Daisy and I were quiet, watching Murphyvision. Barbie and Murphy were eating: my brain began marching images of junk food past my inner vision.
I look at Daisy, she’s probably thinking about something more interesting. Gourmet food, minimum. I sigh. Have to get my brain out of the cookie aisle. Murphy and Barbie will be going for Warmblood inspection/approval. Safe, non-food topic.
“When is the inspection, again?”, I say, turning toward Daisy.
“First week in October”, she says. We think about this.
“Road trip?”, I ask, hopefully. It’s a knee jerk reaction: still picturing small bags of chips.
“Nah”, says Daisy, “It’s only like ten miles from here. Get the Doritos out of your head.”
We turn back to Murphyvision. Suddenly, Daisy jerks up straight.
“What?”, I say.
“Inspection?”, Daisy says, “Road trip?”
“And…?”, I think, while a queasy feeling starts gnawing at me.
“Oh. Crap.”, she says, punching numbers into her cell.
It hits me. Road trip?
Murphy has go IN A TRAILER in 3 weeks? Mayday! Mayday!
A few conversations later, we have a plan. Hilary Dorris is going to come begin his trailer training.
Barbie can’t get in the trailer fast enough (she learned self-loading from Hudson) and blissfully eats her way through a ton of hay, grain, and whatever else Daisy can throw in there. Hilary quietly works to get Murphy to put a foot on the ramp.
Murphy’s response: a mild, non-hysterical, “Um. No, thank you. I’ll stay here please.”
It’s good: he’s exposed, would put a hoof on the ramp, and remained relaxed. We’re taking it nice and easy, right?
I’m 15 minutes late for the training session. The rig is facing me, backed into the breezeway between paddocks. I grab my camera and walk carefully toward the trailer: I can’t see what’s happening, and I sure as heck don’t want to reverse progress by walking up and saying “Hi. How’s it going? Oh. He was? Gee. Sorry.”
Hilary waves me in. I’ll have to squeeze into the breezeway by moving a trailer door slightly.
I’m floored by what I see. Really?!? In 15 minutes? On day TWO?
There’s Murphy, standing in the trailer. Perfectly relaxed, hanging out. Maybe ready to yawn. Totally unfazed by moving door and my appearance. He hung out at least a half an hour, completely relaxed: he turned around nicely. Moved away from pressure. Hilary even coaxed him a few steps backward toward the ramp. No intention to make him back out: too soon, just getting comfy.
There was a slight problem with walking out. Murphy preferred, as a future hunter, to jump the ramp. Scary. Tanbark can be slick. He had remedial “this is a ramp. look at it. touch it” lessons.
Murphy: “So boring.”, yawn, “I am a jumper.”
He listened politely. Put a hoof out.
But calmly cleared it like a hunter. I think he landed 8 feet away.
Fine. Ramp lessons. First, mom walks over the ramp.
Then Murphy will walk over.
“That? No way! It’s too high! Dude, I’d have to lift my hoof up like THIS high! I’m thinking not.”
No more pictures. Aunt Jane had to step in and help. To continue safely, we needed an extra pair of hands.
Within a quiet, skillful half hour, Murphy was walking across, on, and standing relaxed on the ramp. The bubble over his head clearly said “Um. What was the big deal here, wasn’t scared. Didn’t much like the thunking noise, that’s all.” Pause. “Can we do something else now?”
Thank goodness Hilary decided to return to horse training! We missed her. She’s going to be blogging as well, which I am excited about. (Great. Tips.) You can find her new blog here, Hilary Dorris Training, with a more detailed version of Murphy in loading training, if you click the link below.
He made Student of the Week. Aren’t you proud?!?
And I think we can all see his color changing: gorgeous!