Join us out in the field for the next installment of trailer play (not training!) where we have no agenda and we simply let the horses be in charge of everything! In fact, my real agenda is to help the horses heal from all their previous trailer trauma, by letting them do everything at their own pace and creating a really positive, play-space atmosphere around the trailer.
If you missed the 1st Session, click here. As before, this video is in real-time so you can see the rhythm and pace of things:
Jini Patel Thompson is a natural health writer and Lazer Tapping instructor. She began riding at age 2 in Kenya, and got her first horse at age 8 in Alberta, and so continues a life-long journey and love affair with these amazing creatures.
7 thoughts on “Trailer Play – Session #2”
Are you sure you don’t need the trailer to be attached to a truck or what ever so it doesn’t tip?
Excellent question Susan and I will be sure to show this in my next video: The front of the trailer is stabilized by the electric lift that is extended down onto a concrete block. But you’re right, not all gooseneck trailers have this so I will be sure to point it out! Thanks!!
Susan I also double-checked with Maggi and did a bit of research. Maggi said my trailer is safe to use when unhitched. It is new and the hydraulic drop-leg jack is not going to collapse at the front. She said you also have to consider the weight ratio of the horse to the trailer. Mine is not going to tip or move even with heavy Belgians. But loading onto a light-weight bumper pull would not be a good idea – unless you were loading Minis.
This other experienced trailer owner on a forum echoed that advice:
“I agree with this…it really depends on the trailer. My LQ gooseneck is 28 ft long with a heavy hydraulic jack in the front. I have no fear of living in it when it’s not hooked up….we do it when camping all the time…and I have loaded horses into it unhooked. It is a tank though at 10,000 lbs empty. There is a lot of length to it and one horse going in and out the back is not putting much weight on the jack to speak of. My old lighter Trailer that was half that size…no I’d not load a horse without dropping the trailer onto the truck for stability.”
These UK forum responses seem to confirm that advice – in the UK most trailers are smaller bumper-pulls. But some people have stabilized their unhitched bumper-pull by stacking concrete blocks at all 4 corners of the trailer, and you would also want to brace (chock) the tires front and back.
You’ve made me think though, and I think that as the ground softens in winter, I’m going to add some additional stabilization at the corners – just in case 🙂
Again, thank you for the great question!
I love to see how confident, strong and vital they all are. You really just don’t see that often. Either they are wild and you can’t get near them, or they are “desensitized” so they are not themselves anymore! Of course I am generalizing, but I’ve seen horses so desensitized that it feels a big part of who they are has been taken away from them.
It’s so refreshing to see how respected they are and how casual the introduction to the trailer is. Yay!
Thanks Vittoria – it makes me happy that others can see that! We haven’t done anything with the trailer since the rains/cold hit hard. Maybe after the New Year I’ll feel up for playing again. It’s nice to not HAVE to get them ‘trained’ and be able to just do everything in flow 🙂
Actually I’ve been thinking about this more – just the whole ‘wild’ and ‘desensitized’ thing. And then pondering the BLM process for mustangs and the amount of trauma they put those wildies through… I realized that my guys were likely WAY less traumatized than a BLM mustang. Because mine were semi-feral (essentially wild) then driven onto a trailer, door opened at the auction, into a catch pen, driven through the auction arena, there at the auction for max 2-3 days, then driven onto a trailer and door opened again at the safe farm. At no point were they haltered, or injected, or teeth examined, or hooves touched etc. And max 3 days total. What I’ve seen of the BLM process in videos… well, by the time you get a ‘wild’ horse from them, that horse is pretty shut down and traumatized. I’d also be interested to see how your two change when (a) you get your own land (b) you get 1-2 more horses, so they are in a bigger herd – but not a herd of temporary boarders, horses you also own. I think animals are acutely aware of who is their ‘family’ and who is temporary. My thinking is that for a wildie, a herd of two is a very insecure place and death is a very real possibility. But a herd of of 4 or 5 would feel much more secure, thus enabling them to unlock more and feel more safety/freedom. Of course I could be completely wrong! But I look forward to hearing/seeing how things evolve for you over the next few years… 🙂
That is amazing you are writing this today, because just today I was up there with them (at the ranch where they are boarded) and there have been a lot of new mares and geldings (remember mares and geldings are kept separate, and do not really see each other because of position barns, pastures, buildings, etc, unless of course I bring them together, which I have just a couple of times), and I was thinking how stressful this must be, compared to your herd of 5 which is stable and in a stable place.
I was thinking how challenging it must be to re-adjust every time, because as soon as one new horse comes in, ALL the horses and ALL the relationships change. It’s been a great lesson for me to observe that. And of course adding to that is the human factor, the going in and going out every day, which is stressful in itself (they come in as a herd, no halters, which I appreciate, and for the most part it’s great, but there is chaos sometimes because they go into each other’s stalls!…. I have a video of the first day both went out if you ever want to watch! 🙂 .
Today I was there before dusk, and I see how the stress of going in to eat makes them all edgy and they all pick on someone “below” them….and the new ones are having to fight for rank….Some are more adept than others. I am watching an old man, Dusty, he’s over 20, and he’s sensitive. Big, beautiful guy. He’s been there for about a month. He’s been separated from Belle, his love (she’s with the mares, and seeminly well adjusted now), and he’s had a very challenging few weeks. He’s always seeking me out when I arrive.
Then there is Barney who has been separated from Amber, and she’s the one who’s having a hard time being away from him. Luckily Amber and Barney they are “rooming” together in the geldings barn… I could go on! 🙂
I agree about the mustangs at the BLM. Talk about trust broken. I do not know what happened to Denali. We think she’s one of the original wild ones removed from the Sheldon herd in 2004. Helicopter? We don’t know. I tried to find out, but I could not get much. She’s definitely not trusting (but getting so much better), and an animal communicator has told me something happened to her, but we have not quite figured out what. We are working on clearing it. I’ve done some EFT with/for her. Dakota on the other hand was born at the rescue which went awry, and I believe he was handled, as he is a total ham, and goes up to everyone (now more than when he arrived to us).
I knew your horses were semi-feral, but where were they? And how did you find them? I know there’s more coming into my life, Dakota and Denali both need others, and I know I’ll be led to them. Honestly I would like them all now, but I cannot!! I do see 5 all together, give or take a few 🙂 Ha ha ha! 😉