Saturday, April 3, 2010

Attempts 3-6?

On my third attempt with Big Boy he was still very locked up. I knew the key to loading him was getting him unstuck. It is impossible to get a horse in the trailer if he won’t move at all. On the other hand, I didn’t want a major fight or to spend hours lunging him next to the trailer, but I needed to get those feet moving. Also, I didn’t want to start something that I couldn’t stop at a good time, aka at a time when it doesn’t appear to him that he won. So I was stuck for a while. On my fourth attempt I worked him with another squeeze situation. I set two jump poles parallel at about a foot high so that he had to walk between them. This is because I read one time and agree with, that going into a trailer is like squeezing into something for a horse. You know, big wide open world into small trailer. Next I lunged him on each side and at the back of the trailer, asking him to get closer and closer to the trailer. I could really tell the trailer makes him nervous. He kept shying away from it at first, but finally did ok. On my fifth attempt, he was still not loading. I lunged him again next to the trailer to get him used to it and he does ok at first. After a while he gets very frisky. What he needs is a good lunging session. I was trying to figure out how to do this. I needed the other horses up(the round pen is the only place to confine the horses) while I tried to load him but I need them loose while we lunge. How to do this? It turns out it wasn’t so hard  On my sixth attempt I caught Big Boy and round penned him, not too bad, but he did sweat a little. After I was done, I caught up the others and put them in the round pen. I lunged Big Boy with the trailer door open at the side and at the back of the trailer. I could just tell he was a little more willing. I picked up a front leg and set it in the trailer and then I got in. He left it there and with a lot of coaxing, but no bribery, he eventually (read long time) got all the way in the trailer. I unloaded him and then tried again, but not as successfully. I got two feet in again, same way as before, but then he backed out. I managed to get his front two feet in again, but I could just tell he was not as willing. We were both tired, it was getting dark and I was getting frustrated(despite one successful load.) So I quit with one load and a second/third time of getting his front feet in.

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