April 9, 2014

Trailer Loading 101

If you recall, last weekend Gem and I had a difference in opinion when it came to the importance of getting into the trailer. She won. Not good.

Saturday was D-day. I headed out to the barn around 10 am and planned to spend the entire day if it was needed to make her understand that while I appreciate the fact that she has an opinion, in this case it doesn't matter.

I tied two 20' lunge lines together (although I really only needed one), hooked it to her halter, up through her side of the trailer, around the center divider and back out to me. I grabbed a borrowed dressage whip and started tap tap tap on her big brown (and shiny :) buttocks. She stood there and took it. I thought we were in for a loooong day.

Apparently the tap tap tap is pretty annoying because it didn't take long for her to react by rearing up and scooting off to stand beside the trailer. The lunge line got snagged on the hinge of the back trailer window and this ticked her off. I unhooked it and led her back to facing the trailer. Tap tap tap. She reared again and again ended up beside the trailer. I unhooked the snagged up line and brought her to face it again.

Eventually I gave up on bringing her around. The rope prevented her from ever facing away from the trailer and kept a constant pull toward it, so I didn't care really where she stood. I didn't appreciate the rearing though and so when she did that she got a whack. Any forward motion or really any hint of forward motion and she was told she was good and given a break. But if she refused to moved when asked, it started again.

40 minutes later and she was on the trailer!

She stayed put for about 3-4 minutes while I told her how awesome she was and gave her treats which she refused out of principle. Back out and I walked her around and headed back to the trailer.

Nope. Wouldn't get on. This time it only took 10 minutes before she gave in and got on the trailer. I did this for 2 hours until she got on with only a lead rope and no whip.

Lunch break then an hour later I returned.

You should have seen the look she gave me in the pasture when I went to get her! It was priceless. But she stood there and let me drag her back out. She loaded just fine the first time, but not the second and so she got hooked back up and we started again. But she went on just fine in the end and all was well when I left her.

Sunday I went out alone with my big girl panties on and hooked up the trailer, grabbed Gem and she loaded great. No whip. No ropes. She walked right on.

After the ride she had attitude. I'm not sure why she is worse to come home. You would think she would want to get her butt home and be put back out. I just don't get it. So I gave her two chances. Nope. I hooked the lunge ropes back up and by the time I walked over to grab the end she decided it wasn't worth it and just walked on by herself. Good girl!!!

I know we aren't perfect and she will fight again, but at least now I have the tools to out do her.

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