Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Captain Destructo, at it again!

So I thought that Captain Destructo had left us for a while once we figured out the tape fence wasn't properly electrified, but nooooooo, he's back. Or he was. And probably will be again. Colin had made temporary modifications that should have done the trick but Captain Destructo showed us that he can get past our modifications, muahahahaaaaaa! We had to have our super handy handyman out to properly wire the fence so that ALL lines would be on ALL THE TIME. A-ha! But then he ripped out one of the connectors so Colin had to put that back together. I think that now we've got it set, because there hasn't been any destruction for the past few days. But we'll see!

In other news, the other day Mac decided he didn't want to get on the trailer. Odd, because he's been really good about it up until then, even easily walking on with the rope over his neck (vs. me standing to the side and sort of guiding him in) when going in after Paddy. I thought it was due to the time of day and that the sun might have been blinding him when he was walking up to it, but he got worse over the next few trailer-loading incidents.

Just Saturday I took him out for a trail ride. He loaded so-so but I really didn't have much trouble. Then we had a wonderful and fun trail ride - he's just so much fun on the trails!! There was a large group of people there, horses and trailers everywhere. (Sidenote: If you have a trailer, please learn how to park it thoughtfully. So many people are so rude and just pull their trailer into a spot that is parallel to a tree line. If they took the time to learn how to park it properly (perpendicular), THREE other trailers could fit into that same space. I have the same trouble at the vet clinic. People, PLEASE learn how to park your trailers!!!!) Mac did not want to leave his newfound friends. He would NOT get in the trailer. We had words. I looked like an idiot. One of THOSE idiots who cannot load their horse. Sigh. A woman asked if I wanted help and I said no because I wanted to keep trying but eventually I broke down and asked her to give a wave behind his butt while I walked him in the trailer (he's supposed to walk in himself). It was not pretty.

Of course we had to go home and work on trailer loading. We had to have a discussion about personal space and moving forward and away and yielding, etc. We worked it out and he got on and off and on and off and on and off and so I called it a day.

I am determined for this to not be a problem so instead of chickening out on loading him up and going for a trail ride, I faced it head on and we went. Before I closed him in the trailer we practiced getting on and off a few times. When he was going on easily then I decided we were ready to go. Off we went to the same place, had another lovely ride (although a bit shorter this time) and this time he loaded up much better.

I think I figured out that he likes it best if the divider is swung open while he's loading and then I move it over once he's on. It gives him a wider space to walk into and I don't inadvertently "block" his entryway as he's trying to get on. Moreso than any other horse I've had, Mac is very sensitive to body language and positioning, so I'm trying to be in tune to that. Sunday's experience was so much better.

Mac had Monday off and today I just did ground work. First I longed him in side reins and we worked on going forward and transitions. He will go from a trot to walk just by me changing my breathing. Talk about sensitive! After our groundwork we did more trailer loading work and it went very well. He must have gotten on and off 10 times or so. Twice when he got on I swung the divider over and closed it up and then went up front and gave him cookies (the only place I'll do so). The last time he walked right on easily and stood quietly while I put up the butt bar and so I quit on that good note.