|Heather and Bunny on Lone Fir Road, Christmas Eve|
|Blue, unimpressed with the Kuda saddle|
|This one's for Cartman, Pinky and Dazzby. I know how much they like red hair.|
|Heather on Christmas Eve: She says a Christmas Eve ride is a family tradition of hers. Her parents used to send the kids on a trail ride with a picnic on the day before Christmas to get them out from underfoot. :)|
|Me and Blue on Christmas Eve|
|Another shot of us on Lone Fir. The part we did was 3.5 miles gradual uphill... then turn around and do 3.5 back down.|
|Those are the Blue Mountains in the background. Nevermind that they're pink. :)|
The Christmas Eve ride on Lone Fir was a big success. It's a pretty hard ride for us, especially this time of year, but both horses were game. And you won't find a better road for conditioning. There are maybe five houses total, so it's a very low-traffic neighborhood. The way I see it, the long, gradual uphill builds cardio and the long, gradual downhill helps with balance. It's a win-win!
The day after Christmas, we took them up to Madame Dorion and kept up a blistering 8mph pace. OK, the speed itself is not too notable. Bunny could easily do double that. The thing that was notable was that we never let up. There was no slowing down or stopping for naughty behavior or equipment malfunctions. The whole thing was very steady. From deep sand, up and down steep hills, onto limestone gravel, we just kept going. Very, very steady.
Well, anyway the riding was steady. Not so much the ride over.
Gradually, Bunny has been getting less and less trailer-friendly. She left a hoof chip in there after our last trip to dressage lessons with Anna. She banged herself up a little on the way up to Lone Fir on Christmas Eve. At Madame Dorion, she came out of the trailer soaked in sweat and wedged against the door. She got back in willingly enough, but that was the last time. All the way there and all the way back, she banged around, barely keeping her feet under her and pulling pretty hard on my steering. Something was clearly not right with Bunny in that trailer.
Since the Dorion trip, Heather and I have done two training sessions with Bunny just to get her into the trailer. Everything is parked and chocked. It's going nowhere. But the first time we go her in and shut the butt bar behind her, she had a full-on panic attack.
I have never seen a horse lose it in the trailer quite like this. It's a little two-horse cracker box trailer, so there's nowhere to go. After banging on the door and leaning and blowing and snorting and shying and head-tossing, she did the damnedest thing—she dropped to her knees, then dropped her rear-end. And she lay there, quiet as a lamb waiting for the slaughter. That moment of respite gave me enough time to unhook the but bar. As soon as she heard it, she was out of the trailer like a flash. I don't even remember her standing up. Just one minute she was on the floor, the next she was outside.
It took a good half-hour to get her all the way in again. And she'd back out immediately. If Heather so much as touched Bunny's rear, as if closing the door, the poor horse would tremble. And if Heather applied pressure, Bunny would bolt back out.
So that's where we are. I don't think it is a trailer problem. Blue has been completely unfazed throughout, and both horses have ridden in both stalls. I took Blue to the lake by himself on New Years Eve, and he was in and out of the trailer, same as always. No banging around on corners or anything.
Even so, I'm going to call The Trailer Place and see if they can go over it front to back... just in case. It's due for repacking anyway, and it needs some cosmetic fixes after both Bunny and Sinwaan have done their best to remodel the interior with their hijinks...
Is it just a fluke that my horses are all good travelers?