Monday, January 4, 2016

Teaching to self load on the trailer

As much as I would like to abide by this:


I am such a worrier as I stated in my Worry Warrior post a few days ago. BUT I am trying!!!

New years day I went out to sneak in a ride on Miss Tillie to find her just a muddy mess. No biggie,
I decided it would be a great day for a spa day and clean out my tack area so it wasnt such a cluster of messiness. Much to my dismay I found Tillie threw a hind shoe after only a few days after being shod.

Oh hey...that expensive shoe is lost in the mud somewhere out there.
It worked out because the new footing we received was getting dragged out and worked on in both rings...which means it finally got put down in our larger ring and spread out! YAY!! For a few weeks it was just sorta in the middle and not quite enough to cover the entire surface, but our smaller arena had WAYYYY too much so they took some from there. They didnt quite finish evening it all out, but it is in much better shape then the small ring. 

BEFORE

AFTER

While waiting, fellow blogger Emma was also hanging out and offered to help me work on my December goal of getting Tillie to self load! I should make these first quarter goals and add to them, but hey we are starting to cross some off!

  1. Learn how to ride in double reins in the pelham
  2. Ride at least 4x per week despite work being nutty this month
  3. Convince Emma to show me how teach me and Tillie to self load
  4. Improve auto/crest release 
  5. Get Tillie more maneuverable in canter 
I let Emma take over since I havent ever gone through this process before and Tillie was a quick study...She tends to be a bit nervous about the backing out of the trailer, especially with the step, so I opted to use Emmas trailer for this session.

Getting started
First thing was to get her used to the dressage whip since she really isnt a huge fan of whips at all. Just teaching her it wasnt there to hurt her and to move forward when the tapping on her flank happened and to back when tapped on the shoulder. Once that was find Emma got started!

Tillie sniffing everything

We started slow and let her sniff and check things out to set the tone and keep things low key. The goal for today was to get her front feet on and whoa, back off and be able to fully load, fully back out and possibly even back out and whoa with only the front feet on. We knew the backing and waiting would be harder with her dislike for backing out but she moved through everything else so nicely we were able to work on it briefly.


So smart.
The only thing she has a tendency to do, which we think is from nerves, it back out crooked where shell step down and turn her butt to the outside of the trailer. That will need some work, but she was getting much straighter by the end. 

Good mare!
 Finally it was my turn and to try to work on self loading. My biggest issue is getting her to slow down when loading and getting out of the habit of helping her too much. We did it a few times though and called it a day so we didnt fry her brain :)

I got to test out this a bit by saturday which Ill post in a later blog this week!



11 comments:

  1. Yay for a smart girl! I am so jealous of you guys and your trailers. I think that is next on my big want list :)

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    1. hehe trust me the little trailer I have is nothing to shout about...and Tillie HATES it. So much that Im considering saving to get another one. I cant imagine life without one...You should come visit us and we will take you everywhere!!

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    2. hehe trust me the little trailer I have is nothing to shout about...and Tillie HATES it. So much that Im considering saving to get another one. I cant imagine life without one...You should come visit us and we will take you everywhere!!

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  2. Tillie was such a star - she figured it out so quickly! just helping her see that going slow is easier and more comfortable will make such a difference; the ottbs seem to give themselves such a complex about running in and out as fast as possible lol... she'll be self loading in no time! :)

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  3. Can I borrow Emma to load my horses? :P Sounds like Tillie was a very good girl.

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    Replies
    1. hehe I think Emma enjoyed it! Its kinda neat to see the horses start to figure it out.

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