This is horrible validation, but it is validation that you just don't know what any horse is going to do.
The last couple days since I made the decision to keep Toad and just put in the work that she needs every day and be patient with her - I've felt an enormous weight off my shoulders. I feel more motivated and definitely more relaxed because I know what my goal is and I feel committed to it. I also feel slightly on edge about people judging me for it - but that's one of my flaws is that I feel slightly on edge about people judging me about *everything*. And anyway, my friends are all very sweet and have shown that they will support me no matter what I decide - crazy or not.
Then today I was texting Trainer K. about lunch tomorrow and she said she needed to wait and see how she felt because Temple kicked her across the stall today. Temple is actually the horse I had in my head as "it would be so much easier if I had a horse like Temple". Of course, Temple is also a new mama so that brings a whole different aspect to things. But she hauled off and kicked Trainer K. because she was eating, Trainer K. touched her side to ask her to move and she swung her butt around and kicked her full force across a very large, double stall. Now, to be honest, I am terrified to go into her stall. I used to go in and clean it out if I happened to be by there while she was pregnant. Then I went in a couple times to help Trainer K. hold her right after Bogo was born. But now I'm just staying away from her until I understand what is going on with her - because I don't understand where the boundaries are for new mama horses and I can just imagine me really pissing her off on accident. But even then, she has been more comfortable with Bogo and humans - letting him stick his nose out of the stall for people to pet. Temple even let my daughter and her friend pet him yesterday.
Still, it reminded me that all horses are unpredictable and they are all animals who are very strongly run on instinct first - thought later (if at all). So, in some ways Toad is safer for me because I know her so well. She could still surprise me - and I'm sure she will on occasion - but on a day to day basis I spend so much time with her I'm starting to recognize her cues and when she's upset and when she's just being ... The Toad. And there is no perfectly safe horse out there that will never surprise me. The best I can do is keep my eyes open, be safe and thank God I got over that crazy idea that I wanted to someday learn to be a trainer!