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Trailer Loading and Carrots

September 25th, 2015 by admin

Don’t fear failure, fear accomplishing nothing!  This tip today is focused on women and how they allow their fear to get in the way of successful progress with their horse. 

I study horses and people who own them.  No, I did not take a college course to learn how to do this, it just evolved as my business grew and I began watching more and more people.  What I’ve learned is that fear can mask its self in many different ways and a lot of women don’t even realize they have it.  Usually the ones who don’t realize fear need it most.  So not to risk telling true stories about situations I’ve witnessed at my stable, I’ve decided to just mention a few of my own.

Years ago when I lived in Colorado I decided to take my aged QH Brick to a clinic that the community college was hosting.  The clinician was well known in the area and I thought it was time for me to step out of my comfort zone and learn a few new things.  My husband worked away and my son was in school so I was left alone to hook up the trailer and load my own horse myself.  Looking back it seems obvious to me now that I should have at least practiced these two things before attempting them solo but I did have determination and that should surely count for something. 

I had a 2 horse bumper pull (how hard could that be to hook up by yourself?)  After getting in and out of my truck at least 75 times to alien the darn thing I was already sweating profusely.  Now it was off to get Brick…I almost hate to even admit this but I had never loaded him myself.  I was always the one behind him smacking a lung line on the ground to encourage him to step in while my husband nearly pulled his head off on the other end.  I glance at my watch; I had an hour to get him loaded and drive to the fairgrounds.  Should be a piece of cake!  Well, I won’t bore you with all the details as I’m sure you’ve guessed by now that I was grossly unsuccessful and did I mention the part about how much I was already sweating?

I ran to the house and grabbed a bag of carrots, ran back to the trailer only to discover that I couldn’t find my horse.  Would you believe that I was actually dumb enough to think the first place he might have went was in the trailer?  Don’t answer that.  I finally found him in the barn relaxed and eating hay.  I grab his lead line and he jogged nicely with me back up to the trailer where I was quick to show him the carrots.  He seemed VERY interested in them and I felt a hint of hope arise in my heart.  It took about 20 minutes but finally he stepped in.  Once in, I jumped out the escape door, ran to the back end of the trailer, slammed the door shut, and took 5 seconds to do a few fist pumps to celebrate my success before I turned the truck on and fastened my seat belt.

We’re off.  First thing I did was turn the air conditioner on full blast, took a couple deep breaths, found some rock and roll on the radio to get myself relaxed for this exciting learning experience that I had so anticipated…..and that is when the question hit me.  What had I done with the remaining bag of carrots?  I begin looking around the cab of my truck, nothing.  I start tossing everything on the seat next to me onto the floor, still no carrots.   I try looking in my rear view mirror to make sure Brick was still there. Adrenalin can be a funny thing, I was certain I couldn’t see him.  Panic set in immediately as the thought came back to me that when I jumped out the escape door I had forgotten and left the bag of carrots in the hay manger right in front of my horse.  With the fairgrounds in sight I wasn’t even sure I should pull in.  I was pretty confident that Brick had ingested the plastic bag which had suffocated him, causing him to fall to the trailer floor which would explain why I couldn’t see him in my rear view and that he was dead.  You may be laughing but I fully believed all this to be true.  By now I’m more then extremely hot!

In conclusion, Brick wasn’t dead; however he had eaten every last carrot along with the plastic bag and was calmly standing there waiting for my to unload him.  I should have been thrilled, after all my horse was alive!  But no, the only thing I could think about was how on earth I would ever get him loaded back up without more carrots. 

This is not the way any person should go about going to their first horse clinic and it set the tone for the entire day.  Perhaps I will tell that story at a later date but the point I want to make is that I was terrified to go to this clinic even thought I truly wanted to experience a clinic and learn how to be a better horse woman.  I allowed my fear to make me procrastinate because I was certain that by the start of the clinic that I would make some excuse not to even attend because everyone else there would be so much better then what I was.   Fear of failure is a big issue, especially with women and we feed off that fear until we just accept our short comings and do nothing to change.  Turns out that this clinic made me realize how much I didn’t know and it lit a fire in me to change the relationship between me and my horse. 

So women I will say this again….Don’t fear failure, fear accomplishing nothing.