Monday, April 17, 2017

Weekend Update and Trailering Progress

This weekend was amazing!! Like Teresa at Journey with a Dancing Horse I used every minute and spent a lot of time outside.

Starting on Friday evening I got out to the barn and had a great ride. Katai was a little quiet and not especially forward (when I first started looking into Ulcers) which is unusual for her but she had a busy week so that's likely part of it as well. Jane also mentioned that the massage person turned up that Katai had sore hind legs/stifles and we've been working on increasing her cross over and getting her carrying in the canter so it may partially be muscle soreness too.

Plus I made vegan buddha bowls to
celebrate my 2 year vegan anniversary
Then Saturday I had another great ride. Katai was right with me and we played a couple of times with simple changes across the diagonal. She nailed the transitions and I just need to work on being more organized and less flustered but it was fun to try something new.

Finally (for the weekend), Sunday was trailer training day. You've all seen the pictures from my last post but we ended in a decent place with Katai stepping just into the trailer and off the ramp with her front feet. I was really happy with that but especially that she was stepping forward off pressure which she hasn't been the last several times I've needed to trailer her despite a lot of natural horsemanship type techniques. These were the same things that helped me originally train Katai to trailer load (which she used to do beautifully BUT with a ton of tension to the point of shaking sometimes).
Prepping the ingredients for my buddha bowls :)
Since those weren't working and with my change in training methods/mindset since working with Jane I've been trying something different this time. Mostly I'm trying to keep everything as low stress as possible. I'm not escalating at all and my only rules are that she move forward (eventually) off pressure, face the trailer, and that we make at least an inch of progress each day.

Today I brought her back out to the trailer for a continuation of yesterday's training. If anything I focused on using even less pressure than yesterday and I was SO pleased with her! She stayed really calm the whole time, almost no tension other than that she started to paw twice. Plus, she never reared up and when she pulled back and I held pressure she came right forward.

Again I asked with some pressure (barely an ounce) for her to step up into the trailer after me and she came right with me. I did lots of having her stand for a second and then backing her out, praising the heck out of her and then bringing her back in. Today we got all the way in with her back feet just barely staying on the ramp more than twice! SUCH huge progress especially with no blow ups and she was relaxed when we ended.

Then I brought her back to the barn, she walked calmly back, and then I spent the whole rest of the evening at the barn :) I lunged her (and she was great) and she wasn't as stiff or sore as I thought she might be after all of her shenanigans yesterday.  I'm certainly sore, my hands took a beating and typing was sore today at work. Then I tried braiding her!

This was my first try and I think they turned out decently well. I'll try take a bit wider sections of mane next time but otherwise I'm pleased! Also, I wondered if I could get away with using white yarn for that first braid.  The answer is no, no I can't.

Finally I stuffed her with peppermints and lots of pets, cleaned her stall, and headed home.


  1. It sounds like a great weekend. And great work on the trailer loading!

  2. Nice work! my little OCD heart loves the pretty braids divided by color :)

    1. I thought the same thing about the color division haha!

    2. Me too lol, I spent way too much time trying to get all of the white bits out of the chestnut braid. That one is either going to stay that narrow or I'll grow out her bridle path because there's no way my OCD will be ok otherwise.