Saturday, August 09, 2008

We arrived at the clinic perfectly with me behind the wheel.

Dusty did a fabulous job of getting to the vet, getting checked and back home. He was PERFECT. He thought for a second about getting on the trailer but I just kept thinking what Leggs told me "There is no problem here." and urged him on. I stood and never looked back at him, tugging on the lead and clicking. He hopped in within seconds. I put polos on him so I felt better about the step-down.

He got really wide eyed when he was in there and I was shaking. I didn't want to touch him too much because of it, but I was praising him. I never done this alone before, I couldn't even help but be a little nervous.

The last time I took him out of this trailer I let him turn around in it to get out he almost ran me over while doing it so I was a little concerned about getting him out. We arrived at the clinic perfectly with me behind the wheel. As I went to get him out I just kept thinking "we are DOING THIS this way. There is no problem here." He backed up to the step and thought about it. And thought about it. And thought about it. I was telling him "back" and clicking. He got to the edge and placed his foot to take a step and got wide eyed. I just kept talking to him. He questions, but I think he trusts me enough to do what I ask. Within minutes he stepped out having no idea where to put his feet, but he did it! I felt pretty proud. Good horse.

He was fabulous when he got out of the trailer. Not crazy nervous but more inquisitive. He wants to check everything out. I loved that when the air conditioning came on outside the building he didn't even flinch. Wants to meet the dog, see the other horses, never even flaring his nostrils. During the X-rays he stood completely still. It was like he kind of knew to stand still because as soon as they took the shot and were done he then turned his head to look at them. He was a total gentleman the whole time.

He got back on the trailer pretty quickly after his exam. Upon arriving back to the barn however, he really didn't want to get out. It was a good 15-20 minutes of me telling him that I'm not buying it because he already did it once today. Every step he took backwards I praised him, he kept looking back. After forever he was on the edge and soon as his foot was hovering in the air I urged him back. He did it. Finally. I guess he just has to learn where to put his feet to do this. Even though he is really nervous about certain things as long as I stay reinforcing and calm and give him time to process and learn he will do anything for me. I have to remember this in the saddle.

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