Friday, April 14, 2017

Take a step back

Since Pony stomped her little pony feet about trailer loading over the weekend, I thought I'd work on it this week. I rode her on Wednesday and afterward did a trailer-loading session. Stomp, stomp, stomp. It had me scratching my head, as the first time I loaded her up this spring (test loading session before our first lesson), she walked right on. Colin says, "that's girls for you." Ultimately, she figured out that getting on was easier and more pleasant than making a big deal out of it and so she did.

Then yesterday I practiced again before I took Mac out for a ride. And she walked right on. Again Colin said, "that's girls for you - it is Thursday, right?" (Meaning, there's no rhyme or reason to Miss Pony Mare's feet stomping.)

But I realized something yesterday. I took a step back in my body positioning. I think the other day I was "blocking" her space to get into the trailer. In my mind there was plenty of space for her to walk between me and the center divider to load onto her space on the trailer. But maybe in her mind if I generally "claim" a certain amount of space around me as mine then she is invading it and doesn't feel comfortable doing that?

Anyway, all I did was take a step back so that I was standing farther away from the trailer opening and she walked right in! I had her quietly load and unload a few times, then I had her load and I put the butt bar up and gave her butt scratches and lots of Good Girls and then I unloaded her. It was less than five minutes. She was perfect. I brought her back to her stall and gave her a bunch of cookies.

Maybe it just was Thursday.

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