Two weeks ago, Mica got to participate in his very first clinic, at my friends Jody and Marty’s place in Berthoud, which is only 20 minutes away.
I had practiced loading Mica into Rich’s trailer the last time Rich had come out to my place to help me, and everything had gone well. He suggested a practice trailer loading session for me and Mica on our own a few days before the clinic to make sure we would be able to get there! Two days before, Mica had gone into the trailer for me 3 times, allowed me to shut the door, and so I felt that we were ready.
On Saturday, I got up early to give myself lots of time, and put some sweet feed in a tub and shook it to get both horses’ attention. I then took out this into their corral so that I could catch Mica more easily. Both horses were very eager to have the sweet feed, and I quickly caught Mica as Cremosso ran around the pen. I practiced leading and sending him, then loaded him a couple of times before tying him and then closing the trailer doors. This was his first time trailering by himself, and my first time trailering him. He called to his buddy Cremosso, who called back, but settled down and was quiet in the trailer as I drove.
Once we had arrived and parked, Rich led Mica over to his trailer for a little primping and preening for his debut – clippers were not an issue!
Then the clinic began, and Mica stood quietly as Marty and Rich spoke.
Then Rich led Mica up to a wooden ramp/bridge, and Mica looked then stepped onto it.
After that Rich took Mica up to a blue tarp, and Mica looked, pawed it, then walked onto it. Rich very patiently waited for Mica to figure things out on each obstacle he led him up to – he did not chase him, drive him or force him in any way, but led him and sent him, and let Mica take his time. There was no fear in Mica’s eyes, no alarm, just a curious colt who trusted his handler, and so was content to go where he was led.
My favorite moment was when Mica peeked through the “curtain” which was scary enough to give any horse pause! He pushed his nose though, then moved his body after.
There were also flowers lining a walkway with a tarp underneath, and Mica looked at it carefully, then slowly started through.
There were more obstacles that Mica went through, but the underlying theme of the day for him, and for me, was that if a horse trusts you and you give them confident direction and leadership, and enough time to figure things out, then really anything is possible. Even for a yearling mustang colt named Mica.