Tuesday, March 20, 2012

20th March, 2012 Step-Up

Xanthe and I collaborated on training a horse with an unloading problem while I was away. This Andalusian Arab cross is absolutely fine about loading, standing in the trailer and travelling, but panics and runs backwards rapidly once the back door is opened. Some time ago he pulled back on his head collar, broke the string with which he was tied up, and went out of the trailer backwards and underneath the back bar. Since then he has got into the habit of rushing every time as if he expects to be 'bitten' by the back bar.

The trailer is a step up trailer, i.e. it has no ramp, but that doesn't seem to play a part in the problem. Once he has backed out the horse stands calmly right behind the trailer.

Using a blanket at first, and the Xanthe's Mum's favourite draught excluder (!) we asked the horse to stay in the trailer even when the door was open. Xanthe used clickered treats in the front to give an added incentive. By the end of the session he was prepared to wait until he was asked to back out and his exit was much more leisurely.

On the way back to Pollensa we called in to see Xanthe's beautiful Comptois mare, Hecca.