Monday, November 1, 2010
Stage Three: Task #7
This task in Glenn Stewart's Natural Horsemanship Program states: Send your horse into a trailer while sitting on the fender. Count to ten, bring him back to you, without moving.
I thought this would take weeks of practice. But Kasper surprised me.
I started by sending him into the shelter while I sat on the fence (see the Oct. 3blog entry). I spent two sessions on this. He always stood patiently in the shelter waiting for the signal to come out.
Two weeks ago, I loaded him in the trailer for the first time in about two months. He got in but was nervous and jumpy and I didn't even try to get him far enough in to tie him. I figured I'd work up to that the next day.
Well, the "next day" didn't happen until three days ago. But when I loaded him, he was relaxed and went right up to his hay bag to eat. So after sending him in and out a few times, I let the rope drag to see if he was okay when he stepped on it. He's okay with this on the ground but I haven't tested it in the trailer. I was pretty sure that if I was on the fender, he'd be stepping on the rope, so I wanted to check his reaction out first. He wasn't worried when he stepped on the rope, and moved his foot or waited for me to untrap him.
I gradually moved further away until I was out the door, out of sight and around the corner on the fender. He went in and out as I asked. Wow!
So the next day, I only opened one of the trailer doors. I had tried last year to load him with only one door open and he was nervous and banged his side on the way out and then didn't want to try it again. But this time, in he went. No problem. I sat on the fender and sent him in and called him out and he didn't even step on the rope. And today I got it on video.