I was supposed to be writing a mostly triumphant post today. My plan was to haul to McIver and try our newly booted hooves at our first out and about trail ride together. Maybe a few bobbles, some lessons learned, but I was optimistic…overly, as it turned out.
Remember when I mentioned building that partnership is occasionally at odds with the stupid human things I need to ask Tarma to deal with? Today was a “back to square one for a bit” sort of day. I washed Tarma’s legs down (she’s already getting more comfortable with this, bit by bit), put her boots on and lead her down to the trailer. Success today was not an easy haul to McIver; success today was two front hooves in the trailer and a very long cool down period (plus a wrenching cry), followed by a successful at home trail ride.
I really struggled today ya’ll. All my hopes and plans with Tarma include that trailer. I can’t have her convinced she isn’t safe on it or that it doesn’t lead to good things. I had a real battle today, not necessarily with Tarma, but with the training methods I know and the training methods I think will relax her enough to trust me. Neither worked today, and I think back to what a friend told me, and the real struggle between learning the better methods: you can’t build a trusting relationship if you can’t take no for an answer (hope I got that close enough V!) Of all the stupid human things I ask Tarma, trailering cannot be optional; evacuating Flash from the wildfires, though the barn was never quite directly threatened, showed me that. Her farrier is also in Washington, so she needs to load at least once a month.
Clearly we’ve got a lot of work to do. My barn owner, who had a similar mare, pointed out it could be Tarma’s sense of self preservation that kept her off the trailer today, as good a guess as any. I lost hope for a bit that we can reach my dream of hopping on the trailer and exploring far flung trails together. There’s still hope however. After a solid cooling off period, I tacked Tarma up and we once again wandered down along the river, on a loose rein with no reservations, no resentments. Tarma still checked in with me, accepting carrots and rubs, and moved out without hesitation.