Poor Karma had a very bad day awhile ago. I have been getting her out more for longer walks to help her start building a bit of fitness. She has been doing really well handing traffic, motorcycles, mailboxes, screaming children, screaming children on motorized vehicles. But we managed to find her one true fear.
We were probably about 30 minutes from home and there is a place that looks like a junk yard. It started with her stopping to stare. I asked her to move on and she got a bit balky. Sadly this attracted the attention of some very scary dairy calves. They are at the terribly curious age, so when we caught their eye, they raced up to the fence line.
I quickly discovered her fear of cows is very much still there despite being ok with the cows around the barn. I am honestly not entirely sure what all happened, but there was spinning, jumping, trying to fall down when we went off the road into the drainage ditch, and a small rear. Thankfully, I was still firmly in the saddle, but I did decide I really didn't want to be there. I got her paused enough for me to hop off and she immediately tried to bolt for home.
I pulled her up and she then tried the other direction. When that didn't work either she did her best saddlebred impression. I decided that there was not going to be any learning in the moment and our best option was to continue on down the road and wait for the brain to turn back on. Needless to say a couple of minutes later she was walking like nothing happened.
I wasn't feeling ballsy so I waited to get back on until after we turned around and walked back past the calves. Walking back she was much better event hough I made her pause and waited until they came wandering back up to the fence line. I am hopeful that a few more trips and some positive reinforcement will help her to learn that calves will not murder her.