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Friday, 26 December 2008

George takes a lorry in his stride

A while back I wrote about George's trailer training. For various complicated reasons I found myself faced with loading him into a lorry at 5am on Christmas Eve. I never believed we'd do it. I'd even pre-briefed the vet about coming to sedate him if necessary. Having assisted with a previous loading the vet didn't reckon we could do it either. But there he is, the big lad on the left in the CCTV picture.

For the trailer training, in the intial stages we had used a natural, no drugs, no drama, sedation technique. My first step for this natural sedation was to put a roller on him - comfy fit, not tight. This I think became a 'cue' because it now makes him calm even without the rest of the technique being invoked (long may this last).

Loading Madam, his best friend, into the lorry first was a huge mistake - she loaded beautifully, but in her excitement she made the lorry shake so much it wasn't safe to load anything else, let alone George.

So we unload Madam, I put George's roller on, and he walks straight in. I've never seen anything like it - not with a horse that has such a history of loading problems. I hope the 'cue' doesn't wear off while he is away. George is currently at Rockley Farm for some specialist foot rehabiliation.

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Southern England, United Kingdom