when I called him - in fact, he waited until we left the gate. Things are always two steps forward, one step back with this horse. I swear he's had a traumatic brain injury....which is why I should sell him, really. What good is a horse that only I can ride - my farrier succinctly said while urging me to "put him on craigslist - today, Nancy, today."
Today, though, I got away from the farm. I had to take my daughter's friend to urgent care. I was cleaning out a terrible gash on her knee with my "animal doctoring" skills, and thought, "This is just so deep and so wide open, we're heading to town with this one." If it were a horse or a sheep, I might have just cleaned it well, bandaged it, and given a course of antibiotics, but this is a young woman - even my husband (Mr. My-Kid-with-Gaping-head-wound-only-needs-a-butterfly-bandage) said she needed stitches. While we were waiting for my daughter to come pick up her friend, we went to school and made a "What teachers REALLY do when kids aren't there" movie with another teacher -apparently, we make silly movies, just like the kids do.....