I was reminded this week of a funny video clip. It is a one-minute commercial that I linked in a previous blog post (see https://thebackyardhorseblog.wordpress.com/2020/04/20/need-a-laugh-watch/). Of all the tricky things about driving a horse trailer, backing up is pretty high on the list.
I took my horses, Bear and Shiloh, on a field-trip this week to a local barn. I asked the barn owner if I could back up my trailer directly to the opening of their indoor arena.
Based on recent visits, Bear was proving sensitive to the new drive-way rocks that were put down in their parking lot. I figured Bear would be more comfortable backing off my trailer directly onto the soft arena footing rather than the rocks. That required me to turn left into the barn driveway and then back up from the driveway entrance to the indoor.
Fortunately, I had a much better experience backing up the trailer than the first driver did on the above-referenced video. I only had to make one big adjustment in the backing up process where I stopped and pulled forward to recalibrate.
As you will soon read, Bear apparently approved of this “rock avoidance” plan. After unloading, I typically hand Bear over to the very capable barn owner while I briefly lung Shiloh in the indoor and then mount at the block. All four of us then walk out the indoor, between the barns and onto the outdoor riding tracks. I continue my ride while the barn owner kindly deposits Bear in the outdoor roundpen that sits at the center of the two oval riding/driving tracks.
Bear’s sensitive hooves were apparently feeling well-enough that he decided to cut loose in the roundpen. He had a good tear and romp. Normally, I love to see my old horse kick-up his heels. When I am on Shiloh’s back? Not so much.
As any rider can surmise, Bear’s excitement level was not lost on Shiloh. Shiloh began what I assume would have turned into his own tear and romp by shaking his head and bouncing into a stiff, high-headed halt. Lucky me, I quickly “put the lid back on the pot” by doing some tight serpentines and changes of direction. Shiloh soon relaxed and let go of the cavorting idea.
From there we went on to have a productive ride. That outdoor track is a great place to practice Shiloh’s gait work. I don’t have a large expanse of solid footing at home so it is quite a treat for me to ride on the track.
I did abandon my plan to take photos while I rode though. It was a windy Fall day, and after our little incident, I thought best to keep my focus on my horse rather than my phone. I missed some really cool shots of his mane dancing off the right side of his neck and folding beautifully over the top and left side as the wind whipped around us. Guess you will just have to take my word for it.
If you have not already, be sure to view the above video. I don’t care how many times I watch it. I still laugh.