Last weekend I arranged to borrow a trailer from a woman at the yard in the hope that we could have some practice going in and out of the trailer and all going well have a little run around.
Eva has had a bit of a history of not being too happy about loading, although when shes in she tends to accept her fate and travels quite nicely. A few years ago I had tried loading Eva in a trailer with a partition, Eva loaded, touched the sides then catapulted forward out the front and despite several more attempts Eva continued to be very nervous when loading in and kept rush straight out. In fact there was one instance when the guy helping me said “I’m pretty sure she just did a canter stride in there” as Eva and I projectiled out the front!
Last year it took five people to eventually get Eva on a massive lorry for the first time, although by the end of the season she was alright at loading although if I gave her any opportunity to not load she would take it.
The trailer that we were borrowing had the middle partition out so that there was plenty of space so I was reasonably hopeful that Eva would respond well to this and we wouldn’t do an impression of a pin ball machine in the trailer.
I decided for this practice to really break everything down and not to expect too much. To start with we opened the trailer so that Eva could walk straight through. I was hoping to walk Eva in and hopefully stand for a few seconds then walk her out before she panics and runs out.
What I got was a slightly reluctant Eva quite calmly load, stand and happy scoff the carrots that I had hidden in my pockets!!
We did this three times each time Eva was happily searching for the carrots!!!
She was so calm that I decided to just go for it. We closed up the front ramp but kept the top open so there was some light and put the breast bar up at the front. I showed my dad how to put the bar up at the back so that when he got the ok from me he could put the bar up and then put up the back.
She happily walked in and got a little nervous when the back ramp went up but still munched away on the carrots. I cross tied her so that she would stay centred and did one last check of everything and we were off!
We did a little trip round the country side and then back to the yard, the whole time you could of forgotten she was in the back!!
We arrived back at the yard and she unloaded nicely as if she didn’t quite realise we were back at the same place. A few minutes later as I was walking her back to the stable the penny dropped and she was marching along quite happily to her stable!
I am over the moon with how she behaved and I am relieved that she had a positive experience with the practice!
Now I need to plan a little event that we can take her to that is not too far away so that hopefully we can have another little positive outing to!