Tonight I wanted to work on trailering again because we have signed up for our first HT and the only place we can work on our stadium is at the haul-in arena. So I implemented some of E's training methods tonight:
1) Ask in small steps
2) Don't increase pressure, continue to ask until you get a try to what you want
3) Make it the horse's choice, do not force it
It was really interesting to see how Koda worked through this. He knew what I was asking for, but he was a touch nervous about so I broke it down into steps. The ideal - keep the same pressure on the lead rope, and wait for him to make the right choice. I only had one rule - he had to continually listen to me. No looking other ways, no losing focus, no calling, no grazing, focus only on me. Koda knew exactly what I wanted, and he was getting very frustrated with me, making him choose instead of forcing him into the trailer. After a bit, he put both fronts on the trailer - released pressure and let him relax. Right before he put those feet in the trailer, he did the equine version of the eye-roll and "really mom?!?!". It was hilarious.
Now to make this post short and hopefully it isn't tl:dr already, we got him in the trailer nice and calm with the only pressure on Koda being a slight pressure on the lead rope and clucking/kissing. I think with a few more sessions like tonight, we'll be back to where we were with no loading issues and just on we go with no issues.
Happy Monday everyone!