|Teal breeches FTW!|
I know I didn’t go into detail last week, but I did mention that she had been kind of a hateful witch to load for our trip to the farrier last week. After about half an hour of fighting with her in 85 degree weather, I did finally get her on the trailer, but we were both dripping sweat by the end and she tore out approximately half her tail (backing up so quickly she stepped on it… ughhhhh). Then trying to come home from the farrier I couldn’t get her loaded again, so I just handed the lead rope to DH and walked away. To my supreme annoyance, he had her loaded within about 60 seconds. He told me the secret was to get her up to the back of the trailer, scratch her ears a little, then turn around and walk in. I basically called him insane, and told him that would never work twice. Famous last words….
|Who, me? Bad to trailer? No!|
As soon as we were ready to leave Friday, she started calling for her boyfriends, and I thought “oh great, this is going to be a shitshow”. I got her up to the back door of the trailer, took a deep breath, scratched her ears for a minute, then turned and walked onto the trailer. I’ll be damned if she didn’t start climbing in after me. She stopped with her front hooves in, so I turning around and scratched her ears again, and then gave a tug on the lead rope – bam, she walked right in. After I secured the divider and climbed out, I got treated to a big ol’ shit eating grin from DH, so I resisted the impulse to punch him and got in the truck.
|I'm literally the one who created her (in the sense that I planned the breeding haha) and was the first human being to touch her.... and I've done all her training (and copious amounts of bribery). Why does she listen to him better?! Ughhhhhh.|
After we arrived, I hand walked her in the arena for a bit. There was only one other horse schooling in there, so I warned them she was a baby and generally tried to stay far out of their way and not ruin their experience. Aside from typical baby spooking at things (the mirror, the jump standards, a spot on the wall that was a slightly different color, etc), she was fine. Very looky, which I expected. It also didn’t occur to me until after the ride was over that it was really her first experience in a big indoor. ACS has a small indoor, but it has 4 large doors that were open at the time, so it probably felt less confining than this indoor. After I thought she’d had sufficient time to look at everything and was comfortably walking on a loose lead, I headed back out to the trailer to tack up.
|Obligatory mirror selfie. My horses are always obsessed with themselves.|
When we walked back in, the previous horse that was schooling was heading out, and another one was coming in. Apparently we picked the perfect time to ride – last time I trailered up the night before a show, there were probably 10+ horses in the ring and it was a little hectic. Thankfully, I was able to climb right on and put her to work. For whatever reason, Cinna is infinitely more spooky on the ground than she is under saddle. So in ridden circuits around the ring, she got very looky and snorty, but she stayed with me the whole time. The only exceptions were a handful of times where she froze, and then wanted to back up. If stopping/backing is her main evasion, I will take that any day over leaping through the air/teleporting/rearing/spinning/bolting/whatever. In every instance, I was able to convince her that forward was the answer, and she faced down all the monsters. She was super concerned by the judge’s stand, so I had DH sit up there (and make noises) and give her treats every time we rode past. Eventually we were able to work at the walk and trot in pretty much the entire ring, so I decided to end on a good note and not even attempt to canter (since her test Sunday was only walk/trot).
Luckily our actual centerline Sunday was infinitely straighter hahaha.
So much verbal reassurance! :)
My favorite video from the night -- towards the end of our ride, getting confident!
|Shenanigans are only allowable if they're HER shenanigans.|
At this point, it was fully dark outside (although the side of the arena where we parked did have some lights). I quickly untacked, then took a deep breath and prepared to try to load her into the dark