Well the storm passed and today is another day.
Buck, Macaroni, New Guy, whatever his name shall be was in the "bachelor pad," which is part of the "big pasture," overnight and seemed to do well - I think he actually went into the scary run-in shed! Pippa, formally know as Skipper, went into "the triangle" so Buck had a neighbor as of this morning. No drama there and everyone went about their business today.
I'm giving Paddy a couple days off after the show so I thought today might be a good day to work on trailer loading with Buck. He seems like he likes me and now will willingly follow me onto the trailer without any fuss or muss! Now I need to get him onto the trailer and get myself off. Hmmmmm... I prepared ahead of time with a bucket of alfalfa pellets and off we went! Amazingly, he went on right away and let me walk off while he ate the pellets. I gently put up the butt bar and he tried to back out. ACK!!!! He couldn't get out! He didn't really panic, but was definitely worried and so I went to his head to stand there and chat with him and let him eat the pellets and realize that he wasn't going anywhere. He calmed down. This was good.
I didn't want to push it too far so I dropped the butt bar and let him out after a few minutes. Now I question whether or not I should have done this or if I should have left him there for a long while to eat and sort it out, because I could not get him back on and me back off! He will follow me willingly onto the trailer but the second I make a move to get off, he does, too. We did the "work outside the trailer, rest inside the trailer" bit and the problem isn't getting him on. It is getting him in and getting me out. I think this might be a two-man job to start just so we can work on repetition of getting on and getting the butt bar up and me not having to stand with him. I will certainly enlist Colin's help.
Anyway, we ended on a good note with him following me on and me standing there giving him scritches while he ate pellets. We may try to load him up tomorrow with Tomato to see if it will help to see another horse get on the trailer and then follow him in. If that works, we'll go on a little field trip with Colin to his lesson.
After I did my evening chores, I went out to the pasture to sit with Buck. He is so gentle. He just stood with me and sniffed my hair. I will admit that I brought a beer out with me and he seemed interested in it but when I tried to share he did not partake. I also brought my long purple coat out with me (possibly one of the best Xmas presents ever - thanks, Mom!) to sit on so my butt would not get wet. Once we were done with our little sit-in, I gathered the coat and put it up for him to check out. He was a little hesitant and backed away from it at first, but after a few seconds he let me pet him with it.
Oh, and he also let me play with his ears today, which is progress! Oh, and I also tried braiding his mane! I've seen people do these funky braids on horses with long manes - I think it is a modified french braid of sorts so I just tried what I thought was the technique and it seemed to work - and he let me do it! He has a nice neck and I'd like to be able to show it off with an easy braid. I'll try to do that again and take pictures.
So we got lots accomplished today in a short while. He really is cute and I do think he likes it here.