Friday, July 03, 2009

Lessons in Patience

Bar, Lena Rey, and I all had lessons in patience today. Truth be known, it may actually have been hardest on me.

The idea for today's training solution came out of a conversation with Ike and Cheri last week about Lena's trailer antics. We'd like to start taking longer trips with them, but with her current tendency to bang back and forth and paw after about 45 minutes in the trailer, we couldn't figure out how we were going to get there.

When we described what was going on, they thought it sounded like an issue with patience. Cheri asked us how Lena tied, and we (me) admitted a little sheepishly that she didn't--or didn't tie well, at any rate. Cheri and Ike suggested we work the horses, give them a bath, then tie them up to the trailer--hooked to the truck--then sit back and leave them there.

So, Steve and I went to the barn armed with lunch, our books, and camp chairs. We followed the prescribed plan, fully expecting Lena to be the worst based on her trailer behavior and our experience post-trail ride where Bar tends to relax and hang by the trailer and Lena tends to paw, dance, and swing side to side.

However, besides me, Bar was definitely the most challenged in this exercise, though Lena had her moments, too.

He swung back and forth and pawed, pulled back some, but not too badly. That's all Steve let me watch. Lena swung back and forth, too, but mostly settled out besides pestering Bar and running her teeth down the metal plating on the front of trailer.

But eventually, despite my anxiousness and fidgeting as well as that of the horses, they did settle down after about 45 minutes and just stand there, swatting flies with their tails and snorting.

Huh, I thought to myself. Maybe we can actually take them camping!

We didn't end up hooking the truck up to the trailer, but it was there in reserve if we had needed to and we were close by. The thought behind that was that they aren't quite that bad about being tied, and we didn't want to hook the truck up and have them think we were going somewhere and than not have that happen.

Though it might be good to be sure we are parked somewhere soft that will allow trenches to be built.

And, yes, I survived seeing his big brown butt swinging around, worrying about him being tied too tightly, thinking he wasn't ready for this, that I was betraying his trust, blah, blah, blah.

He did give me a little trouble when I untied him, started to get pushy, and danced around, but I just redirected his feet, made him trot around me and back up, until he decided perhaps he was going to be okay after all.

And Jess learned she can leave her horses to dance a little and they will in fact be just fine.

Patience may indeed be a virtue, but it is not easy. For the horses, or for me, apparently. But we are all learning.

Next steps--Point Reyes for duration, and pitching a tent at Peter's while they're tied to the trailer for more practice.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good idea to break it down into small steps for them. I like the pictures!