I’m a big girl now… – Part 2

So there was no one around at the barn when I arrived. My trainer was up teaching a lesson and everyone else was clearly busy doing something else. I looked at my nervous, but not crazy Mare on the trailer and decided that I would just unload her myself. I put the lungeline on and unclipped her from the ties and prayed that she wouldn’t explode while I was walking back to drop the ramp and the butt bar. She didn’t move at all as I made my way back. In fact, the poor thing was so traumatized that even after she was free she wouldn’t move at all. I went back to her head and with a little coaxing and the promise of carrots she finally stepped off the trailer.

She was up and nervous, but not crazy at all. I had been warned that she had most likely never been in an indoor so I decided I would bring her in there first. The Mare was such a trooper! She might have looked like a giraffe with her head up, but all four feet stayed on the ground the whole time. I brought her down and tacked her up with a big smile on my face. She was being SOOOOO good! I felt comfortable enough with her that I got on by the barn and walked around outside in the hot sun and bugs before we went to the indoor to really ride.

Just like always, my breaks were not so good with her. She was trying to hard though that I couldn’t get upset with her. Who needs to stop right? We went in to the indoor and started working right away on getting her to listen to me and to slow down in all of her gaits. She was actually being better than she was at home so I was a happy camper! The Mare being a TB she broke out into a nervous sweat as soon as I put the saddle on and she wouldn’t settle all the way. I gave her lots of breaks and just tried to stay steady.

My trainer agreed with me that the canter is not going to happen at a show anytime soon. She does think that once I get better control at the walk and the trot the canter will fall into place. The Mare was the best she has even been during my lesson! In fact, we even got the comment from my trainer of “Hey, I think that there is a nice trot in there somewhere”. After we cantered (and I had even got her to go back to a trot in record time) the Mare had a melt down. She has had them before and that is one of out big issues. Once she gets upset I have not been able to get her to calm down. My trainer worked with us and for the first time ever I got my horse back after she lost her brain! Yay!

We cooled off playing with the trail course (I really want to kick butt in the trail class next weekend) and headed down to the barn to hose my hot, sweaty and stressed Thoroughbred off. I put her shipping boots back on and asked my trainer to help me load her up again. I walked over to the trailer full of confidence with her tiredly walking behind me. I took a breath and marched up the ramp…and guess what? She marched up RIGHT BEHIND ME!!!!!!!!!! YAY!!!! My trainer was in such shock it took her a minute to get the butt bar up! I gave her lots of kisses and hugs for being such an amazing girl!

She still had a hard time standing on the trailer on the way home, but I think that will come with time and more trailer rides. I was soooooo happy with the lesson and the day as a whole! I think the best part is that I got her back after she got upset during my lesson. I am also thrilled that she trailered as well as she did! I am going to need help on Saturday loading her and unloading her (anyone want to groom for me?) but other than that I think that we are all set for the show.

And I must say that I am very, very proud of myself! Trailering in for lessons used to be a scary event…I found out on Saturday that now it is just something I can do 🙂

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5 thoughts on “I’m a big girl now… – Part 2

  1. Good for you and the mare! Sounds like a pretty good day all in all. I’m willing to bet that with more consistent trailering and lessons she will be a dream. That was a lot for her to handle for the first time in a long time and she did pretty well. Nice girl.

  2. If Tucker and I weren’t showing on Saturday I would totally groom for you! I hope you find a helper. All in all this sounds great — and I have always felt like one of the biggest accomplishments is getting a horse to come back to you after they lose it a little. Signs of a truly great horsewoman! Good work — both you and The Mare (TM?).

  3. Do you know if the mare has ever been checked for/treated for ulcers? It’s not actually typical for a TB to really be that nervous. High energy, yes, but not so nervous. And you sound like you have a penchant for calming them. My tendency would be to guess her stomach’s not happy about trailering and new places, rather than that she’s truly a nervous nellie. (No, I have zero medical expertise. I only know things based on the recent discussion with my vet about my horse’s sometimes nervous tendencies, and what he thinks we should do for him. Answer: ulcerguard away from home, because his at-home behavior shows no indication of the same nervousness which controls him away from home.

    Congrats on doing well regardless! Sounds like you really did a great job!

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