So we have this gorgeous new trailer and my thought was: we should go to a parking lot and practice backing up since neither of us knows what we're doing. And my husband's thought was: let's go to the barn and take the horses on a trailer ride to a park.
In order to do this we had to turn around at the barn. Turning around involves a backwards K turn on a hill with the truck and trailer. I cannot think of a worse place to back up a trailer this for the first time. After like 30 iterations of back and forth (our K was more like a spirograph) we did manage to get the truck and trailer reversed.
Every horse at the barn was staring at the trailer like it might contain a demon and it needed very close monitoring. Shasta was wide eyed and focused.
|only not so symmetrical and with more yelling|
We groomed and booted them and then started the get them on the trailer process. We put Shasta on first, but this was a bad idea as she hated being on it to begin with and when we tried to load Dijon she started trying to double barrel kick him. Poor Dijon was trying to be a good boy and do what the human wanted - get on the trailer - but he was also fairly certain Shasta was going to kill him. So we had to pull her off and put him on first.
He paused a few times, but settled in easily and went to munching hay. We then got Shasta on and had to practically beat her to get her to stop trying to kick Dijon so that we could actually shut the dammed butt bar and ramp.
We only drove about 15 minutes away to a park that had equestrian parking called Rancho San Antonio. In those 15 minutes, Shasta managed to work herself into a sweaty disgusting mess. Dijon, whose coat is about three times as thick as hers, was fine so it wasn't the temperature, it was her behavior. Once she was off the trailer and out on the trails, she actually got less sweaty.
We only rode for about 4 miles as Dijon is semi-retired and that's all than he's used to nowadays. Our goal was really just to have a successful trailering, so the ride wasn't important. We also used to board within walking distance of this park, so we've ridden there before and didn't need to see anything in particular.
It was a gorgeous day. T-shirt weather in January. Dijon needs a body clip badly though and I've been putting it off because it's such a PITA, but I really need to do it if the weather is going to stay this hot. He's like a golden wooly mammoth. And his antics got him all sweaty coming back.
|He's capable of traveling like this|
In typical Dijon fashion, he was lovely going out and as soon as we turned towards "home" he became a snorty dragon. With Nilla (and other horses) I can use tactics like doing bending work to keep them occupied and not allow a horse to rush, but Dijon can literally sidepass all the way down the trail so he'll just carry on trying to race no matter what. He can stick his chin on his chest and march along. As you can see above from the looped reins, it's not like I'm pulling him into this position. If you really haul on him and force him to stop he will lose his mind and just flip out so it's a fine balancing game that sometimes ends with me just getting off.
Luckily, most of the return trip was uphill so I didn't have to worry about him tripping and killing us both until the very last bit which was down hill so I just hopped off and walked him.
Shasta actually got back on the trailer more easily than the first time and we headed back to the barn. She was eager to get off and proceeded to roll about 5 separate times with multiple flips each time. It was clear she was pissed off.
I put Dijon out with Nilla to roll and he also proceeded to cover himself in arena dirt. I tried to get a picture of Nilla and Dijon looking cute together but Nilla is convinced that treats will only be given if she twists her head around in weird ways. I finally got her head kind of straight and gave up. So I have a picture of Dijon being cute and Nilla looking like a doofus.
|adorable and derpy|
Labels: Dijon, Shasta, Trail Riding, Trailer