Well, there was that time that I tried to teach him how to load onto a trailer when he was about 4. It started off well - over a few days I was able to get him to load and stand on the trailer. Then I shut the ramp. And he panicked. And managed to scoot himself under the butt bar and come flying out.
Thankfully he only lost a bit of hair on his withers. There was no significant physical damage done.
|My Boeckmann Big Master. Wonderful trailer.|
Then we shut the door and drove him away.
He arrived soaking wet with sweat.
Later that year, I had to move Phantom and Cisco to a new location. I had worked lots on loading him onto my trailer, mostly with Phantom babysitting. When the time came, he loaded well, I shut the ramp with no issue, and we drove away. The drive was about 25 minutes (I got lost) and he arrived outwardly calm - but soaking wet with sweat. Phantom was fine, so it wasn't due to the heat.
|Two years ago. Note the height difference - he definitely looked shorter.|
Getting him comfortable with trailering is a big goal for the year. I'll use Phantom to babysit for the first while, but he does need to be able to travel solo.
Wednesday night I was able to borrow my parent's truck that I haul with and Pony Grandma. I haven't pulled the trailer out this year, and if I want to be able to meet my trailer goals with Cisco I need to get going with it.
I grabbed Phantom and Pony Grandma opted to grab Cisco. He's a little further away, so by the time they arrived Phantom had already self-loaded and was standing happily in her spot. I didn't know if she would since she hasn't been on in almost a year, but she was a superstar yet again.
|This year, they almost look like they are the same height. I guess I need to measure him one day!|
They got to munch on some hay, then I gave them their regular grain meal, which I totally realize as I'm typing this that I forgot to check if they cleaned it up. Oops. I'll have to remember to check next time I'm out in case the buckets need to be rinsed out.
|He looks bigger than her here because his butt is scrunched up against the butt bar.|
I drove like a grandma most of the way. The roads around the barn are dirt and can be rather bumpy. My trailer has great shocks, but I also want to make sure that Cisco doesn't have any additional reasons to be worried.
The drive was about 15 minutes. I heard Cisco whinnying a couple of times so I know that he wasn't settled, despite having Phantom standing next to him. He also called out to his buddies as we drove past the barn on the way home.
Once parked I made them wait for a few minutes before unloading. When I opened the people door, poor Cisco was yet again covered in sweat. I could feet the heat he was radiating off. Phantom was perfectly dry, so again, I knew this was just nerves on his part.
|That dark patch on his neck and side is all sweat. Also dripping down his front legs.|
|Phantom said that the best part of the car ride was the snacks when she got home.|
I plan to try to get some more of these short drives with both horses in over the next little bit. Hopefully, Cisco will get more comfortable and stop breaking into a nervous sweat. I need to be able to have him travel alone, but at this point, I think he would be a bit of a basket case should I try. Once he comes off the trailer dry we'll start working on solo rides. And then maybe we can go do some exciting (cheap) things!
Too bad Cisco gets so nervous - hopefully he learns to relax as you get him out more. Love the Boeckmann trailers - that is what I'm hoping to buy!ReplyDelete
He's not at all a confident horse. It's getting better but I don't know if he'll ever be super brave. I'm going to try to go for a drive every week - 2 weeks this summer and hopefully it will work.Delete
I love my trailer! Phantom used to also be a bad trailerer/loader, but since about her third trip in thus one she's self-loaded ever since. I credit the smooth ride for the change in her!