Tonka did really well with his lessons yesterday. Loaded in the trailer many times, and backed out. The backing out was sure a scary thing for him. But eventually it was no big deal, just something to be cautious about, which is good. When I practiced loading him from the wrong side he backed out a little crooked and bumped his hiney and scared himself twice, but we practiced some more and he did that several times with no problems.
He had to practice standing tied, and this time I took away the tie ring that gives if they panic. He was taking advantage of it and slowly working it down to where he could eat grass. I love the tie ring, it really helped me be more confident that my horse wouldn't get hurt. But I think for long-term tying where they're expected to stand without fidgeting and goofing around, it may not be the best. I can't wait to try it on Lyric, our chronic panicked pull-backer. But back to Tonka. I parked the trailer in front of the house so I could do dishes while watching him. After a half hour he FINALLY stopped fidgeting long enough for me to go out and catch him at his good moment and untie him. Here's how he greeted me, all relaxed and soft-eyed:
I wish I could show you how BIG he's getting, but pictures don't really show it. He's not growing upward as fast, but he's just massive. His shoulder is huge. Bum too. And when he's standing up in the trailer and I'm down on the ground, he's impressive. Here's another picture of his handsomeness.