Thursday, February 18, 2010
But only after playing with my least favorite toy.....
It was a funky day with Nigel. After yesterday's short trip in the trailer just to the neighbors he couldn't stand calmly in it with the door shut.
Even moving the door around was trouble. The good news is that he didn't have any big resistance getting into the trailer or standing in it with the door open. Actually, it was good too to see him touching a lot of stuff in the trailer with his nose. The sides, the roof, the divider. This should help build his confidence and hopefully it'll stick better.
So we made the session about just being able to stand still with me swinging the door back and forth, back and forth. Omgosh. I don't even know how long we did it. He got out. I asked him back in. He got out. I asked him back in. He pawed the floor, he did levade, he did piaffe. I kept moving the door until he could just stand. As soon he was still I kept the door still. He was training me.
We ended when he could stand there with me swinging the door once or twice. After munching grass for about five minutes we went up to the arena and did some nice standing friendly game undersaddle while we watched Kip and Jackson play. (they did great)
But, oh man the trailer is so the bane of my existence. I know we'd better knock off at least 5 more sessions before a break and not avoid it like I REALLY REALLY want to. To get it better its just repetition. "polite and passive persistence in the proper position" so that we can do our "prior and proper preparation to prevent p poor performance" as pat says. I guess. *big huffy sigh. God I hate it. I just want Nigel to be happy and to love me. Getting him outside his comfort zone is counter intuitive for rapport.
In my heart I know that this is one of those things that will make our relationship stronger. Taking the time it takes ....whatever it takes....to develop ultimate confidence in the trailer and traveling will make him and I a better Horse-Man in the end. This goal.... this dream...... is enough to outweigh the trauma thankfully.
It reminds me of my brother Isaac's favorite quote: "The only way out is through".