Gabe is a dork. Sometimes he just gets things into his head and no matter how much convincing, enticing, cajoling or begging I do, he just doesn't want to do it.
He has decided the trailer is a Very Scary Place and one that he should avoid at all costs. Which involved trying to run me over in the process of getting away from the Very Scary Place.
Ugh. This is the third time he's been a moron about loading. This has never been an issue before, and I KNOW the goof knows how to get on and off a trailer. But he's decided he doesn't really want to.
Over the weekend we worked for about 45 mins. on just getting on nicely and standing there quietly. It took me a good half hour on the front end of the training just to get him to get CLOSE to the trailer without losing his ever-lovin' mind and flying backwards across the yard.
Lots and lots and lots of strongly encouraged forward circles when he decided to fly backwards. It took a bit, but he finally figured out that going forward is MUCH more comfortable than going backwards, and getting on the trailer is MUCH MUCH more comfortable than endless go-forward circles in the yard.
Then he'd get on and decide it was still a Very Bad Place to be and go flying off the trailer backwards, the whites of his eyes showing panic.
*sigh* and *double sigh*
Oh, this horse. He's one of the special ones. Window-licking, helmet-wearing kind of special.
He finally figured it out and I was able to get him on and off five times, all nice and quiet and no panicking involved. He stood on the trailer, even cocked a leg at one point and relaxed, licked his lips, half-lidded his eyes then backed off very slowly and very quietly when asked, but not before.
Went for a ride, had an EXCELLENT ride, then loaded him up one more time after the ride just to make sure his little Thoroughbred brain hadn't lost the lesson in the half an hour we were riding.
He didn't. The trailer didn't even get an Oh-my-God! ear flick...up he walked, quietly he stood, peppermints he gobbled and quietly he backed off again.
Success. It comes in little doses, but each little step forward is a HUGE accomplishment for ole Gabe. The goof.
Next step: Closing the rear gate.