Today I decided to push the trailer loading business a little bit further. Becky and I hooked up the trailer, loaded Little Love and while I was standing inside the trailer with Little Love, Becky drove it forwards about 30 feet (10 meters). The second the trailer started moving, Little Love started going into panic mode. She stopped eating the grain, her head came up and her body started to quiver. Then she screamed to Col and broke into a light sweat. Her eyes were the size of dinner plates and breathing like she had just come off the race track. By the time Becky stopped, she no longer was paying attention to me, but was completely lost in her own world, where everything and anything can and will go wrong.
While Becky parked, got out of the car and walked around to the trailer door, I focused on my breathing and trying to stay present in the moment. Not easy when you have a horse in front of you that looks like she is about to climb over the chest bar at any moment. Little Love became especially frantic when Becky opened the front door. I grabbed her halter, trying to get her to settle down enough for me to lift the chest bar. Somehow I actually managed to back her up two sticky steps. Once the bar was lifted, though, there was not much to hold her back. She rushed out of the trailer.
When she was out of the trailer, she realized she was still at home. This took down the panic a notch, but she was still fairly frantic, plowing left and right with her eyes on sticks. I didn't waste any time; I walked her past the house, into the barn (where Col greated her) and let her loose into the field. Within seconds Col and her had taken off cantering and turned the corner into the big field.
It will be interesting to see if she will go into the trailer tomorrow. Because the plan is to hook it up again, but not drive it. I just want to give Little Love the opportunity to go back in and not have a reason to panic. Becky suggested we load Col, too, and perhaps drive the down the road or something. I think that's a good idea, but first I want to take a step back and have her in the trailer without it moving. I'm sure the experience today gave her quite a bit to think about and I hope she did some reflecting in the pasture.