First of all, a big thanks to our guest blogger, Laurie R. King.
I left off a few weeks ago with Gailey being hauled in a trailer with a wasps nest in the manger--unknown to me. I was at a horse show. When I tried to load her, she was having none of that. Finally I looked in the trailer and found the nest, but it was too late. She'd once again found reason to believe that the trailer wasn't a good place to be. It took me three hours to load her that day.
I'd entered her in another show in Oregon a few weeks later, and she actually loaded in about a 1/2 hour. When it came to time to load her after the show, it took over six hours! She'd try to go in then she'd get scared and throw her head backwards then hit it on the trailer. By the time she loaded, I was in tears.
So it was back to the horse whisperer. For six months she stayed at his farm in eastern Washington. Finally, he called to tell me that her trailering phobia seemed to be insurmountable and dangerous to her and him. He wouldn't work with her anymore, as she was too nice of a horse, and he couldn't live with her possible death on his conscience.
By that time, I'd bought a newer, BIGGER trailer for her, thinking that would help matters. It didn't. I was at my wit's end. I had an expensive show horse that I'd mortgaged my house to buy, and I couldn't haul her to shows. My dream horse had turned into the biggest nightmare.
In desperation I asked if he'd tried to load her backwards. He hadn't thought of it. A week later he called back. The mare was loading backwards without hesitation. That was five years ago. To this day I back her into the trailer and haul her backwards. I haven't had a problem loading her since thanks to the persistence of a that trainer.
So now you know the rest of the story.
(Photo by Showcase Imagery)
That's a great story, Jami. It reminds me of one of the best pieces of advice I ever got from a horse trainer. This was Bob Hadley,a cutting and reining trainer, who I worked for back when I was in college. "If what you're doing isn't working, do the opposite." Your idea of loading Gailey backwards reminds me of this very insightful advice that has helped me to solve so many horse "problems" over the years. I applaud your intuition. Cheers--Laura Crum
Amazon, story, Jami. You deserve a lot of credit for thinking of loading her backwards. What a very happy ending for you and your beautiful Gailey. Here's hoping for many great shows in your future!
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