Bens loading lessons!
Big Ben was a great loader, when I originally got him we transferred him from his nice posh slant load into my old stock and he jumped right in.
Fast forward a couple of months and a friend took him to ride for a couple of weeks, he jumped right on the trailer after me and off he went. I was surprised when he was due to come back that she said he didn't load, so he was a day late coming home.
Then I was due to take him to a lesson, tried to load him, refused totally to go on, rearing up, bolting away, just a real PITA.
Worked on him for a while, and managed to get him to load, and he loaded quite well to go to the trainers, and 2 months later loaded again, with only a little fuss to come home again.
He was due to go to a lesson with me on Saturday, this time with a friend, so she arrived in the yard with her trailer, and once again, he would have nothing to do with it...so after a while I had to give up and take one of the girls instead.
Debs who I was trailering with wanted to try lunging him, the work and see the trailer as a place of rest, tried it when we came home and he was having none of that thank you. I also tried putting him on mine, just in case it was the different trailer that upset him, but no joy.
So yesterday at 5 pm or there abouts I started lunging Ben by the trailer, I don't know how long we did that but he never got to the stage where he was interested in looking to the trailer as a place of rest, so I quit with that one.
Started leading him up to the trailer, and keeping pressure on him until he gave me forward, we kept getting to the stage where he would be lifting a foot, but not actually placing it in the trailer, then he would go into major reverse. Every time he went in reverse I got after him, brought him up to the trailer and back to pressure and release.
The sun set, it got cold, the light was fading, when he gave a huge sigh, and stepped his front feet up, I stopped him there, gave him a mouthful of feed, then backed him off, he tried to rush threw his head up and grazed the roof, *sigh*
So I brought him up again and WHOOPEE, front feet on again, mouthful of feed, back him off, a little better. Third go, walks front feet straight on, stands and finishes the crumbs in the pail, then backs off slowly, let me keep his head low, listened for the cues to back, and stepped down nicely.
Had a nice cuddle, and put him away......lets see how today goes.
The big wins
He only once did his super high speed, reversing to Alberta trick, the rest of the time he only backed up a few steps, and gave to the pressure on the halter.
He will now straighten up smartly with the dressage whip waved along his side, he tries to come in crooked and slide round the side of the trailer, but that got better as time went on.