This was supposed to be an easy day after a slightly challenging one yesterday. And it was. The trailer was down beside the paddock where it started yesterday. Both back doors were open and Atty’s side door was open. The truck’s engine was off.
Atticus loaded onto the trailer just fine after I got into my proper position! Then I went to feed the other horses and came back. He had gotten off to look around but got back on again when I got to his side door.
We then practiced our usual standing in the trailer routine: Can I walk to the back of the trailer without his stepping back? Yes. Can I shut the right side back door? No problem. Up front to CT. Wait for him to target his boat bumper and CT each one. Throw in a small handful of treats while I walk to the back and hook up the butt bar. Check. Walk up front to CT for looking at me. Wait for the targeting and click and treat each one. Throw in a small handful of treats and go close the left-hand back door. Check. Up front to CT for looking at me. Wait for targeting and CT each one.
Now do it all in reverse. Can I walk back and open the back door without his stepping backwards? Yes. Walk up front for the routine – CT, targeting, CT. Can I walk back and unhook the butt bar without his backing up? Yes! Walk up front for the routine. Can I walk back to cue the back off without his backing up before the cue? Yes! He then backed off on cue.
He did get on a second time and we repeated the process. However, when we got to the backing off on cue, he didn’t. I cued him once and he thought about it but went back to eating. I waited five seconds. I cued him a second time and he thought about it again but went back to eating. I waited another five seconds. I cued him a third time and he slowly backed off.
All in all a very good day. 🙂