Time for our second adventure. Not sure he looks at it like that, but I’m sure one day he will…..I hope. Trailer is hooked up…check. Key in the ignition for a quick get a way….check! Pull the cat blankets and food out of the trailer…check! Look in the tack for cats….check! Go get horse and load him up…..check!
Dulce loads up easily, and is calm in the trailer thank goodness. I close the window and off we go. I pull in, get out, and I immediately notice that the trailer isn’t rocking back and forth like last time. Dulce is patiently waiting inside the trailer. I hear a moan. It’s a an odd sound, one that I never heard a horse make before, and then the sound comes from the trailer again much louder. Oh my gosh, a cat is in the trailer! I open the side door, and there she is holding on for dear life in the hay feeder. Even though my hay field is kitty corner, an accidental pun intended, from my neighbor’s place, I doubt she’ll find her way home. I quickly close the door, apologize to Dulce, and turn around and head back home. When we get back, she is curled up in the feeder much calmer now. I lift her out, and she takes off. Only me stuff like this happens to. I wonder how long it will be before Goldie forgives me.
Note to self: Always check the hay feeders before I drive off.
When I decide to desensitize my horses to sounds in the horse trailer, I go all out. Surprisingly, he takes it all in stride. When we get back to the arena, he stands calmly waiting for me to open the slant. I can’t believe the night and day difference from our last trip. He learned.
We walk into the arena, and he begins lunging himself. This time he is much calmer about everything. He must have learned the more riled up he gets the longer he works.
Before I know it, I decide to put the saddle on. He stands perfectly. I ask him if it’s okay for me to ride him. He drops his head to my heart. I climb on, and he stands perfectly. His attention isn’t on me enough though, so we yield hindquarters and walk off a few steps and repeat. He does really well considering he’s nervous. Only wanted to toss me once to go for a run. I stay on him until I feel like he and I are working more like a team before I hop off. I would have loved to trot him, lope him, but we need a bit more work together before I add speed. Everything I’m asking of him is so different for him. Even though I want to do more, I need to take it slow. Take a few steps and give him some time off to think about it. I’d rather take it slow and get it right instead of rush it and have huge gaps all over the place in our relationship.
That’s what this is all about; us learning each other and how to work together. I don’t believe in forcing a horse to be submissive. Instead, I need to learn from him even more than he needs to learn from me. He is so smart. Give him a day off to think about it, and the following day he is ready to take the next step.
I can’t wait to see what he’s like the next time around minus a howling Goldie I hope.
P.S. Goldie did show up tonight after her escapade as a stow away. However, she is avoiding the horse trailer as if it is laced with the plague, but she is following Dulce everywhere now. I think he has a new friend.