Word Count: 90,019
Year to Date: 600,051
Summary of Events:
Gabriel arrived home from church and saw Ivy, her parents, and the Bramwells at Thomas' grave, once most of them had left, Gabriel went and said goodbye to Ivy, kissing her hand. Ivy got somewhat upset and quite shaken up by the way Gabriel kissed her hand, and then when she realised that she would be leaving sight of Thomas' grave began to wonder if she really wanted to go home. Gabriel worked his arm a little bit and thought about both how he needed to be careful with trying to halter Jude, and how much he wanted to help Ivy. Ivy and her parents left for Ketchum, with plans in the works for a family gathering to celebrate Thomas' birthday in August, and plans in Ivy's mind for planting a rosebush cutting at Thomas' grave. Gabriel slowly worked with Jude to get the halter on . . .
Excerpt of the Day:
"But Gabriel still had to tread carefully. With the amount of tension he could feel — not only where he was touching, but veritably radiating off of the stallion like heat waves — he knew that if he were to make one mistake, Jude would explode.
Getting to where his elbow was at the top of Jude's neck, Gabriel stopped, as usual, rubbed Jude's neck gently, and fed him a small handful of oats.
He patiently waited until Jude had eaten them all before continuing to advance his upper arm along the top of the stallion's neck. Being as he was only so tall, this was where the pressure came in and Jude got difficult.
Gently, gradually, he built the pressure, raising up on his tiptoes to help graduate things nicer as he pressed down, asking Jude to lower his neck so that it would be in a more comfortable spot.
As soon as Jude dropped Gabriel rubbed his neck and gave him another small handful of oats, so that he knew dropping his head was something that was good. When he felt the pressure on the top of his neck, dropping his head was what he was supposed to do, not throw his head up and back away.
Once Gabriel's arm was fully in position he passed the long strap of the halter to his right hand. He remained still for awhile, letting Jude see. The slower the better. He had to let Jude take everything in.
Slowly Gabriel raised the noseband so that it was hovering in front of Jude's muzzle and held it there, continuing his steady stream of words, often repeating things over again, before slowly sliding it toward Jude's muzzle.
Jude started to step back and raise his head, but Gabriel managed to soothe him. He stopped as soon as he'd gotten the noseband in place and managed to give Jude a small handful of oats.
Once the stallion was done eating them Gabriel successfully brought the strap around and fastened Jude's halter.
Letting out the breath he hadn't realised he'd been holding somehow, Gabriel spoke praises to Jude, rubbed his neck, and gave him a lot more oats, along with a bit of the fresh, green clover he'd picked and brought in as an extra special treat.
Things were definitely going well. Gabriel was more than certain that he would be able to get to Ketchum within the month — not that such was guaranteed; just because things were going well now didn't mean they were going to keep going that way.
With the same slow, methodical process, Gabriel removed the halter and gave Jude the last of the last of the clover to enjoy before slipping quietly out of the stall. He returned the halter to its place and put his sling back on.
Working with Jude was definitely testing, testing how much he knew about horses, how much he could trust a horse, and how well he could convince a wild horse to trust him, but it wasn't as testing as Miss Oldford."
Next post will be July 1.