Sunday, April 16, 2017

Well Now We Both Need Chiropractic...

A lot more like this than the other but I wanted to share the bad parts too

Not trying to pull her down, I know that's a no no.
Just keeping a gentle steady pressure until she walks forward.
It doesn't look gentle because she goes up so quick that  it takes me a second to go with.

This is her go to when she doesn't want to do something
 We got to a much better place by the end where she was standing quietly with her shoulders in the trailer and she was actually giving to pressure and stepping forward when I asked but we have a long way to go.

Also, #mindyourmelon when loading a fractious beast haha


  1. This reminds me of trying to get the mule on the trailer in the beginning. She was such a nightmare. Good luck. We bought Levi a dunce cap when we were training loading because he cut his head rearing back like that. You might want to consider one.

    1. Haha, yeah Katai did have a few moments that I thought were comparable to comic strip mules yesterday. That's a great idea, her short height means that she hasn't so far but you're right, I should get her a helmet as well :)

  2. I like your body language- it's all very calm. I hesitate to offer advice in this situation because I obviously don't know all that you were doing or your approach so take what i type with a grain of salt because it might not be the solution at all.
    Given her 'go to' reaction of rearing does she understand the 'give to poll pressure' in other situations? As in is it so engrained that responds without thinking about it? If not I would do that so it's 100% clear what the ask is. It might be too much with the added stress of the 'moving box of death'.

    I really like Royce's approach of step up, step back repeated over and over and only gradually working towards inside the trailer. and even then he doesn't let them stand but takes them off right away. It goes like 1 foot on, 1 foot off, X10. Then 2 feet then 4 then in-off/in-off/in-off. His thoughts are that he wants it to be his idea to get off the trailer so he does it before the horse thinks of it. Then gradually increases the time.

    Like I said, I have no idea if it's the solution for you or not or of any value. But I do admire your willingness to tackle this calmly and systematically and that you are wearing a helmet. :)

    1. No, I really appreciate advice. I'm nowhere near an expert here and if I could find someone like Royce that I could trust I'd hand this off to a professional in a heart beat.

      Unfortunately she does understand giving to poll pressure in all other situations. I say unfortunately only because that would be an easier fix. Away from the trailer, even if she doesn't want to do something, she gives to the lightest feel. The wash stall is an example where she doesn't want to but with barely any pressure she steps forward even if she's very clearly scared or worried about being anywhere near a hose :) It's only around the trailer that she tries this and even there she gives to poll pressure most of the time and then when she feels like the pressure from the trailer is too much she just instantly leaves by rearing. I don't even have a chance to re-direct her most of the time.

      I've done the same, actually still am. My thing is that each day we have to get at least one step closer to the trailer (day, not minute so I'm not really asking for that much). These rearing pictures were from when I asked for that additional step. I think the issue with her and the trailer is that her panic is greater than anything else and it completely removes her ability to think about the situation. I'm thinking that at this point just LOTS of exposure is what she needs and I'm hoping that will take the panic away so that I can have my normal, well behaved, smart, clever, thinking pony back.

      This is especially tough for me because this used to be how she was with everything and after all of the work that I've put in it's tough to see her revert.

      Thank you :) I kind of like my brain intact haha

    2. it sounds then, like you are doing what you need to do. I totally get the 'reversion' thing and the mood it brings back. BUT from my experience it doesn't last as long because you've dealt with it everywhere else.