Since we finally have a third vehicle and didn't need the truck for anything this week, the hubby backed the truck and trailer into the arena so I can work on loading all of the horses. I thought it would be great idea with summer shows just around the corner and a good refresher for all of the horses. To this point, all of my horses load with me getting in the trailer first. This works fine and they go in most of the time fine and if needed with a little help of Jake standing behind them. Now that we have Kenz, I thought it would be good to improve the way my horse's load. I want to start having my horses load by me sending them. That way I don't have to worry about a horse jumping into the trailer and jumping on top of me or the hubby, or Kenz once she is old enough to load her own horse.
Roz was subject one. She has been in the trailer for the last 3 days so I figured she would be the quickest and easiest to accomplish loading the new way. I lunged her by the trailer making her move and turn and keep her feet moving. After a while, I would stop her and try and send her into the trailer. The first two times she balked. So I sent her back off to work again. The next couple times I tried to send her she stepped in with her front feet and came back out. So I gave her a second to rest and back to work she went. After a couple more turns and circles on the lunge line, I tried again. This time she went in. I let her stand in the trailer for a few minutes before I let her come out.
We did this over and over again. Each time she refused, it took less and less laps in between each send before she decided it was more fun to go in the trailer and relax then to keep jogging and doing work. After about 40 minutes, I was able to send her 6 times and she went right into the trailer each time! Yay! Each time she went in was more and more relaxed. By the 6th time in a row, she didn't want to trot in and jump but walked right in. She didn't try to refuse, but just walked nice and smooth. Roz had a few evasion moments. She shook her head like she would before she would rear, but her feet never left the ground! YAY! for little steps in the right direction. She crow hopped a few times when she started to get mad and wanted to get out of the lunging part of the afternoon. But when I stopped and turned her, she came back and responded and didn't get upset with the correction! Another little stepping stone. At one moment, her eyes got mad and I could tell she was getting frustrated. So while she was lunging, I kept her moving forward on the lunge line but made her do a hip yield away from the circle as well. This made her work double time and it made her stop thinking about being mad and think about the work she was being asked to do.
I really was hoping that it wouldn't have taken an hour. But since when does horse training go by the clock? Since when should I be worried about how long the process took, but the outcome of the process? Shouldn't I be more concerned about having a better step, or in this case Roz loading then I did when I started? I need to work on retraining myself. I need to enjoy the process and the result of the work without worrying if it took an hour, 10 days or 6 months. You would think that I have learned this lesson over the last year working with Roz as it has been a trip to basics for a very long period of time. But, each day just like Roz needs to learn a lesson, I guess I need to remind myself of the lessons that I need to work on. Besides that isn't an hour of improving the way my horse loads into the trailer just as important as an hour on her back? I need to keep reminding myself that an hour of good, solid hard work where I have instilled myself as the leader, is a success regardless of what we worked on that day.
I am looking forward to tomorrow. I am hoping that with our work today, Roz will either A) go right into the trailer 6 times in a row with no "work" part....wouldn't that be great but I think I would be getting a head of myself! so I hope that B) the time that it takes to get her to go into the trailer 6 times just as well as she did today takes even just a minute less than it took today. So we will see what tomorrow brings... because once Roz gets "broke" to loading it is Peaches turn!