Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Owyhee Fandango Day 2: Substitute Jockey! - Part I
It's never a good idea to give me instructions before I'm fully awake or had my morning coffee.
When I went to bed the night before, the plan was: I'd help with Day 2 of the Owyhee Fandango; Steph would ride Batman, John would ride Mac; and junior rider Ben from Utah would ride Jose on the 50, because the horse that Bev Gray brought for him to ride on Days 2 and 3 tied up slightly on Day 1. I would help get the horses ready, since Ben isn't familiar with Jose's tack or hoof boots, and so Steph could get the 50 milers started.
Some time around 5 AM or so, Steph knocked on my door and chirped cheerfully (on several cups of coffee) "Did you get my email?" "Mrpfh" "Great! I'm taking Krusty out with Linda on Ted to check ribbons and open gates for Ada this morning. And blah blah blahblahblah" "OK mrpfh"
And I went back to sleep. Almost.
Something didn't quite make sense and kept me from sleeping, so I might as well get up a little earlier, have some leisurely coffee before helping to saddle up the 3 horses.
But as the water boiled and I poured it into my French press and the smell of coffee flavored the morning air, something still was not making sense... Steph was going to ride Krusty this morning... for 15 miles before the start of the 50 where she's riding Batman???
Well, coffee would clear this up. The first sip... ahhhhh. Might as well check my email.
"YOU'RE RIDING!" is the subject. In the email from 5 AM this morning. The rest says, Steph is too stressed and busy to ride; Ben will ride Batman, John will ride Mac, and I WILL RIDE JOSE!
Oh dear - not ready! Gulp coffee! Grab toast! Find clothes! What to wear?? Cold? Rain? Wind? Quickly check weather forecast - 40% chance of showers, more than yesterday. The one vet check is in camp, so I don't have to pack a crew bag with horse gear or human food and extra clothes...
Where's the Raven??? Find the Raven! Grab more coffee! Run out the door! The Raven and I are going to ride Jose!
Posted by The Equestrian Vagabond at 2:37 PM No comments:
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Owyhee Fandango Day 1: Solo Ride
Loop 1: 12 miles to the south across Hart Creek, to the Vet Check on Brown's Creek. Finneas and I start last of the 22 50-milers. He gets too competitive if he's got other horses in his sights, and since this is his first 50 of the year, I don't want him going fast and I don't want to fight with him. (Finneas is Connie's horse, but she isn't here to ride him because the poor gal had to go on a cruise up to Alaska. So she had me ride him.)
It's a cool, overcast day, just to our liking, with a good chance of showers in the forecast. We keep up a steady trot much of the way; the only thing that slows us down is the abundance of grass along the trail, which would be a sin for Finneas to pass up.
It's cool and breezy at the vet check, so our first hold is only 15 minutes. Then Finneas and I head out for the 25-mile Loop 2, going backwards. Steph and Rhett are riding up front in the correct direction to make sure the ribbons haven't been eaten by cows; and by riding this loop backwards, Finneas and I will check the Rock Corral trail I marked on foot, well before the riders going the correct way get there. That's where we are most afraid cows have sabotaged the trail markings.
Good thing we do, because the cows have, once again, eaten the turn ribbons at a hard-to-see trail. I put more out, and then we're able to move along faster. I have to pay attention to where we are going, since the ribbons are on my left and not always visible from my direction. I'm not sure exactly where the trail goes; so I bummed a map at the vet check to carry with me. I'd eventually find my way home if we got lost (and Finneas has a homing compass in his head)... but I don't want to spend our day wandering about trying to find the trail.
I am happy to note there is no hide nor hair of the Horny Jackass that attacked a friend's gelding last week and that I saw on the trail the same day. I don't know what Finneas would do with an attack donkey, but I sure don't want to be riding him if it happens.
In all my years of riding endurance, I can't recall riding an entire 50-mile ride alone. Finneas is a blast, willing and steady and not spooky (must be that part Thoroughbred or Appaloosa in him). Finneas does get a bit confused when we start meeting horses on the trail - especially Steph and Rhett in the lead. He is pretty sure, for a brief time, that we are going in the wrong direction and should be following them. After a dozen riders pass us, Finneas doesn't care anymore because he thinks he's going the correct direction and he's winning, and I don't disillusion him.
We meet a couple of riders at the old Crazy Woman Mine, where the grass is almost belly high, so we hang out for a spell so Finneas can mow some of it down.
It spits rain now and then, from the clouds playing hide and seek with the Owyhee Mountains. It's nice and cool and makes the day interesting. So far, no sign of thunderstorms (though I can't hear thunder), so I'm not nervous.
From the Crazy Woman Mine we follow a long stretch of cow trails/road to the lower part of the Brown's Creek drainage. Some ribbons have been pulled (or eaten by cows) so I have to keep an eye on the tracks on the ground to make sure we are going the correct way.
A water tub has been dumped - either by people or cows, which is a terrible shame because Finneas has not had a drink for 25 miles and he's now thirsty. Fortunately we are only a couple of miles from crossing Brown's Creek, and he's had so much grass along the trail, that I'm not too worried.
This really is God's country. It's amazing to ride by yourself far out here. It's spectacular. We wind in and out of washes, with cliffs and canyons dotting the landscape, and finally come into Brown's Creek where Finneas takes a long drag of water.
Refreshed, we climb up out of the canyon and onto a ridge, finally make a turn back towards the Brown's Creek vet check, on a road that seems to go on forever and ever. But the scenery is still awesome, the changing clouds are still fascinating, and there's plenty of grass for Finneas to snack on.
When we reach the vet check, to my surprise we aren't the last ones there. Finneas chows down on grain and hay and grass, while I stuff down the best hot dog I've ever eaten.
After our refreshing 40 minute hold, we start back home on Loop 3 - the same 12-mile trail we came out on. Finneas knows just where he is, and he cruises along. We start to play chase with the rain showers. Clouds are gathering with ferocity in the Owyhees, and dumping rain on random drainages and ridges. Up on the flats we get caught in one that spatters us with such stinging drops that Finneas is trying to trot sideways.
I'm trying to avoid worrying about the darkest clouds to our left because they just might be thunderstorms. I keep my eyes averted because I don't want to see lightning, and I'm babbling various tunes of "Good Boy!" to Finneas just in case there's thunder, which I would hear in this case because we are much too close to the storm.
I finally jump off to lead Finneas, both of our heads bowed against the raindrops, even while the sun hits us from one side. Finneas follows behind me to shield his eyeballs.
The shower passes (sans lightning and thunder!), and we both look like wet chickens. I climb back into a soggy saddle, but the bright sunshine quickly dries us off. I'm thinking we'll be home in an hour, plenty of time to beat that next wave of building clouds... but this wave is bigger, faster, and more ominous.
I refuse to believe there is any lightning or thunder in those clouds, and it won't matter anyway, because we're now on a ridge for a while - and instead I am mesmerized by the intensity of the storm that might hit us. We're going to get drenched, maybe blown off our feet. I look back from where we came and see streaks of a heavy downpour from blue-black clouds.
Finneas trots on unperturbed by the weather, and I just stare and marvel at this amazing country and land, still amazed that I'm lucky enough to be out here riding this horse in it.
We make it to our home canyon and drop down off the ridge just as the rain hits us - and the sunshine. We are wet and glistening at the same time.
The big black horse trots on in for a finish as the next storm begins building behind us.
Posted by The Equestrian Vagabond at 7:12 PM 2 comments:
Thursday, May 26, 2011
A Sad Little Ridecamp
Thursday May 26 2011
By early afternoon, the day before Day 1 of the Owyhee Fandango, it was a sad-looking little Ridecamp. Most years the front parking area is overflowing and the back area parking is full, all the way back into the Hermits and Perverts section in the brush.
This year only a few rigs are sprinkled around. Plenty of space for anyone who might feel crowded and need their space.
However, by the time head vet Robert Washington arrived to start vetting horses in at 6 PM, things were looking better.
Especially around the wine and cheese party sponsored by Vettec.
By the evening ride meeting, more trailers had arrived, and almost 30 riders had signed up for tomorrow's 50 and 25, so things were looking up.
I'll be doing the 50 with Finneas, riding drag (last) on the first 12-mile loop. On the second 25 mile loop I'll ride it backwards (Janet suggested "or, you could just ride backwards on your horse!") to make sure cows haven't eaten the one several mile stretch of ribbons I hung out on foot a few days ago.
I see two possible problems with this: I could miss a turn and we might lose the trail (I know it's my back yard, but I've only ridden out on this trail a couple of times, in the opposite direction!), or we might be attacked by the Horny Jackass.
At best, I'll have a great solo ride on Finneas. At worse, I could have some entertaining stories I can tell around the evening bonfire. Add a little more wine and cheese to that, and it won't be a sad Ridecamp after all.
More photos from the day here:
Posted by The Equestrian Vagabond at 9:01 PM No comments:
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Batten Down the Hatches
Wednesday May 25 2011
Hurry Finneas, we gotta get going early to get 10 miles of trail flagged before the gusty winds and rain and storm front and possible thunderstorms get here!
My job is to mark the trail with ribbons, while Finneas' job is to sample the lush grass along the way. The grass is so thick in places that I can't find the trail we ride regularly. We have to do a lot of backtracking to either move ribbons or just pick a way through all the grass. Finneas doesn't mind because it means more sampling for him.
The wind is starting to blow stiffly as we top the sharp ridge above Hart Creek; and as we drop into our home canyon the wind is stronger. We get home just as the dust, then the rain starts to obliterate the Owyhee mountains.
The wind is gusting now, tending more towards gales. The horses have their butts to the wind and spitting rain, tails tucked under their butts, heads to the ground, hunkering down. Steph finally makes it back from marking trail on the ATV, exhausted from the wind, and frustrated once again by more trail sabotage.
By evening, gales are ripping across and through the two canyons - sure glad we are not riding up on the flats right now. The confused storm clouds spit rain. The wind swirls from the north and the clouds shove their way into the wind.
Then the wind stops. I step outside and see some rather unnerving-looking clouds, like nothing I've ever seen in southern Idaho before. Either I've been watching too many news videos of the awful tornadoes and devastation in the Mid-West and South, or these clouds really do look like they could harbor more than a thunderstorm. Streaks go one way, waves and bubbles move the other. I watch them a while, mesmerized and a bit nervous.
With the ride starting on Friday, over a dozen people have arrived already, running ahead of the storm. Hopefully the horses and trailers won't blow away, and hopefully I tied all those trail ribbons on the bushes tightly enough!
[Slide show here]
Posted by The Equestrian Vagabond at 9:14 PM 1 comment:
Tuesday May 24 2011
You have to keep your eyes peeled out on the trails here whether you're on foot or on horseback: rattlesnakes, bulls, cougars, and... Jackasses?
Steph and I were headed out to mark trail for the Owyhee Fandango on foot and by ATV (we were pulling the horse trailer with the ATV inside) when we were flagged down on a dirt road by 2 gals running up to us from their parked horse trailers.
Turned out to be our riding friends Karen and Leah, a bit frazzled. "We were attacked by a donkey!"
Steph and I started to laugh... but it really wasn't funny.
"He was with those two wild horses that are back there. The two horses left when they saw us, but the donkey came running at us!"
Karen and Leah had hopped off their horses, but their other friend Linda was not so quick, because she suffers from osteoporosis. The donkey made a beeline for Linda's gelding, and after sniffing noses, the donkey tried to mount the gelding, with Linda still on him.
Linda was terrified and unable to dismount; Leah and Karen yelled at the donkey and threw rocks at him, but nothing would deter him from mounting Linda's gelding. He ignored Karen's gelding and Leah's mare - nothing but that bay mustang gelding of Linda's would do.
Linda finally was able to dismount, and they got the donkey away from her gelding; they started walking on foot, with the donkey following for three miles despite the yelling and the hail of rocks being launched by Karen and Leah.
They arrived at a gate and got their horses through and the gate closed, leaving the donkey braying on the other side; they mounted up to ride off, but within 2 minutes the donkey was behind them, having gone through the fence or gate.
Once they got up onto the flats, Karen took off at a canter for the trailers so she could come pick Leah and Linda and their horses up, as Linda was worn out.
Steph and I were still rather wide-eyed listening to this bizarre tale. Linda was now resting in a chair by the horses. Karen and Leah had come to warn us, since I was headed to flag that trail.
"Horny Jackass!" Leah says disgustedly. Luckily nobody had gotten hurt.
Indeed, as Steph and I pulled onto the road from where I would start hiking, there was a cream-colored donkey hanging with a herd of black cows. We passed him and he looked at us, same as the cows, unconcerned, and rather innocent looking.
Steph dropped me off and I started hiking, marking a couple miles of trail, keeping my eyes peeled for rattlesnakes and cougars and bulls. I flagged past a red-tailed hawk, circling and screeching above me, warning me not to go to her nest with two babies up the creek.
I passed the old rock corral;
I hiked beneath turkey vultures looking for anything that's been eaten by a rattlesnake or cougar or bull.
When I was headed back retracing my steps, who did I run into, but the Jackass! (Which means he went through the fence again.)
He appeared on the trail in front of me, walking my way. I saw him first. When he saw me, he didn't spook, didn't hesitate, just kept walking toward me. "Well, hello," I said, and he just kept his eye on me, and as he came closer, he detoured off the trail.
He wasn't in the least interested in me; he wasn't afraid, but he didn't want to get any closer. When he was parallel with me, about 20 yards away, he stopped and looked at me. I took a few steps toward him, and he started trotting on.
Once he was a safe distance away from me, he turned to look at me one more time,
then he moseyed onward.
Probably headed back to his mustang 'herd' since the gelding of his dreams was gone.
I'm not sure what to say about the second loop of Day 1 of the Owyhee Fandango... carry donkey repellent?
Posted by The Equestrian Vagabond at 3:59 PM 1 comment:
Monday, May 23, 2011
The Owyhee Fandango: It's On!
Monday May 23 2011
Less than a week till the 3-day Owyhee Fandango endurance ride and it's one thing after another: EHV-1 outbreak, cancellations, having to re-route trails because of too many cows out and high water, having to re-route trails because of cancellations and therefore not enough riders to pay for the extra vet we'd need at an out vet check, trail sabotage...
And Steph just got word this morning from the manager of the Sierra del Rio Ranch, where we often have a vet check and eat and rest in their lush grassy fields, and where we'd be riding through with a water stop on Day 3 this year, and who are normally happy to see us, said that on advice of their veterinarian, it was better if they didn't have horses coming through.
That decided it. Steph said, "There's no way I'm NOT having an endurance ride! I've never cancelled an endurance ride, and I'm not cancelling the Owyhee Fandango! If it's just us riding, then it's just us riding!"
Head veterinarian Robert Washington issued a sensible statement yesterday:
"The purpose of this post is to provide facts about EHV-1 and the current outbreak. I am not telling you to stay home nor am I telling you to go to this ride or other events. I am merely trying to provide correct current information on which everyone can make their own decision. It is amazing how fast information can get out and around via all of our technologies. The only down side of that, is there is a lot of misinformation swarming about the disease outbreak.
I will start with some information about the EHV-1 virus. Since it is a herpes virus, it can live dormantly in asymptomatic horses for a long period of time. These horses can spread the virus when stressed. This is the reservoir for the virus to persist. This virus has been known about for a long time, before if was found to be a herpes virus, it was called a rhino virus. Historically, symtoms caused by this virus are cough, nasal discharge, fever, abortion, and in a few cases, neurologic disease. Contrary to what some would have you believe, this virus is very common and is the cause of a lot of the "colds" horses can get from time to time. Over the last few years, a neurotropic strain of this virus has been identified, and this strain has caused a number of the outbreaks over the last 10 or so years.
So, this virus and disease syndrome are not some new "superbug". A percentage of horses carry this virus longterm. A study was done on thoroughbred broodmares, and 40-50% were found to be carriers. Again, this virus is very common. Most horses over 2 or 3 have seen the virus at some point in their lives. These outbreak situations occur with a shedding horse due to the stress of travel and showing, and exposure to a large population of horses. Horse shows and events are always a risk of disease transmission. Everything from flu, strangles, EHV and others can be spread in these gatherings of animals.
This virus is not very hardy outside of the horse. It can be kept alive in a laboratory situation for around 30 days. Under real conditions, that period is less than 7 days. It is killed very easily by 10% bleach solutions, common disinfectants, and alcohol (hand sanitizers). The virus can be spread up to 35-50 feet via aerosol under ideal conditions. The virus is only spread via nasal secretions. In reality, this virus is not spread as easily as some information would have you believe.
At this time, the cases from this outbreak (there is another separate outbreak in Florida) are confined to farms exposed to horses that were at the Ogden show. Yes, there are new cases, but they are still on the farms where horses returned from Ogden. In reality, the risk of an endurance horse that has not been at an infected facility to catch EHV-1 at an endurance ride is no greater than it ever is.
It is always advisable to observe your horse closely prior to travel. Take his or her temperature prior to leaving. If they have a fever, nasal discharge, cough, or "don't seem quite right", it is always recommended to not travel.
At this time, there are no travel restrictions. Wyoming and Colorado have changed their health certificate requirements, but are open to travel. At this time the Canadian border is open. I will have a health certificate book at the ride in case we need to write some for people to return home, and I will check travel requirements before offices close on Friday.
If you choose to come to the ride, I would ask that you monitor your horse closely. All horses will have their temperature taken as part of the pre-ride check. Given the nature of what endurance horses due, that will be the only time they will have their temperature taken, as I know they will get hotter than normal during the rides.
To end all this rambling, disease spread is always a risk in gatherings of horses. It is my opinion that the risk of your horse getting EHV at this or any ride are no more than they ever are."
For us, we're still getting ready for the ride. It just means changing some trails to accommodate the situations. Which means more ATVing (for Steph), more riding and hiking for us to flag trails.
As if we needed any excuses to ride and hike around here. : )
(and PS - just before hitting the Publish button, Steph sent out an email saying we DO have permission to use the Sierra del Rio ranch now - the Petroglyph trail is back on for Sunday!)
Posted by The Equestrian Vagabond at 8:28 PM No comments:
Sunday, May 22, 2011
All That Work
Saturday May 21 2011
Carol and I went out to flag 6-8 miles of trail down to the Snake River for next Sunday's Owyhee Fandango 80 and 100 milers.
It should only take a couple of hours, right?
Well, it would have if it also hadn't taken us a couple of hours to: shuttle one truck to one spot up on the rim, and our bodies to another spot; if a red bull of a farmer hadn't stopped us for trespassing (we were just cutting through one small part of his property on a dirt road, to avoid going miles out of the way, and I tend to read No Trespassing signs around here as saying "No Trespassing except for Me and My Owyhee Friends"); if we hadn't stopped for a yummy Murphy Burger for energy since we were right by there and it was already lunch time; and if we hadn't lost the trail many times in the oceans of thigh-high cheat grass that had taken over the prairie, trails and all, in the 3 weeks since we'd been there. Plus we had to of course spend some time enjoying the great weather and gawking at the wildflowers and scenery and birds along the route.
We got 'er done though, and just in time to avoid the sky-swallowing rainstorm (thunderstorm??) that got to us right when we arrived at our waiting truck.
We got back home and Steph was depressed. She'd been out marking more trail, and discovered a couple of miles of trail that she'd marked the night before was vandalized (ribbons and clothespins stolen) by someone I'll call Mr Grumpy.
We're not sure if Mr Grumpy hates horses only, also hates ATV/motorcycles, or just hates people in general. The ride is not on his land and not on his road, but when we have a vet check out in his general area (nowhere near sight or sound of his property), he and another family member start up their trucks and drive out of their way to tear up and down the dirt road, trying to scare (hurt?) horses (and people? I often wondered how he'd feel if, say, his wife or daughter were riding horses and someone did this to them, or how he'd feel if someone did get hurt). He's called the sheriff on us - for no reason, since we aren't on his property or road and we have permission to be there.
On top of that, it's one week till the ride, and Steph has considered uttering the "C" word ("Cancel") because of the EHV-1 viral outbreak that is making people skittish about coming. I am crushed that some good friends had to cancel, though I completely understand why they are not.
There are about 40 pre-entries, and there have been a few cancellations, though ironically the EHV-1 outbreak seems to be well contained. It would be a terrible shame to not have the ride because the trails are gorgeous now, with an extraordinary amount of grass, and wildflowers coming up, and copious amounts of water in the creeks.
Has all the work so far been for nought?
[Slide show here:]
Posted by The Equestrian Vagabond at 8:23 PM No comments:
Friday, May 20, 2011
The Fandango Flagging Begins
Friday May 20
Despite the outbreak of EHV-1, which has cancelled some events around the country, on advice of our head vet, and the fact that the outbreak seems to be pretty well managed, we are planning to go ahead with our 3-day Owyhee Fandango endurance ride next weekend.
Yesterday Judy and I hiked along the Snake River and flagged a portion of the route to Celebration Park, Idaho's only archaeological park. If you're riding the 80 or 100 miler on Sunday, you'll ride here, cross this bridge,
see these old ruins;
you'll see pelicans and cormorants and many other waterfowl, and if you look up at just the right place at the cliffs across from the Park, you'll probably see a golden eagle nest.
Today we flagged the trail to Upper Hart Creek for Day 1's 25 and 50. Mac was a little concerned when a herd of young cows ran up to us (thinking we were bringing them food? Thinking we were food? That's what Mac thought anyway.)
Steph went out on the ATV this afternoon; we have a couple of hikes planned (we could haul the horses, but it's just as easy - and nice - to hike along the Snake River and the Petroglyph boulders - and many more miles by horseback to do.
And of course, the weather will be perfect for everybody during the ride!
[Slide show here]
Posted by The Equestrian Vagabond at 5:23 PM No comments:
Saturday, May 14, 2011
The Little Princess Goes To School
Friday May 13 2011
Today is the day the little princess Smokey started boot camp. Today the little princess Smokey saw
'Little' Smokey - the daughter of Princess, is 2. And big. But really, still a baby. She hasn't been asked to do much of anything her whole life other than leading, and standing tied, and getting her feet trimmed. She has been allowed to grow up and develop, physically and mentally, be a horse on a lot of acreage - footloose and fancy free... until today.
Andy and his wife Gloria came to pick up Smokey - Steph is sending her off to school at Andy's for a couple of weeks of basic training.
Smokey had never been in a trailer before. Ever. I've seen glimpses of a bit of Stubborn in her, when she doesn't get her way. Today would be her biggest challenge ever, to get in a trailer for the first time to go to Andy's house.
Andy's a local cowboy trainer - grew up here then left then came back - and he's already worked with a lot of local endurance riders' horses. He's very good with horses - gets them to do what he wants them to do, in a quiet, light-handed, but insistent way.
It didn't take too much asking from Andy to get Smokey to go up to the big scary trailer and stand there,
and even start putting a foot
inside the trailer.
But then, she decided she didn't want to go in that trailer. And when Smokey doesn't want to do something, she can indeed be stubborn about it.
She started making a big deal out of it, backing up, then wanting to get away from it all. Andy simply started asking her to go in circles around him. He used a lunge whip, either flicking it at her hind feet or butt, or tapping her on the butt with it, gently but insistently.
She didn't want to do that, either, clamping her tail down and freezing before leaping forward.
It took some time. Smokey thought she could out-stubborn Andy, but he kept asking her to move her feet. She tried everything she could think of to just get away from the situation - she tried yanking away,
she tried lunging at Andy,
she tried almost falling over, she even double-barreled at him, but Andy just kept asking her to move - move - move in a circle around him. The harder she resisted, the more effort he asked her to put into moving around him.
Her only respite was a quiet space right in front of the trailer. As long as she stopped and stood quietly right there, she got to stand there and rest.
He'd then ask her to step into the trailer; and as long as she made an effort to move forward - give in to the pressure on her head, or move a foot forward and relax, she got to stand there.
As soon as she resisted - threw her head up or backed up, Andy asked her to go back to moving her feet around him, move, move, move.
Andy kept the same patient demeanor: just kept asking her for a response, releasing when she gave, and when she resisted, he just asked her for more effort in moving forward.
It took about an hour - time for a thunderhead to build and completely cover the sky, with thunder rumbling overhead - before Smokey really gave in to moving around Andy without resistance - no tail tucking, no crowding Andy, no pulling on the rope. She was wet with sweat.
Ten feet away from the trailer, Andy asked her to walk around him (she no longer needed to trot, because she was no longer resisting), and he then straightened her out and walked toward the trailer on a loose lead rope, and she walked right into it without any hesitation.
It's art. It's a matter of timing: requesting and rewarding at just the right moment. It's a matter of making the wrong things difficult and the right things easy for the horse.
It's a matter of making the horse move forward. "You can't get a horse to do anything without forward motion," Andy said. "It's hard to get a green horse to back up from a standstill. First you get his feet moving forward, then you ask him to back up." Then same was true for Smokey - it was hard for her to just stand still at the trailer door and lift up her feet one by one and step inside (especially the first time) - so once he got her willingly moving forward without resistance, it made it easy for her to keep walking right into the trailer.
Andy left Smokey to stand in the trailer for a bit, then he led her out - she leaped out of there - then he circled her a few more times and led her back to the trailer and she walked right in again. This time he stepped inside with her and had Gloria close the door. They stood in there a while quietly; and when Gloria opened the door and Andy walked out with Smokey, the filly stepped out beside him calmly.
They walked to the side of the truck and trailer (a new spot), where Andy asked Smokey to step around him in circles.
She did this quietly, calmly; and Andy led/drove her along the side of the trailer, to the door, where she turned and on her own hopped right into the trailer.
He left her in there a while by herself. Then he did it twice more: leading her out (calmly) and away from the trailer, then letting her go back in (calmly and willingly) - and there you had a horse that will now willingly go into a horse trailer.
Princess Smokey's whole perception of the world changed today - Boot Camp has begun!
Posted by The Equestrian Vagabond at 8:33 PM No comments:
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