Today’s session was supposed to be easy and short. I was just going to work on backing onto the pedestal near the trailer and not load onto the trailer at all. Atticus had other ideas! The trailer was already open and he just walked on. Yesterday, the trailer moved 20 feet. Today the rig is closer up to the barn and the truck engine is not on. Apparently it didn’t bother him. 🙂
Again, my thought was to keep it short and sweet and I thought I’d just ask him to back off again right after he loaded. He thought about it, but didn’t. At that point, I acquiesced to his desires and we went through and practiced all the skills related to loading that we’ve practiced thus far: Walk back and touch a hock, walk back and rattle the butt bar, walk back and hook up the butt bar, walk back and close the door. Then do it all in reverse. Please see a detailed description from a couple of days ago.
Once he backed off after the end of that set, we went to play with backing onto the pedestal and practiced fly spraying at liberty and while on the pedestal. From there he wanted to get on the trailer again.
This clip is of the last bit of session where he wanted to get on again. We compressed the chain to the final form of the behavior: get on, butt bar up and door closed. The reverse is: door open and butt bar down and wait for the back off cue.
I think we were successful! Have I mentioned that I think my horse is brilliant? 😀