Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Trailer ride on labor day... it can only improve, right?

Well, we decided to take the horses for a swim on Labor day. It would be their first ride together in the trailer.

Loading Cibolo took some doing at the barn, and finally he loaded when I went to the front window and Adam sent him in.

It was a sign of things to come.

Lilly, on the other hand, jumped in lickety split. Our trainer had worked with her and said she really made major progress. No kidding. She loaded like nothing, then unloaded like nothing.

We went over to the lake and I had a feeling I didn't really have Cibolo's attention. I did some ground work, but only made a little progress. Still we went down to the water and let them swim for a while - we didn't want to ride, it was just a test outing.

So, after an hour it was time to go home.

In theory.

Cibolo would not load. It was as if everything unraveled. We switched roles a couple times, increased pressure, reduced pressure, did work outside. Finally the only thing that worked was opening the window so he could stick his head out. The only problem with that is that he sticks it so far out that it's dangerous to drive with him. So Adam had to twist his nose to push him back in.

It took an hour.

Then Lilly jumped right in.

I swear, it's enough to drive me to just buy a motorcycle.

Just kidding.

I was pretty discouraged but Adam made a good point.

"We won. We got them loaded."

We need to take another trip immediately, and I was hoping to do it sooner rather than later, but life is already hectic. Hopefully we can do something tomorrow.

(was going to post a video on this, but my memory card is MIA... maybe it's in the trailer)


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I'm impressed that you even tried such a trip at all. Wow! How did Cibolo and Lilly enjoy the swimming?
And like Adam said, "You won". Next time WILL be easier with Cibolo loading and unloading.


One Red Horse said...

Oh, trailers used to give me such anxiety with Red. If he went in a slant first, he would fight the trailer wall (front wall along his side). No matter how well I wrapped his legs he would come out bloody. That was a couple of years ago. Now he is so casual about it. Such a relief.

It really will get better.

Kate said...

Things often fall apart for a bit as a horse is learning things, in my experience. It's a good sign of what the horse really knows or doesn't know - it just reveals some holes in the training. All it means is that you have to go back a bit and repeat some things until the horse really understands what you want and figures out how to comply. You were in a different situation - he'd never loaded THERE before! (in his mind) - so things fell apart. It'll come - it just takes time and patience.

Life at Star's Rest said...

I'm with everyone else on this. I had 'cured' Mio's issues in two trailer school sessions. Then I took him on an hour long ride to a friend's place and since then, loading has not been a pleasure for him. No real problems, but definitely anxiety there. So just stay strong and keep at it!

I'm glad you posted things about the Pryor Mountain gathering. I've been too upset to write or even talk about it.


Nuzzling Muzzles said...

How frustrating. You bring up a good point. We have to be careful not to let ourselves get so discouraged that we stop trying. I can see that a lot of people might just let their horses become pasture ornaments instead of struggling with trailer loading. I'm glad you recognize that you need to keep up the routine. At least Lily helps you to see where Cibolo could be with more training.

Trailrider said...

You got it done...that's the important thing.

Ranch sorting this Friday (tomorrow) if you are interested...

Breathe said...

Thanks for the encouragement. I definitely need it.

Sister is in town so can't make ranch sorting.Although I bet she'd get a kick out of it.