Sunday, June 19, 2011

Trailer to nowhere

Well, we didn't end up going to the park. That's because it was clear from a few minutes after I loaded Sage and Chinook into the trailer that she was quite nervous and was not going to play along with a 45 minute trailer ride.

For some reason, I took off her halter and let her and Chinook loose in the trailer with some hay. She was quite agitated by this (probably mostly because Brandy was screaming her lungs out about not being able to see where Sage was), so we left her in there for a about 20 minutes and tried to just keep her calm. With Patrick's help, I was able to slip the halter on her, get her facing away from the door, and work to calm her down and walk her out quietly. She did settle down and eat before we let her out. Because it was kind of a stressful experience for her, we knew that she needed some work.

So, after convincing her to step in and out once more, we haltered up Chinook and took a little walk up the road to get them thinking and doing things but not having to worry specifically about the trailer (with plans to come back and work on that later). Patrick led Chinook, who was a perfect little citizen. He led up very well and was clearly listening to Patrick. We ran into the neighbor's longhorn cattle, and Sage gave them a little snort. Chinook pricked up his ears and wanted to go say hi, though he was a bit caught off guard as well. When we got back, I tied Sage up to the trailer to have some hay before we tried to load her again.

She got a good grooming and some fly spray. Doesn't she look like a real trail horse all tied up to the trailer?

Chinook also got a brushing. I'm starting to get little bits of peachfuzz off of him, as his foal coat will start to shed soon and his "big horse" coat will come in. I left the jelly scrubber on his butt and he walked around with it on his back without a care in the world. Then, with a few alfalfa pellets and some encouragement, the two were back in the trailer being quite calm.

Patrick spent some time opening and closing the door, waking around the trailer making noise, and generally just exposing them to the things they should expect on a drive. It was perfect because I was able to stay in there with them, which is I think much more convincing. I mean, when you get the horse in the trailer, lock the divider, and leave as quickly as possible to shut the door, what do you think they're going to think about how good being in the trailer is?

Chinook was quite tired by the end of this, as the whole session with our walk included took about two hours. I'm confident that these two will trailer well in the near future with a little more assurance, and I'm sure we'll be able to go to the park sometime this summer. :)

No comments:

Post a Comment