I was afraid Little Love wouldn't even go near the trailer today, but she did. She walked up the ramp confidently and went straight for the bucket. I closed the back bar and she was fine. Then I lifted the ramp up and she decided it was too much. She walked of the front of the trailer and stopped to look at me.
I put the back down again, opened the bar and fetched her. She came back to the ramp and walked in again. I closed the back bar and walked to the front. Then I closed the front bar. She was still eating the grain (I was holding the bucket in front of her), but was moving around nervously and lifting her head to look back, as if she was making sure the ramp was still down. Once she had finished the grain, I walked out of the trailer and laid the bucket on the ground. Little Love leaned into the front bar and her gaze was fixed on me. I decided not to push her any further, so I walked up the front ramp and undid the chest bar. She waited very politely until I gave her the signal to move forward, then she marched down the ramp in a very composed manner.
So, the good thing is that she still went in, despite the panic from yesterday. When I saw her reaction to the ramp coming up behind her, I realized that to truly get her over all her fears towards the trailer and traveling would probably take a lifetime. We don't have that, since in less than three weeks she will be traveling to what probably will feel to her like the end of the world.
While I soaked her feet and she ate hay, I talked to her about the journey and how it is a necessary evil on our road to hopefully an even better life together. I told her I was stressing out about it, too, but that I knew she was strong and would get through it. I told her I knew how scared she was of the transportation vehicles, but that going into them without a fight was paramount for her own well being. Because not going in was really not an option. Little Love chewed her hay, but twice she lifted her head up and touched my arm. I know she gets it, but I also know that once that panic sets in, there is not much logic to what she will do and how she will do it. I might have to take a bottle of Valium before this is over, to keep myself calm when my horse is going completele out of her mind. I can just imagine pulling her out of the trailer in France in a strange place only to ask her to load into a huge horse truck five minutes later. Yikes. That will be a test of my ability to stay calm in the moment. Valium sounds like a good option for the owner...