Wednesday, March 15, 2006

March, 2006 (1)

This week, Patty, Sheila and I and I have been working with a pony that will load into the trailer but only to travel loose. We had to persuade her that she was fine and to accept contact with the partition and the back bars. This horse had previously been a complete non-loader and had also been frightened of going in the stable or through gate ways. We broke the training down to really small steps, working on entering the trailer with the partition to one side, opening and closing the partition down, ducking under the breast bar and back again, putting up the back bar and so on. On Friday I was able to load her completely on my own. It seems that once she understood that not every movement in front of her, down her side or at her bottom was not significant, she could relax and stay where she was. She is going to new owners tomorrow so it is hoped that they will try to load her sympathetically and not take it for granted that she will load like an old hand.
Trailer travelling is a very bizarre concept to a horse. Any horse, especially one that has been wild, will know by instinct (and because it's mother told it) not to get its head or feet caught up, not to get trapped in small spaces and not to go indoors when it is windy or noisy. Who knows what my creep up and eat you?! You'll note that we don't use full length travelling boots as we find these cause more trouble than they cure; horses feel as if their legs are tied together and that they can't move and they may also get too hot. We find a travelling rug does help ponies who avoid touching the partition and walls.