Sunday, September 21, 2014

Trailering Princess Fancy Pants

Since Princess Fancy Pants loaded so well on the trailer, I thought I'd take her for a little spin to the park-and-ride that has nice turnaround area to come back home. It is 2.5 miles away, so a 5-mile out-and-back ride. PFP was not happy! She was stomping in the trailer and calling out to her boyfriends when we left, which I thought would be the case, but she stomped most of the way down and back as well! Hmph! When I unloaded her she had stomped herself into a lathered sweat and was obviously agitated, so when I unloaded her we just stood around in the driveway to calm down a bit before turning her out. She had a nice roll in the mud to address the itchies and then hung out with Paddy as if nothing happened. This was last week.

I was worried that she wouldn't want to load again and so developed a different plan. Yesterday I got Paddy out, groomed him (which PFP was not pleased about because she couldn't see him and I could hear her petite little hooves thundering as cantered around - she has a lovely canter which I look forward to riding some day!) and loaded him up. Then I got PFP, brought her to the trailer and loaded her up. She went right on to the right-side slot - that was new for her because I've heretofore been loading her solo in the left slot and when I do that the divider is moved over to the right so she's got a nice wide space to walk into. Since Paddy was already in, the right slot was as narrow as it would be for trailering, but she walked on anyway. Good pony!

I had put some alfalfa in her hay bag and Paddy had grass hay in his side and I considered maybe going for a drive, but decided against it. I put the butt bars up and tied their lead ropes up, but left the back doors open so I could stand on the ramp and talk to them and watch what was going on. At first she was agitated (the bugs really seem to bother her so she was stomping at that) and was stomping at flies and backing her butt up to the bar. But since Paddy was pretty calm about it all, she decided it wasn't so bad and ate her hay. I thought that it would be best to just have them have a little snack in there for five minutes and skip the ride.

After five minutes I tried to unload her first and I put the butt bar down, but she decided that an alfalfa snack is a very good treat indeed and didn't want to back out! So I unloaded Paddy first and then unloaded her. I tied them both up to the trailer (first time she's been tied up with anyone else to my trailer) and groomed PFP while they both stood there. She was a bit sweaty but not dripping like before.

I think my game plan will be to mix it up a bit. One day just do loading and unloading. Another day load and stand with a snack (increasing the time period). Another day load with Paddy and have a snack. Another day load and unload again. Lather, rinse, repeat. I want her to be good about the trailer and I think that getting her calm about it, like it is just another thing, is the way to do that. So far she's really good about getting on, so that's half the battle!

Ideally I'd eventually like her and Mac to trailer together since I'll likely be ponying her off of him . . . IF, that is, they can get over their googly-eyes for each other! Why is it that Paddy has no game and Mac does? I've let them meet over the fence a couple more times. Once it was exciting for about 30 seconds then Mac went to graze. The next time much butt-presenting and squirting ensued. I guess that's a mare in season?!

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