So I have tried several times to do a TND show and it has never worked. Everything from Thunderstorms to the organizers accidentally giving away my times the day before has kept me away. I really needed this show to happen this year though because I have a Green Horse who gets nervous at a shows. I had been obsessing about the weather all week, and sure enough there was supposed to be thunderstorms during my rides. I didn’t care though. I needed to get Lucky out and about so I was going to that show hell or high water.
As I left work the sun was shinning so I smiled to myself thinking how silly I was to listen to the weatherman. As I turned on the road that would take me 40 of my 45 minute drive up to the barn my smile faded. While it was clear and sunny at work, the sky looked black up ahead. Did I mention that I was super determined to get to this show? I figured that thunderstorms only last for about an hour. I had about 2.5 hours until my ride time. I figured would be fine. It was a bit menacing to get out of my car and hook up my trailer in the pouring rain and lightening, but dammit it, I was going to the show!
When I got to Lucky’s I was totally on time. I figured I would give her a solid grooming and that would be enough. When I saw my girl my heart dropped. My Lucky who stays clean for days at a time? She had used the rain storm as an excuse to roll in the mud. She was filthy! It was too cold to bath her with only cold water so I did my best with brushes. At one point I was just moving the very wet mud around. Even after a lot of grooming Lucky still looked a mess. I looked at my watch, it was 4:15. I could just tack her up and not look so show ring ready, or I could keep trying fight the grime. I decided that a positive show experience was more important then looking show ring ready so on the saddle went. The rain had stopped, but I figured Lucky was going to get muddy at the show anyway since the ground was so wet. My goal had been to get to the show by 5. I was walking to the trailer at 4:25. I was so happy.
I marched her towards the trailer ready to have her self load. She started to trot, so I jogged with her until we got to the back of the trailer when I let got. I expected her to trot on. I expected wrong. I was surprised when she stopped dead with only her two front feet on. I had just moved to tap her legs with the whip when she ran off backwards. I was taken aback, but recovered quickly. Clearly I had not been prepared for her to stop and my lack of quick response was why she came off. No big deal. We would just try again. This time I didn’t even get her two front feet on before she tried to rear and jump off sideways. What?!?!?! Lucky is NOT AFRAID of the trailer! On our third attempt I got her two front feet on again, but the tapping of her back legs had her kicking out at me and running off again. We went back and fourth for another 10 minutes. She would slam on the breaks, back up, rear up sideways away from me (at one point I had thought it was my being on the left so I switched sides. Turns out she didn’t care where I was. She just didn’t want to get on the trailer). My arms and back were screaming. I was not letting go when she pulled away which meant that I was getting pulled along with her.
After that first 15 minutes of struggle I decided to go on the trailer with her in case there really was something she was afraid of. So I dropped the chest bar and went back around to put her on. Sure enough she came right up when I was with her. Hmm…so she wasn’t scared. I put the chest bar up and expected her to self load when we came around again. She didn’t. At this point my goals for the evening switched. Instead of doing well at the show my goal became just getting to the show. Lucky had a look in her eye that was telling me she wasn’t getting on the trailer. I had a look on my eye that was clearly telling her she was GOING ON THE TRAILER.
To Be Continued