After it cools down in the evening, the dogs and I make the nightly pilgrimage to my new trailer. It's still like an unwrapped present under the Christmas tree. I can see it and touch it and feel it, but I can't quite play with yet! The night before, I checked the lights. They all work. Last night I programmed the radio to my favorite stations. Sitting in the living quarters, taking it all in, I am still surprised at how much space I have and how nice the space is. I may have downsized, but I certainly upgraded. So once the truck is fixed (as best as can be expected) and pulls the trailer to a mechanic to look at a concern we have with a wheel, we will be ready to camp. Considering it is still miserably hot and humid, I don't anticipate this to be any time soon.
But there is another hitch in the program. Seems we have a slight problem with the horses. They won't load. Okay, not totally true. Butter will load. I'll give credit where credit is due. But I don't want to spend the rest of my life riding just Butter. And the others? We'll, we got them in but it wasn't pretty.
You might recall I mentioned that Windy had a bit of a problem with the ramp load when I tried her the other day. Okay "a bit of a problem" might be a bit of an understatement. She hates it. This ramp has rocked her world. It's rocked MY world. The poor mare – she is trying so hard. She'll get her front hooves on the ramp and stand there. And if she doesn't move them quickly, they will slowly slide to the bottom of the ramp like pasta thrown to the wall. Or she will try to place them on the hinge of the ramp in what I can only describe as an effort to hold on, the rest of her body spread over the ramp. Finally, if she goes all the way in – a big if - it is only momentarily and she'll back out quickly. And even that isn't graceful as she has fallen to her knees several times. It has turned my elegant mare into a klutz! It's embarrassing to watch!
Ginger just flat out refused to even try the ramp. She planted those front feet at the end of the ramp and there she stood. No amount of lunging, pulling, releasing hindquarters or popping her on the butt was going to change her stance. John eventually came over to help and what I can only describe as how not to load a horse, she was in. And once there, she stood shaking like we were hauling her to slaughter.
I truly thought Blue would be the worst of them all. When I bought my first two-horse trailer a few years ago, he absolutely refused to even attempt to get in and had ended up throwing himself on the ground in a fit, all thirteen hundred pounds of him. With the help of a trainer, he eventually loaded and has ever since. So when I fetched him and showed him the ramp, I expected a repeat performance of refusal in grand fashion. Oh, he walked through me a few times, but bless his heart, finally took a few steps on the ramp and in he went; much easier than the mares. But I am not going to bank on it happening every time. It was just too rough.
So, if you are keeping score, I have this nice trailer; my dream trailer. But the truck needs some major repairs before it can haul it. We've noticed what could be a problem with one of the wheels on the trailer so we need to have a mechanic check that out before we haul any distance. And our herd of horses, except for Butter, will not load into it.
My first thought was, fix the problem and the problem as I see it is that danged ramp! I called Sundowner to see just what it would take to remove the ramp and put on "normal" doors. Gulp! $1,250 per door! Alrighty then…. Plan B. I emailed the trailer loader extraordinaire whom I mentioned earlier, horse trainer Colleen Hamer of Hamer Horsemanship, and asked if she was ready for another round of Trailer Loading 101. Having watched her success loading Blue a few years ago, I know she can work to calmly get the horses to go up that dang ramp and load in this new trailer. We have an appointment in a few weeks.
It is all coming together v e r y s l o w l y . . . .