Friday, April 22, 2011

So the Bad News Is...

Gobie would not get in the trailer!

Today was the day I was going to adopt him and bring him "home" to Bonnie's farm. But, Gobie had other ideas. Namely, there was no way he was getting in that deep, dark, creaking cave that he was pretty sure had a horse-eating monster in it.

I can't really blame him though. For some reason I thought to myself, "Well, I can start training him when we get him to the new place." But really, I should have been training him (instead of just bonding with him) for the last couple of months. I don't think that I figured he would just HOP into the trailer. But I sort of did think that after a few tries he would get in. Not so much.

To his credit, he's a 9 year old horse that has probably SEEN a trailer all but a handful of times in his life, and has probably only been INSIDE a trailer ONCE. And it probably wasn't the best experience of his life.

To my credit, I thought he was little more trained and trusting than he is, at least when it comes to stressful situations. The six year old girl in me was pretty sure that if he loved me out in the field he would trust me when I asked him to get a trailer. But the trainer in me knows that was a pretty silly assumption.

He really did TRY though, and I'm thankful for that. He was literally shaking from fear, but he came so close to going in a couple times. And he really didn't try to fight so much as run away and even that was halfhearted.

When we first arrived he was flirting with Magic. I think she must have been in heat or something because he was raising his upper lip and sniffing around her girly bits. And she was acting rather inviting. Lucky for everyone, Gobie is gelded.

Getting him to come in from the field wasn't too bad. He was definitely a bit stubborn, but he eventually came through the gate to where the trailer was parked. Part of the experience definitely confirmed my sneaking suspicion that he's not totally halter broke--or at least he doesn't have great manners probably because he was never told he needed them.

Anyway, we had a bucket of grain for some encouragement and he liked that. Part of me wondered, though, if it didn't get him a little too excited. It took some doing to get him close to the trailer at all. But every little noise--every creak and groan from the metal--would send him backing up again. It didn't help that semis would be barreling down the road, or that dogs would be barking their heads off. He would try running to the left or the right, and if he made a lot of ground we'd have to walk him around in a circle to gain it back. At one point they were trying to use brooms and a rope around his neck to get him to go in. But the broom seemed to wig him out more than motivate him to move forward. And using two ropes was kind of unmanageable. We got pretty close to getting him to load twice, but alas...

Some broken nails and a bruised finger later, we decided to give it a rest. Probably a good thing, too, because it started pouring rain on my drive home.

So we'll try again tomorrow! They're talking about sedating him (yikes) and setting up some panels to kind of "chute" him in. We may try putting him in with another horse. Part of me wants to take it really slow and just get him use to being around the trailer, and then get him eating out of it, and then getting him finally jumping in to it. But I think everyone else has more expedient modes in mind.

I guess we'll see...

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