Oh, we have a problem. It's one of those fun problems all horse owners LOVE to deal with and figure out how to solve.
Gabe has decided he doesn't like to get on the horse trailer. Period. He has always jumped right up and I know he had plenty of trailering experience while he raced, so this decision of his boggles me.
Saturday one of my riding buddies came over to pick us up so we could haul to a park to ride. Gabe has not had an issue with her trailer in the past and really seems to like her mare.
But this time, he took one look at that trailer and one look at the cute palomino mare waiting for him inside and pretty much said "Nope. Not today. I've better things to do."
Gah. I don't have a whole lot of patience for horses I KNOW know how to load and then simply decide they don't want to today. He and I apparently can both be pretty stubborn in out decisions. I don't believe in beating them until they decide to get on, but I can get exasperated and all him ugly names and tell him how dumb he is.
It took 15 minutes to convince him to get on the trailer to haul out and all it took was me slowing down and giving him some time to think it over instead of continuously walking him back up to the trailer and trying to convince him to put his feet on it over and over and over again.
All he wanted to do was stand there and think about it for awhile. Bribery didn't hurt.
He got on, we went on a wonderful, beautiful, fall colors gorgeous trail ride in which he behaved brilliantly.
Until it was time to get BACK on the trailer.
It took us even longer this time. He'd get three feet on and stand there all stretched out reaching for the grain I had in my hand. And just stand there. And stand. Then take a calm step backward when he changed his mind about it. Grrrr....patience was wearing thin but I wasn't going to beat him onto the trailer. That solves nothing and make the next time even worse.
So we waiting. And we waited. And I cajoled and bribed and called him horrible names and threatened to leave him in the woods all alone without dinner or peppermints.
Eventually, he sighed, and stepped all the way on the trailer. I guess he'd had enough.
So, guess what I'll be working on as much as possible?
Yeah. That trailer loading thing. Seems someone needs a reminder seminar.