Today I failed at laying Dandy down. Or you could look at it another way. First of all, I succeeded at living to tell the tale. I did see the underneath of my colt in way more details than I would have liked to, and I witnessed unsuspected athletic ability from him (this horse has a leap worthy of the best saddle broncs !), but neither of us got hurt, and our bond wasn’t even chipped, far from it.
I wasn’t prepared well enough to achieve this, plus, I got disturbed in the process and had to leave the round pen to another team. But I did get a few things achieved, and I learned what mistakes not to make. Dandy got quite wound up during the process, but he came right back down and we faded the rest of the session into some quieter and easily achieved groundwork. When I brushed him off afterwards, he was quiet as a lamb.
Going back to the paddock we passed the same trailer we had rested by on our way in. We spent some more time hanging around the trailer, moving forward and back one step at a time, doing lateral flexions near the trailer, moving the feet a little going away from it and releasing all pressure going towards it. He got the chance to sniff and check the trailer out a little, and all was well. I left him intently interested in two broodmares put in the nearby paddock.
Initially I felt like I had thoroughly messed up and failed. But the more I thought about how it went, the more I realize we went in there together, we faced the challenges of it together, and we came out at the other end, albeit not the optimum end (which would have been lying down successfully and safely), together. We will probably take another shot at this, later, better prepared, and possibly with help. But either we do it or not, sooner, or later, or not at all, today’s mistakes finally feel like good ones.