Monday, June 21, 2010
I spent this weekend working on trailer training for Booger Butt, Topper and Baby Girl. Booger Butt and Baby Girl have been loaded and transported a few times but not on a regular basis. Topper has been on regular rides in the trailer (usually to the vet every time she gets hurt), but she had developed some resistance to loading. So we decided to work on trailer comfort skills which is basically getting the three comfortable with loading and standing still in the trailer. Some people don't believe that feeding a horse in a trailer is a good thing, but in my opinion, a horse must feel comfortable enough in the space to feel safe enough to eat. My trailer training for the weekend consisted of loading all three up in the individual stall spaces of the three horse trailer and then feeding them. After they were finished eating, I unloaded them and tied them to the outside of the trailer for a few minutes before putting them back in the pastures. I feel that they need to feel as safe in the trailer as they do in their own pasture. The first day there was a bit of hesitation from all three at loading. Baby Girl I think is the most nervous about the enclosed space. Baby girl also didn't feel comfortable enough to back out of the trailer on the first day. Luckily she was in a slot that gave her enough room to turn around. On the second day whoever, I put her in the space that basically required that she back out. Finally with a bit of encouragement, she backed out very well. Booger Butt didn't have any problems either day except that the trailer floor was pretty high the first day so we had to encourage him to step up high enough to get his foot on the floor. The second day, I back up the trailer to a different location so he wouldn't have to step up as high. Ladybug didn't have any trailer loading training, because she's already well used to loading and unloading.