In preparation for an off-site clinic (and just in general for adoption), Edward spent some time practicing trailer loading and standing tied recently. These are important skills for any horse to learn, ones that set them up for success in their future home (a home they cannot reach if not by trailer!)
Edward proved a quick study, hopping on and off the trailer like an old pro. But trailering isn’t just getting on and coming off, but standing for the ride without being in a panic. This we achieve by spending lots of relaxing time in the trailer, showing that it can be a place of calm. There will inevitably be unexpected elements of a horse’s journey on a trailer — bumps and jolts and stops that vary with each ride — but to help show them that overall the trailer is not a scary place can be a huge help when the going does get rough.
Tying was also not a problem for Ed, who if anything just seemed a bit confused as to why he was being asked to stand in the arena by himself. We flagged him along the wall for a while after first tying him, showing him that he was free to move laterally if he felt the need to go somewhere, and he performed this exercise smoothly and without panic. Then, he sat for a bit tied and watched as his friend Rae practiced trailering. When we walked by, he would greet us with his typical low nicker, as if to say ‘hey, come over here and untie me!’ but without any hullabaloo whatsoever.
These two exercises help to sculpt Edward into a great horse citizen, and set him up for success in his future endeavors.