Last night I decided to have another try at getting Cady into the stable. It was still a 'no' but this time I had more time and decided to perservere while remaining kind (hugely lost my temper with her on Monday which every horse owner knows gurarantees immediate victory. Not)
So I kept asking and after a bit one of the other liveries came over and we started chatting about the issue and she helped by getting a bucket of feed and then sat on the mounting block and we kept chatting as the evening went on which actually helped immensly as it stopped me getting frustrated and giving up.
We decided it was the rubber matting she was frightened of and moved the small square of it directly in front of the stable to one side. But the rest of the stable was still fitted with matting so she still didn't want to go in.
She would stop and have sniff and then as I kept asking her to come forward she'd pull back hard. During one of these moments she accidently stepped one front foot on the mat we'd moved and froze. After about thirty seconds she snatched her leg off it and had a lick and a chew. I think that was the start of her realising I wasn't asking her to walk into a giant hole in the ground. To help matters along we kicked shavings over the front of the mat so she could see it was solid.
We both agreed that in the few minutes after that she looked like she really wanted to at least try and sure enough it wasn't long before she walked into the stable. It was a great moment and I made a big fuss of her and proceeded to lead her in and out about a dozen times.
She ate a little feed in the stable and then I led her back to her field. Driving home after I felt very pleased with the process and the outcome. She wasn't bullied into the stable but went in through her choice. It has given me confidence to do some loading practice with her soon as I think it's the same issue and I'm more convinced we could work through it successfully.
So, a reminder to myself when tackling issues.
1. Have time to work through it
2. Have someone else about for moral support and suggestions. They see things that you don't or agree when there's a moment of progress which keeps you motivated.
3. Be kind. It goes a long way.
Happy horsing everyone x