After getting a bunch work done to winterize the barn, I was going to trailer my Gelding, Rain, over to my friend Sara's arena down the road. However, some of the winterizing work being done involved my brother running a bobcat (scary horse eating machine) and a bunch of new dirt. For a horse, walking on a new surface in a familiar place is a BIG DEAL. Add to that students arriving and horses being moved all over the place, the barn today is a perfect storm of reasons to have a bad day for any gelding, let alone a spirited one like Rain.
I knew it would be difficult to get Rain from the pasture to the trailer with all these distractions, so I brought treats with me. He was happy until his herd I was walking him away from, began to run in the opposite direction. He tried to rear and spin to go run with them. I asked him to walk toward the scary, scary bobcat and he did. I gave him another treat. As we were walking past the bobcat, the machine backfired and he skittered to the side, onto the fresh dirt that immediately sank under his hooves. So he jumped forward snorting, half in a panic.
The trailer is waiting and today he was assigned the first spot, which he's never been in. So shaky and snorting, and trying his hardest to be a good boy, he followed me in and once we got into the angled first section, he panicked and tried to run backward. He did this every time I attempted to tie his lead rope to the ring. So eventually, I looped his rope over and pushed him to the side, hoping he didn't do something stupid on the short trip over, because at least he's in the trailer.
We get everyone else loaded and get over the bridge to Sara's place and unload. Rain, as soon as all his new trailer friends are gone, has his head down and is trying to crawl under the divider panel!
I get him out before he has a chance to do something incredibly stupid while trying to crawl under, like get stuck, or injured or both. My poor guy stands there shaking, clenched up so bad that all the muscles in his hind end are standing out.
At this point, with this many scary things happening, your horse's eyes are rolling around in his skull, and he's just HAD IT, sometimes it's better to just stop and say, "Okay, we did a lot of things, let's just go home and forget any of this happened."
Instead, because I'd been sick for so long, I decided to saddle up anyway and ride. Once in the saddle, he took a big sigh of relief, relaxed into a nice happy trot, and we had one of the smoothest rides we've ever had until. . .a chicken on the other side of the fence scared Sarah's horse, who spooked, which spooked Rain and he tripped over himself and fell onto his knees, got back up and the goodest boy he is, just went right back to work as though nothing had happened.
One of the most eventful days with a horse and one of the nicest rides I've ever had. I do love my boy Rain, he is a gentleman and a sweetheart through and through and extremely good at taking care of his rider. For all the scary things that happened, not once was I afraid for myself.