They keep us on our toes, no?
As I mentioned in the last post about her, June has been making major progress. But she is a youngster, so we need to expect some things won’t go perfectly..
June loads into my trailer like a champ. But that’s sort of where the champ behavior ends.
Let me give you a picture of my trailer to help better understand the rest of this post. I have a two horse, straightload, bumper pull. Where some straightloads have a chest bar and then empty space, I have a solid wall, with a flat area, essentially, a manger. There is also a window off the manger.
Hopefully this picture helps
I grew up with straight load trailers. I love them.
But this isn’t a post about trailers. It’s a post of an idiot baby horse.
On the drive to our last lesson I felt my trailer fly around. A few times. But I kept going, thinking there was nothing I could do on the side of the road. When I got to the lesson, June was cut up pretty badly. Clearly she had been having issues in the trailer.
It wasn’t until I practiced loading that I realised what was happening. June was jumping into the manger with her front feet. It wasn’t good or pretty. But I worked on it, and before our next lesson, I felt like the problem was resolved.
I started using shipping boots, just to be safe, and loaded her up for our lesson. We were driving to the trainers barn. About 35 minutes away. About 15-20 minutes into the drive, I felt the trailer sway and pull on the truck. I thought “Oh Shit!” and slowed down so I coud pull over. Then, as I was slowing down, looking to pull off the highway, the trailer pulled to the right, then the left. I looked in my rearview mirror and flipped out.
June had broken the front window open and her head and legs were sticking out of it.
I can’t really explain the panic I felt. I made a hard turn off the hwy, stopped the truck and ran back to the trailer.
Um. Now what?
She was struggling, but I didn’t want her to come further out the trailer.
So I shoved her legs and head back into the trailer and shut the window. “She’ll sort herself out,” I thought.
And thankfully she did.
But she had ripped her leadrope and was now trying to turn around. I grabbed her head, held the halter and called my trainer.
Dana told me to hold on, she was jumping in her truck and would come get us with her trailer.
Because June was acting so agitated in the trailer, I decided to unload her. We were away from the hwy and safe from traffic.
The minute I got her off the trailer she was a different horse. Pretty calm and easy to handle.
About 20 minutes later, Dana arrived and June loaded right into her trailer. She travelled well and when we unloaded her I got to cold hosing her, as she had ripped the area behind her knee(right above the shipping boot) on her right front leg.
She’ll be ok. We’ll all be ok. I have to say though, this was one of the scariest things I have experienced with a horse.
Ugh. Love this face. Some days
I’ve made some decisions based on this experience.
June will be going to Dana’s for full training in October. (The soonest she has an opening). I am selling my straightload with a manger, as there is no way I can ever have her travel in this trailer again and feel safe. I am going to work on all other aspects of this horse and evaluate if I think she is safe and sane for me.
Ironically, her half sister did the same thing when she was a baby. She tried to jump out Sarah’s trailer, over the manger and through the window. Difference is, the trailer was parked. And Rapid wasn’t going down the hwy at 55 mph.
I still really love June. I still believe she is a sensible, capable horse. But as Dana and I were talking post incident, she said something along the lines of “She’s bold. And that can make her great on cross country. But it can also give you a horse that is a lot to handle.”
Yup. Sure can. And I need to figure out if she is sensible and bold, and just green, or if I have signed up for more than I can handle. What I have learned about June is that once I show her something and she understands it, she is great. There’s no problem. But, when she is on her own, or confused about what is being asked, her MO is to plow through things and just push her way through them. I honestly believe that because I couldn’t be in the trailer, teaching her, she went with what she knew. Which was to plow forward.
We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. And I know this is an easy post in which to cast judgement. But what I’d appreciate, are stories where your green horses acted like idiots and how now you can look back and laugh. Cause man do I need a laughable moment right about now.