First of all, I want to reiterate how much I wish I had purchased a stock trailer instead of my diagonal haul with ‘tack in the back’ trailer.
I mean, if you have a perfectly trained trail horse – and that is all you will ever do with your horses (which is what I thought when I purchased my trailer) – then a two-horse diagonal haul is a fine trailer.
But… sometimes things change and not all of the horses you may haul will be mannered, trained and healthy. So, I’m just sayin’…
Oh, and I think some horses are claustrophobic, just like we are, so get the wider and taller version.
OK, BACK TO WRIGLEY!
Wrigley was in training in Grass Valley for the last 5 months. Unfortunately, the trainer and he weren’t a great match.
Yes, he is green broke and yes he certainly knows more than he knew before… but Jerily just didn’t know what to do with him. She didn’t find his joy or aptitude. He wasn’t her kind of horse and she probably wasn’t his kind of trainer.
I knew I had to work harder to find Wrig’s muse. Wrigley is too young and too busy to not have something fun to do.
CATTLE HORSE, MAYBE?
Remember a while back (Valentine’s Day) I went on a group ride at the Work Ranch? (story linked here). Well, the Work Ranch (FB) is only about 12 minutes from our new house… So, when I was preparing and looking for a ranch sitter/feeder, I texted them to see if they had recommendations.
The daughter, Mattie Work, got back to me and she said that she would house sit whenever we needed. If you remember, on that Valentine’s Day ride, Mattie was my group’s guide. She was awesome!
Anyway, Mattie came to the new house and met all the horses.
I told her about Wrigley and she said that she’d LOVE to work with him. Evidently, she has been training ranch and rodeo horses for a long while.
Did she train the horses on her ranch, I asked.
Hmmmmm. All the horses on their ranch were very well trained… so I got to thinking…
She also trains horses at the University of California Cal Poly which is the big AG college in San Luis Obispo (the closest big town).
So, I asked the questions one asks when grilling a trainer, and she passed. The next test would be bringing out Wrig and having her hold him and meet him – without me saying anything.
So I did. I brought his fancy self out.
Mattie said that Wrig was different than any horse she had ever trained (high headed show Morgan), but he was quick and responsive… which she liked, and that he might have fun doing gymkhana or jumping.
I told her that I didn’t know what Wrig would love, but the fact that she wasn’t in the Morgan world would open up a whole new set of opportunities for him…
Mattie said she would get his ground manners solid (they’re pretty good but he tends to get too close to the human when he’s nervous) and that she’d ride him on their 12,000 acre ranch, daily. Mattie said she’d use him to gather cattle and all the other ranch chores. In working with him on a daily basis, she was fairly certain she’d figure out what he liked to do.
SO I DROPPED HIM OFF ON SATURDAY!
Now we circle back to why I wish I had purchased a stock trailer.
Wrig hates to load into my trailer. He loads into bigger trailers just fine. In fact, he loaded and offloaded several times on the trip down here.
But, he and I don’t load well together in my trailer. And, I hate to do it alone because I get nervous and he senses that and blah blah blah. Besides, it could be dangerous if I got trapped in there with him.
So, I got everything prepared … I had Wrig calmly tied to the trailer, eating… I had Finn right there with him to make sure Wrig felt secure… and Mattie came down to help me load Wrig.
She did it on the first try. A very good start!
I drove him to the ranch. Wrig was wringing wet when we got there, only 20 minutes later. Sigh.
Anyway, Mattie took him into the ginormous arena (could land a plane) and settled him down. Then she put him away surrounded by all the tenured ranch stock. I could just hear their banter at the new kid. Poor Wrig, he is a fish out of water on a ranch… he’s only seen a cow from afar, he knows nothing of ropes or riding the range or having a job.
This should be very, very interesting!