Butterfly

I have known Butterfly all my life, she grew up at the rescue I grew up at. When I had my own farm she, her best friend Sugar Plum and Viking all moved in with me. She has always been my sweet little friend, sadly she lost her eye sight progressively through her early life.

Despite her eye sight she's a feisty little girl, with a “kick first, ask questions later” type of attitude. She's harder for people to handle as she needs a great deal of guidance and can be quite reactive (for obvious reasons). Luckily she found a wonderful adult friend. Together she's learned to become more curious about her environment and less concerned. She's learned to explore all sorts of new stimuli, swimming pools, mounting blocks, tarps and other toys. She's learned a number of helpful skills, like following the sound of a bell (as her target), and stepping up and down to be safer in her environment. She's learned to walk with her head low so she can find and investigate the obstacles before going through, over or around them. Once she's “mapped out” the obstacle course she can fly through it with no problem! She has incredible spacial awareness and memory, she's really taught us a lot about a horse's capabilities and use of their senses, when one is so limited.

Unfortunately Butterfly has lived through great, repeated loss in her life. She has had many human friends who have loved her passionately for a short amount of time, then never returned. She's not as “fun” as a big, seeing horse who can be ridden and she was often set aside. Recently she underwent her hardest loss, at the same time as loosing her human best friend, she lost her equine companion, Sugar Plum. Sugar Plum had been her soft and quiet eyes for years, she gently cared for Butterfly and helped her remain calm and comfortable. They were (literally) each other's Yin Yang! Butterfly struggled with this fast and painful trans
ition, at this point she was living comfortably with Twinkles the sheep (who was Sugar Plum's best friend) but -not- Butterfly's friend. I was crushed and didn't know where to begin. She was so defensive and frightened around any new horse she would attack them violently whenever she found them. A horses' entire communication is visually based, Butterfly has no way to see what they're saying or know how to respond, as a result she becomes violently defensive. So introducing a new pony friend became out of the question and far too stressful (despite attempts).

Luckily at the end of this difficult period I became aware of a lamb in need of a home. While Butterfly wasn't fond of Twinkles, I didn't expect much to come of this – but without Sugar Plum Twinkles was in great need of a companion as well. To my surprise, when we introduced them Butterfly immediately took to the lamb, she cleaned her and cared for her and “protected” her from Twinkles. Her lamb, Faun, helped Butterfly transition, become bold and confident – learning to care for others as opposed to always being the one looked after.

She's really come to love and trust us humans and become a bold and confident little girl.