Sunday, January 2, 2011

Trailer Buddy

I headed out to the barn today with the intention of giving Arty a good grooming, and working a little on keeping him on the bit during our transitions (and in general).  My friend told me that all the horses were filthy, and totally black with mud, so I made sure to set aside a little extra time for grooming.  It was freezing cold 20 degrees (-5 Celsius), especially after the crazy warm 44 degree Fahrenheit (7 Celsius) weather we had Saturday.  Once I'd gotten Arty in from the field, I was frozen solid and pretty much ready to call it a day.  I had no desire to endure the 10 minute treck to the neighbour's field, before we could even start working.  Plus, that's not even guaranteeing good footing once your there.  Oh winter, why do you torment me so?  Anyhow, I got my half black and half white pony into the cross ties and started working on him.  Another lady from the barn was attempting to load her horse in order to ship him off for some more training.  She came into the barn looking for feed, in an attempt to coax Polaris, her horse, onto the trailer so I thought I'd offer to load up Arty so Polaris realized the trailer wouldn't eat him.  She said that'd be great, and asked if I'd bring him right out, so thats what I did.
Arty'd never loaded onto a big fancy trailer with a ramp, so he took a tentative step onto the trailer.  He looked up at me nervously, but all it took was a rattle of the feed bucket and a gentle tug on the lead and he loaded up perfectly!  What an awesome little pony :)  He stayed on there for a while, but eventually they decided to move the trailer onto the grass to see if that'd help Polaris load, so we unloaded Arty via the side ramp, another new experience. Perfect again!
We headed into the arena, and lunged at a walk (all you could do) while the trailer was re-parked.  Then we walked back over to the trailer, and loaded up without a backwards glance.  Arty just sat on the trailer for about an hour and a half, happily munching away on hay and the occasional handful of feed he was offered. There goes his diet!  Oh well, he was better than I could ever have imagined, and when after over two hours of work, they finally gave up Arty was almost disapointed that he had to get off.  This however, is where the funny part comes in.  The trailer we use is a tiny two horse bumper pull, step up.  Unfortunately the ramp off the side of the trailer was being blocked by the chicken coop, so we had to back Arty down the ramp.  He took about two steps backwards, then started to crouch and feel around for the drop.  He started to get nervous, so I let him look around to the side so he could see the ramp.  Instead, he completed the turn, and walked forwards off the ramp!  He was tiny enough to just do a 180 and unoad that way!  It was probably the most hilarious thing he's ever done.  By the time all was said and done though, all I had time to do was finish grooming and turn him back out though.  Ah well, it was well worth not being able to ride to show off Arty's pro trailering skills ;)

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