The boys are still doing okay, but since I haven't been able to spend much time with them, they have regressed in their training. That's hard to imagine, since they didn't really know anything to start with. Both of them have managed to put me in the dirt recently, plus Khyber managed to smash my foot.
Boone had been slowly regressing for while as he went into a bucking phase and then a, "I don't want anyone to get on me" phase. One day, while trying to mount him he lurched forward as I put my foot in the stirrup. My glove got caught on the brass peg on the back of the saddle, which caused Boone to take off in a panic. Fortunately, my glove ripped before he dragged me too far, but I landed hard and not well. I drove him around the pen for a while, but he wouldn't stand still after that and became increasingly agitated. Some days it's just best to back off.
A few days later, on a rainy day, I was feeding the boys out in the small pasture, when they started running around playing grab-ass, the way horses do when its raining. Khyber started galloping toward me as he tried to get away from somebody else. I threw up my hands to ward him off and he stopped pivoted 180 degrees and galloped off in the other direction. The only problem was that he was on my foot while he was pivoting. He didn't break my foot, but it sure felt like it.
The following week, I tried riding Khyber and didn't have any problems with mounting and dismounting and he did well at the walk. He started picking up the rein and leg cues and since we had been over this ground previously, figured it was time to try it at a trot. You know, just a few yards, and then back to a walk. Khyber took about two steps and then squealed and starting bucking. Thinking this was the easy horse,I was unprepared and he caught me off balance and put me in the dirt again. At that point, I decided I needed to hire a trainer.
Boone and Khyber are young horses and, although they are good horses, they need more attention than I can give them. A couple months of training should bring them back to normal.
However, I decided that I would continue with ground training, including loading into a trailer. So today, I practiced putting them into our stock trailer. I took Khyber first as he is the braver of the two, and after a little hesitation, he loaded. Boone stepped in a little quicker since Khyber was already in. Then, I removed Boone, who got nervous and vaulted out of the trailer. Okay, fine. At least he had gone in. I got Khyber out and then tied them to the side of the trailer and groomed them. Then, I loaded them both back in. Khyber went first again, and this time loaded without hesitation. Boone went in just as easily. Unfortunately, Boone wouldn't come out again. He was afraid to step down out of the trailer even though it was only about twelve inches high. I took Khyber out, thinking that Boone would follow. Nope. He looked at the edge and stuck his foot out a couple times, but couldn't make the step. He even tried to back out like he had in the trailer he came in that had a ramp. He was probably thinking that maybe if he backed out a ramp would appear.
I eventually took Khyber away and put him in his pen, leaving Boone to stand there looking forlornly out of the back of the trailer. He may as well have been standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon. I even tried coaxing him out with horse treats. No way. He just wasn't coming out. I finally had to back the trailer against a sloping piece of ground so that there was no step. He came out with ease then. Unbelievable. Who ever heard of a horse that wouldn't come OUT of the trailer. God help me.
You think you've seen everything and then something like this happens. This job never gets boring.