Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Lesson That Wasn't

I woke up bright and early this morning, energized for the first step in "fixing" Pilgrim. I got myself ready and the kids off to school. After arriving back at home I made Chuck and I a healthy breakfast and grabbed my coffee....out the door we went. At the farm I fed the cat, double checked the trailer for all the essentials....yes I had sufficiently over packed! I wrapped Pilgrim's legs and walked him into the trailer. He loaded like a dream. For once I was proud of him! I hooked up the trailer tie and closed up the escape door. Chuck had hooked up the butt bar and started closing the ramp up.......then it went downhill. I missed part of it as I was on the side of the trailer, but Chuck said when I went out and closed the emergency door Pilgrim started trying to back out. Once he realized that he was stuck he completely panicked, reared and sat down throwing himself backwards. Don't ask me how, but he managed to go under the butt bar and come out the trailer. My trailer tie release with the pressure, thank goodness.

Needless to say he was hesitant to re-load and when he did he would scramble right back out. Pilgrim has trailered plenty before, but not in this trailer. I have loaded him in this trailer but not closed him up and hauled him. I jinxed myself by telling the trainer the one thing he does manage to do WELL was trailer! Arrggghhh! Long story and day very shortened, I had to cancel (well postpone) my lesson. She has graciously offered to come to me, which I am taking her up on until I can get the trailering sorted out. We worked for over 3 hours relentlessly today until he would quietly stand in the trailer again and not run backwards back out. Of course to top it all off, it was raining the whole time! I'm still not sure how I'm going to convince him he needs to be  in there alone and I will not be riding with him to all our future functions. I have some ideas though. How I've always done trailer training is you work them outside of the trailer, ask them to load, let them rest in the trailer. Wash, rinse, repeat. (This has worked with EVERY horse I've dealt with including a mare who the owners took over 3 hours to load with the help of several trainers/owners at a show. 20 minutes with this process and the horse walked right in the trailer!) I'm not a big "floater" but I actually at the end today ended up teaching Pilgrim to float into the trailer instead of walking in with me. His problem is when I leave, so I figured if he learns to go in by himself and I never go in I may have better results. This did seem to work the best and I'll continue working on this and hopefully have it resolved relatively quickly and hopefully have my lesson rescheduled soon!
Pilgrim trying to be the words of my husband.....deep, deep, DEEP down, real deep, under everything, Pilgrim  wants to be a good boy!

Somehow god was with us today....through everything, Sir Bubblewrap himself managed to NEVER get injured, not one piece of equipment was broken and my trailer is still safely in one piece. 

I also have to thank my husband, whom without I probably would have had some kind of psychotic nervous breakdown during this whole day. He was patient and helpful....working with Pilgrim over and over when I would get tired. I'm so glad he was there!


  1. A good husband is worth their weight in gold! :)

  2. You are so patient to spend hours to get Pilgrim to load properly but in the end it is very worth it. I had terrible problems to load my horse - he just didn't want to go in and every journey we had to add at least an hour for loading. But one day, I'm not sure why (and I'd like to think it's because he trusts me more now) he just walked straight on and has never hesitated since! Miracles do happen!
    Andrea (new follower)

  3. HammersArk - I totally agree! I got me a good one =)

    Andrea - Welcome, and thanks for following! I have to say, I have visited and now follow your blog and I am officially JEALOUS of your life. I am now going to live vicariously through you =)