Thursday, March 24, 2011

Trailer Training & Write Up on the Video

Okay. Here's the deal on the video I posted yesterday. When I brought Chrome up for training he was being very cooperative. He did fantastic up until we started working on back lifts. I started out doing it with him standing untied and he tried walking off so I tied him up. By the time the kick happened I'd done four or five back lifts (he's used to doing one or two a day), so he was not happy. Back lifts are like sit ups for us, so if he's not used to using his back and stomach if can get very tiring and difficult very quickly.

I was so focused on getting the video right that I wasn't paying attention to his body language and what he was trying to tell me. So it was completely my fault that he . . . threatened me. He didn't really kick. I think he was just lifting his leg to warn me and it happened to bump my shin because I was standing close. I've never seen him kick. Ever. But he does lift his leg to warn the donkey to back off, he lifted it toward the possum he encountered, etc. I really think that's what happened. I realize it was my fault and could have been avoided if I'd been paying attention. I have to remind myself that he is green and he needs 100% of my attention when we're working together. :) So no videos for a while lol.

I wanted to mention that in my video I said you can stand to the side while doing back lifts if you're afraid your horse might kick, but I want to withdraw that. If you think your horse might kick just don't do back lifts. Work on respect and desensitizing first. Standing directly behind the horse and very close is probably safest because there is no power behind the kick (whereas if you stood two feet away there is a lot of power). Horses can kick to the side too (very powerfully) so that can be a dangerous place to stand as well if your horse has the tendency to kick.

Anyway, things turned out okay. Chrome and I both learned something. I worked with him today on the trailer because I felt the need for a change of pace. He did so fantastic!

He walked right on and I clicked a couple of times for standing there with his head in the stall. Then I opened and closed the front door a few times. Then I started petting his head, neck, shoulder until I was standing in the trailer instead of between the head stalls. He came out a couple of times to see what I was doing and then walked back up and put his head right back in. When I quit I was standing by his flank. :) Then I asked him to back off with my hand on his chest. I want him to learn to stand there until I ask him to back up. I didn’t work on any noise or the other doors this time because my husband wasn’t there to help. I think Chrome did awesome. Of course I’ll have to eventually train him to stand on the other side of the trailer too, but for now I'm just worried about getting him comfortable enough to get to the vet.

I’m hoping that I can eventually walk off the trailer and all around it with him on there and eventually maybe I can teach him to load by himself. Just have to be slow, slow steps. Lots and lots of work to do on it. It's already getting hot and ticks are out bad already so I don't know if it's too late to get him gelded this spring. :( I don't think I'll have him ready for another couple of weeks at least and I just don't know if it's worth it to shove him on there, scare him and have to start all over again. We'll just have to see what happens.

1 comment:

  1. Gabbrielle kept kicking at Bombay this morning and I hollered at her. Then I realized that Bombay was teasing her by pulling on her blanket tail flap with his teeth, so I herded him into a different pen. Gabbrielle tried to follow him in and I shooed her away. She spun her butt toward me, so I hollered at her and chased her off. She wasn't trying to kick me, but she needs to learn not to swing her butt so close to me. I think with all this training you are doing Chrome will end up being one of the most well-trained horses on earth.


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