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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

November 1, 2011

Breaking a Sweat

If tonight is any indication Journey is going to have me in better shape than she is 'cause my tongue was pretty much hanging out!  It was a really pretty day, not too overly hot this afternoon so I decided to work on trailer loading.  By the time we got done she preferred being in the trailer rather than out.  I got the step over into the slant, but still can't step away to get the divider closed.  My divider goes across, and is only about eighteen inches maximum wide.  It has a panel to keep one horse from making nasty faces at the other.  Journey wants to stick her head underneath the thing and try to work her way out that way (horrible awful!).  If I've got the divider secured she acts like she wants to turn around and I think if she much of an effort she might get it done due to her dainty size.   The only way to guard against either of those two things happening would be to secure her with a quick release knot to the trailer tie ring.  But I want to be darned sure that she will stand still and not attempt an independent back out before I try this, and I'll have to know how short the rope needs to be so if she takes a step back she won't get her feet anywhere near off or out.   But first we have to get in and over successfully and stand still.  We have  "in" 99%, we have over 33% of the time, and we have stand still once she is over about 10% of the time.  But what we have is progress over what we had before.  At least she isn't backing out on her own terms.  In fact, I have to now encourage her out because she knows the alternative is some sweat equity.  So trailer loading is "in process".  Once she stood still and licked and chewed and had to be almost manually carried off I decided to try trotting in hand.

We got big beautiful cantering circles.  Lots of them.  Then we got about three straight-line trotting steps, and then four, and finally six.  She'd only trot for me moving towards the barn, and dragged her petunia going away.  Since she had not ever given me "any" trotting steps, I'll take what I can get.  Maybe next time we will manage eight or ten  strides before she breaks into a canter with me lagging behind.  Lots of work this evening, nothing fully accomplished, but progress, I'll take it.  ~ E.G.


  1. How did you get her to stop backing out on her own terms? (What was the sweat equity you used?) Blue tends to back out like a house on fire.

  2. I put a rope halter and lunge line on her. I'd prompt her into the trailer. In she'd go and out she'd come. She would back out(which I just let her do without any constraint), but as soon as all four feet hit the ground I led her a few feet to be clear of the trailer and we did longing exercises, backing, yielding all until she was huffing and puffing good, then calmly relax the lead and send her back in. About the tenth repetition she decided that standing still in the trailer was a pretty good deal. Once she was in and standing still, I'd softly stroke her neck, or just let her be. By the time I was done I had to MAKE her back out, she didn't want out! So not fixed entirely, but definitely "progress". Sadly I can't revisit the process until Friday as I have NO TIME.