You may recall past Coffee Clutch blog posts about Kessy and her trailer loading adventures. If you do you'll remember things progressed nicely, Kessy took it all in stride and soon mastered it. Then she decided she really didn't like it and she quit. Simply quit. No big protest, no revolt. She just quit. I started to employ other groundwork to help her understand, and that too seemed to be working. A little. But then this leg thing came along and groundwork got a little hard for me to do. So for a while we haven't worked on it. After all we have beautiful trails right here at home, and we were having plenty of fun.
I'm really good at helping a horse gain confidence, and pretty good at helping a horse feel great with the exercises Diane Sept taught me. And I'm pretty good at helping horses learn things they have a hard time understanding. But one thing I've always had a hard time with is convincing a horse to do something they positively don't want to do. I've never had that tool totally in my tool box. My standard practice is to just let it go a while and revisit it at some later time and usually, bit by bit, we get there. But if a horse still flat out refuses, well I need help ... Kessy told me, I need help with the trailer thing
Even though over the past 33 months we've mastered a lot of tricky things together, and her confidence has really grown, on this one, we need help. Kessy had developed a habit of "pushing back into pressure" long before I ever knew her. She will not be pushed or "driven." She had been over round-penned as a young mare. The more she protested, the more she was round-penned. And the more she was round-penned the more she protested. And that left her with a big fear of being pushed or pressured.
So I called my mentor, Diane Sept. She has a marvelous way of kindly showing a horse how to master things they are afraid of or make no sense to them. Diane and I don't get to see each other that often since Robbie & I moved to VA, and her coming is to visit and work with Kessy is just plain fun and exciting!
Diane arrived yesterday afternoon, and we sure had a sw. Then we went out and played a bit with Kessy. Part of the "get to know you thing," All of that she did "at liberty." After Diane and Kessy began to understand each other, they tried the trailer thing and of course Diane had Kessy stepping into the trailer.
Then we went into town to watch rehearsal for the next play Ravishin' Robbie is directing.
Today is when the serious work with Kessy and the trailer loading happens. Can Diane fix it in a day? By fix I mean, transfer the tools into my toolbox that'll have Kessy stepping right in for me, too ... Well a half day really, she needs to head back to PA at noon. I've seen her do it before … I'll tell you all about it tomorrow.
Gitty Up ~ Dutch Henry