Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Practicing with the trailer

I have to admit I haven't been out to see Panama much lately — work and end-of-the-month deadlines kept me away more often than not throughout the last two weeks of November. I did manage to stop by on Thanksgiving, but didn't have enough time to do more than give him an apple and spend a few moments with him.

Apparently Panama has missed me as much as I've missed him: When I arrived yesterday, he walked right up to me and followed me around, something he usually only does toward the end of my visits. He walked right into the back pasture with me, too!

The ground was kind of slippery still from the snow we got on Sunday, so I decided to work with Panama on loading onto the trailer, rather than getting a ride in first as I had originally planned. As incentive to load, I put a little of Panama's grain in his dish and set it in the trailer. I then walked into the trailer and stood on the far side of the grain, holding the lead rope.

At first this worked really well. Panama smelled everything, put both front feet in the trailer, and ate about half his grain. He wasn't entirely comfortable with it, and stopped eating to look around a couple of times, but he was more or less okay. But then one of his front feet, which was right on the edge, slipped off and startled him. After that, I couldn't get him to put his front feet in the trailer again.

My plan is to start messing with the trailer almost every day until Panama feels a little more comfortable with it. As he begins to relax a little, I'll start pushing him harder until I can get him to load up. I just didn't want a "do or die" attitude yesterday, since during his most recent trailer experience he was literally dragged in!

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