Wednesday, March 24, 2010

First time trailer loading - catch up post number 1

As my former posts have shown, I have been working with Stacy and Elsa to get Stacy ready to take Elsa home. Two weekends ago we loaded Elsa for the first time since she was a weanling when we loose loaded her with her mother. This time we let Stacy try to load her but after the second attempt with a lock up at the rear of the trailer, we took over to make it a positive first loading session. I led Elsa up to the trailer and stepped in, she stopped and I let her sniff but when she tried to back away I kept the lead tight enough to prevent her backing out or rolling to the side of the trailer, Don got behind her with a "carrot stick and string" which he waved in an arc right to left and back again, Elsa still wanted to go backwards so Don stepped a bit closer and became more animated while I gave her the step-up command and a firm pressure on the lead and she jumped into the trailer. I then talked to her scratched her calmed her and reassured her. We always turn them and walk them to the back of the trailer to step out but we do this in small increments as we do not want the horse deciding to bolt out whenever it feels like it. Elsa did great and stopped right at the edge of the trailer to look out while I scratched her. I then stepped out and took a minute to reassure and praise her. Then we walked back to the trailer where Elsa hesitated again but it only took Don stepping behind her with me giving the step up command for her to step into the trailer. We repeated the praising, turning, walking to the back, stepping out and praising again. The next time I walked her to the trailer she walked in alongside me like and old pro!
We then let Stacy repeat the loading process several times and it went smooth as warm butter!
And then it was off to the Vet for Coggins and Health Certificate!
What a champ Elsa is and a trooper Stacy is for learning right along with her new and I might ad FIRST horse.
Unfortunately no pictures!

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