In Tasmania – Trailer loading & Obstacles!

Wow, having great trailer loading sessions! Once I got all of the horses loading nicely (videos to come), I turned the trailer into their only resting place in the pasture. Which means that we trotted and cantered and kept busy and then I sent them into the trailer where they could rest for a long time. At some point, and it was fairly hot today and yesterday, they got really sweaty and so tired that they were trying so, so hard to just get in that trailer!

When I send them out in a circle and they make the bend so that the trailer is in sight, their ears go up and they put all of their focus on the trailer and trot right in. It’s never been easier! It’s all about causing the right thing to be easy…

Photo by Tiamat Warda Pearl in the trailer

Photo by Tiamat Warda
Pearl in the trailer

Gold did very well today and learned to look where she is going and use her brain. I went with her out into the bush and got creative with all of the natural obstacles. Out there we had plenty of (fallen trees) jumps and low hanging branches and vines to go under and back into (prepares for trailer loading amongst other things!) and plenty of brush to trot and canter through.

I gave Gold plenty of lead so, if she just hit the end of the rope and trotted around me, she would wrap herself around a tree. Pretty quickly she learned that just because there was a lot of slack in the rope, she didn’t have to take it up and use it and tactfully went around all of the obstacles in her way. She would go in between me and a tree instead of going behind it (and getting stuck). We even did some fairly advanced maneuvers, like backing up about 20 feet under some branches and then turning around and jumping over a tree about 40 feet away, all while I stood in one spot. Good job, Gold!! She did great today.

This is an important aspect of starting colts and working with horses in general… they need to learn what their responsibilities are (thinking about where they’re going, for one) and how to fulfill them. People micromanage their animals far too much. The goal should be to have them thinking like a partner (this doesn’t apply just to horses), willing and sensitive to our suggestions and calm and confident.

Sometimes people control the situation to much and only ride their horses in an arena or open space after clearing all obstacles, no matter what size, out of the way first. Then when the horse goes somewhere else with them, they trip over the tiniest branch. Try taking your horse out into the woods and see what you find…

Stay tuned for more…

Photo by Tiamat Warda Gold before heading out into the bush

Photo by Tiamat Warda
Gold before heading out into the bush

Leave a Comment

Filed under Behavioral musings, Dog-Horse Similarities, Horses, Tasmania

Leave a Reply