Merrylegs….going going GONE
|February 26, 2015||Posted by Melinda under Uncategorized|
To the trainer’s that is!
Amber Clark wa my trainer of choice for MerryLegs and I was lucky enough to get on her schedule earlier this year. I’ve known Amber for a couple of years now and have gotten the chance to see her ride her own horses at endurance rides, as well as train young horses and sale horses for clients. I trust her 100 percent to start ML in a way that sets her up for success in endurance, and to give me honest feedback on the sort of future ML might have in the sport. She’s located in Lincoln California, and if anyone runs across this post in the future and would like her contact information, let me know :).
Back to MerryLegs…..
I wasn’t able to drop ML off at Amber’s this weekend like I had originally planned (weekends are for riding endurance rides silly Mel) so we worked out a week day that I had a good chance of getting off at a decent time (five pm) AND I wasn’t on call AND Matt would be available to provide support. The magical day was Tuesday.
Tuesday became more magical when fellow blogger and friend Aurora offered to make the drive and be there to help me load ML for her second trailer ride ever.
In fact, this made Tuesday so magical that if events conspired to keep me at the clinics to the point where this was no longer going to be possible I was going to declare myself clinically insane, strip off my clothes and go running naked through the parking lot, straight to my car and drive to the stable. Point being: I WAS going to get ML to the trainers Tuesday even if it resulted in an incomplete in a rotation for the absence and I had to make up yet another two weeks post graduation.
Fortuantely I managed to escape without drama and made it to the stable at exactly the time I had told Aurora. Which was about the time the sun went down.
So. Let’s review the facts.
I have a three year old.
Whose first (and last) trailer ride was about a year ago.
We did practice getting in and out of the trailer about six months ago…in the daylight.
Said three year old was lunged exactly once a week ago. And as we stood there was busy racing around the arena getting her yahoos out.
No real training (beyond basic handling like turn out and trimming feet) has occurred since before the whole internal PF fiasco.
Nothing like setting myself up for success! To be fair, I found out Sunday night she would be leaving Tuesday instead of Saturday or Sunday like I originally thought, and along with the extra time that I was going to use to reinforce some foundation training, I thought I would have most of a weekend day during daylight to convince Miss ML that getting in the trailer was an excellent idea.
So, if I put on the list of “problems” that I was a wee bit stressed (and anyone who works with horses knows that is not a good thing for the horse’s success) is that understandable?
As it turned out, it took about thirty min to get in her in the trailer, close the door and drive off. Very reasonable, minimal drama. Don’t get me wrong – she wasn’t WILD about the plan. But being a horse that generally tries to please me and is inherently brave and confident, and since I had learned at previous sessions that head pressure DOESNT WORK and driving from behind does, the session went better than I had any right to expect.
We loaded her all the way on, and unloaded her a couple of times…and then we shut the door.
She immediately went WTF….and started to explore what freedom she had in the confines of the back stall in the trailer.
While yelling at my husband to DRIVE I ran and the trailer and truck doubling checking latches and doors and lept into the moving truck.
Matt drove since I was too busy hyperventilating over every pothole and bump in the awful country roads and eventually we got there….and she was in one piece.
She stood perfect still until asked to unload and unloaded like a perfect lady.
I am continually saved by the fact I own really really inherently GOOD horses. Somehow God has seen fit to reward me with the horses of my dreams instead of the horses I deserve.
I hurriedly gave Amber some information (turns three on Saturday, yes it’s fine if she’s backed, my priorities are that she trailers, ties, and trots behind me on a lead by the end of this training period, blah blah blah) and left ML contentedly munching on hay in the round pen, no worse for wear.
Next up – the first ML update at the trainers!
How exciting! Good luck to your mare!
wooohoo! Our babies are growing up 🙂 glad to be a part of it.
Oh btw im composing these posts in the back of a moving van between ranch calls. It took me two days to find the time so as usual I decided timely and rough was better then nonexistent and “perfect”. Where there Iis a will theres a way! Eighty something days until graduation…
Awww…baby is growing up and learning to be a Big Horse! (Or at least the initial steps. :)) Both you and Aurora sending your baby horses off to the trainer for the initial work has convinced me to do the same on any future youngsters…love the idea of it expanding their brains/comfort zones early on and putting them in a new environment…since new environments are what endurance is all about!
EXACTLY. Endurance really is about learning to handle the new enviornments. Amber said that what she does with her babies is back them at 3 – ie saddle them, get on them a couple times, maybe some short walks, but that is IT until their 4 year old year. So that’s what I told her I wanted for ML. I feel like it will be really nice to work on RIDING her 4 year old year without the stress of her being at the trainers for the first time and learning all the OTHER stuff (new place, travelling etc) at the same time. Also having all this “training” on ML right now will make me more comfortable about taking her out more this year knowing that she will trailer and tie etc. Thus she will get mroe exposure and experience even without the riding then she would if I had waited to do everything her 4 year old year.
Hyperventilating .. ROL.. I do the same thing with the latches, doors. etc. My husband says I am nut but my worst nightmare is a horse falling out of a trailer.. or getting hung up over a divider in there..
It’s always nice when we anticipate things to be worse than they really end up being.. Excited to see how things come along.
I’m just sick to my stomach when I trailer an inexperienced horse and hear bumps and bangs. Was that their leg punchign through the bottom of the trailer? (even though I inspect the floors). Was that falling down and the rope not releasing and now they are chocking themselves? Did the fall half way and get caught under the divider? Did the door come open?
I was a wreck. LOL. Glad to know I’m not the only one.
nope.. your definitely not alone being a worrier when it comes to trailering!!!. I used to be alotworse actually, because I had dealt with TB’s who routinely did dumb things to try to kill themselves it seemed…Then when I got more into the Morgans and Barbs. They just never did anything dumb so I think it was good for me to learn to relax a bit.. however.. with my baby horse , I can tell all my old “worries” tend to rear their ugly heads..He is half TB! I try to remind myself that Otto shipped from Missouri and the hauler said he was a total rockstar about hauling. he had NEVER even been in a trailer before that day so .. I guess there is hope???
Wow baby horse is growing up! Looking forward to updates!!