Trailered Harley in for lesson with new coach - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 12-12-2015, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Trailered Harley in for lesson with new coach

Today was a full day. At 9 am, my daughter and I headed over to the barn to clean Harley up as best we could and get him ready to go to a lesson with a trainer that is 10 minutes away. Of course, he had laid in his urine all night and his belly was wet and filthy. A good amount of scrubbing later, he's still pretty yellow, but it'll have to do.

Getting him on the trailer was more challenging than I'd thought. I had to go around three times before he was willing to follow me on. He used to trailer well, but I guess the disruption in his routine had him out of sorts (his stablemates had all been turned out so he was not happy with the idea of having to go to work!). I finally got him in, the BO closed the bar behind him and he started to try to back up and - to my horror - managed to get his butt UNDER the bar. He was tied to the front, and quickly realized that, but it was scary for a minute. I pulled him in and he settled down as the BO shut the ramp so he was secured. At that point, I thought about calling the whole thing off. As long as I was by Harley's head, he was ok, but when I tried to leave, he would get frantic and start to neigh. I decided he was just throwing a little tantrum and walked away. So we were off. He seemed to get over it pretty quickly because he unloaded perfectly at our destination and was quite reasonable for grooming, tacking up, etc. even though there were lots of kids, other horses, dogs and goats running around everywhere. After the lesson was over, he loaded right up the first time too, with just a little hesitation on the ramp, so I'm thinking it really was more a tantrum than genuine fear. Oh, and he did have hay in there to keep him busy.

Now for the lesson: the coach was very motivating and thought both Isabelle and Harley did really well, but she really pushed my daughter hard. Both she and Harley were pretty tired at the end of it. They did w/t/c and jumping. I thought my daughter would say "I never want to go back" afterwards, but no, she loved it and wants to return! I think she and Harley felt like they were working hard because they're both a bit out of shape. The dressage coach only makes her walk so it's been a couple of months since they've really had a hard lesson. I felt like this jumping coach was pushing my daughter's limits, but maybe that's a good thing. And Harley did really well after the initial loading fit.

I guess we're going to try a few more lessons. They neighbors have offered to help again, and I've suggested maybe we could "rent" their trailer so they don't have to drive us around (hubby has a truck so can haul it). They've also said they'd consider selling us their trailer, but I'm reluctant to go to that expense until I know for sure my daughter will want to keep doing this.

One thing I've come to realize is that my daughter likes a challenge and needs to have specific goals. The dressage coach works on general things, but I think my daughter should start doing her rider levels so she has something to work towards. I discussed this with today's jumping coach and she agreed - also, she's certified and can evaluate my daughter who she estimates is probably at a level 3 (but we may start at 2).

Thanks for reading my long posts... I am still learning so much about horses and appreciate your thoughts on our journey to improve! Here are a couple of pictures.
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File Type: jpg Picket hill lesson 001.jpg (28.0 KB, 121 views)
File Type: jpg Picket hill lesson 003.jpg (40.1 KB, 121 views)
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post #2 of 11 Old 12-12-2015, 02:52 PM
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With apologies to your daughter...just a little worried about the pony, if they have only been doing walk work for a while, then I hope he is fit enough to be working that hard? LOL, daughter, well it's good for her If she has been riding at all paces outside the lessons then all is good.

Good job on getting him loaded, and taking him out, sounds like he was a star, especially with goats in the mix, that can cause a major melt down in some horses.

Doing a few more lessons sounds good, and I hope you sort out the trailer part...always handy to have your own, and if they don't want too much for it, you can always sell it again if not needed.

ETA....They look really good in those pics..

“Never attribute to malice that which can be attributed to stupidity”
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post #3 of 11 Old 12-12-2015, 03:13 PM
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I sounds like it went well and you handled the loading problem just right. I think it is a good thing to take Harley away for lessons so he doesn't become too attached to his "friends". Doing it now will make things easier than going months before taking him off site.

Your daughter sounds very mature, she will tell you if it is too much to handle.
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post #4 of 11 Old 12-12-2015, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Golden Horse - by "working hard" I mean trotting with the occasional few strides of cantering and about 3 very low cross rails. The whole lesson was an hour long. I'm pretty sure our dear Harley can handle it. He did work up a sweat though, so he is clearly a bit out of shape! He didn't want to slow down, however, and if anything, was going faster and faster as the lesson progressed. This is my daughter's main challenge - to control him when he gets forward. Not that they were ever out of control at all, it's just that she needs to increase her confidence and slow him down with her seat rather than her hands.

Yes Whinnie, if my daughter wants to show, we will have to be ok with trailering. He has done this all before (he was shown all the time up until October when we bought him at the end of a weekend-long dressage show in which he placed 1st provincially). So he isn't a rookie at it by any stretch, but didn't feel like going in the trailer today.

I guess my thoughts are that my daughter is the type of person who will either take the bull by the horns and rise up to the challenge or get bored and move on to something else. The very fact that this is a challenge is probably why she wants to do it (she sort of takes after me that way so I know how this goes).
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post #5 of 11 Old 12-12-2015, 04:13 PM
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Glad to hear that your daughter enjoyed the lesson.
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post #6 of 11 Old 12-13-2015, 10:46 AM
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Found the thread! Phone didn't want to open the link on the other thread so I had to do a bit of searching. I am extremely happy for you!
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post #7 of 11 Old 12-13-2015, 11:25 AM
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Your daughter and Harley look good in the pictures, a nice pair.
I see Harley has his winter coat so he will get sweaty easier but walking breaks should help him from getting over heated. That's what we do in the winter. He will need a longer coolout period tho'.
I bought a trailer this year and it is for large horses, my horse is 15H and I worried that the butt bar might be too high so I had extra ones put on about 4 to 5" lower so the horse can not get under it. she has never tried but I feel better knowing the bar is in the right place.
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post #8 of 11 Old 12-13-2015, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodhaven View Post
Your daughter and Harley look good in the pictures, a nice pair.
I see Harley has his winter coat so he will get sweaty easier but walking breaks should help him from getting over heated. That's what we do in the winter. He will need a longer coolout period tho'.
I bought a trailer this year and it is for large horses, my horse is 15H and I worried that the butt bar might be too high so I had extra ones put on about 4 to 5" lower so the horse can not get under it. she has never tried but I feel better knowing the bar is in the right place.
Yes, this is definitely something I will be looking for if I buy a trailer! This one was bought for bigger horses (the BO has a draft X) so not ideal for Harley. And in the meantime, the ramp gets closed right away - as soon as the butt bar is latched. Mind you, he didn't try that foolishness again after his first attempt left him with a sore rump, but it was truly frightening to me. For a moment there, I thought he was going to really hurt himself and all kinds of horrific scenarios went through my head.

And yes, we had to walk him for significantly longer than usual. But it was a really warm day for this time of year, so I didn't worry too much.
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post #9 of 11 Old 12-18-2015, 12:42 AM
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I can relate with needing goals and a challenge. If I don't have direction and feel like what I'm doing actually matters, then I get bored and lose interest and drive (was one of my problems when I was in school). I've learned about classic proper dressage and why you do certain things and what is beneficial to the horse, so now I can set goals for myself: ok, the next few training sessions, we are going to work on this and maybe this as well; and then I work hard at perfecting those.

Good luck with the new trainer! I enjoy a mix of jumping and dressage as well, they seem to compliment each other.
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post #10 of 11 Old 12-18-2015, 12:54 PM
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I love seeing your pictures.
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