I was reminded, today, of the first time I trailered Freedom, at the end of January in 2005. I’d agreed to take him on as a foster for CANTER New England, and had driven to Rhode Island to pick him up with a friend. Freedom had been returned from his first adoptive home — from what I remember, he was too high strung for the woman who adopted him. Once she got nervous, he got more nervous. It wasn’t going to work.
Luckily for him, the director of CANTER drove to North Carolina to bring him back to New England. He was a mess. Skinny, bad feet, and terrified. It took some coaxing to get him my trailer. About half an hour into the trip, I decided to stop and get a bite to eat. We parked in the lot of some fast food restaurant where I could watch the trailer from the window.
Almost immediately, he started to weave. Aggressively. The trailer, in response, started to shake. A lot. It was rocking and rolling side to side. People started to notice and I’m sure they wondered what kind of wild animal(s) were in there! I started to question whether fostering this horse was a good idea and gave some thought to bringing him right back. Needless to say, we ate quickly and got back on the road. Thankfully, once we started to move, he stood quietly.
These days, Freedom loves to go for rides. He loads like a dream and stands patiently. He will still weave occasionally when he’s stressed, like when he’s waiting to be fed or we take one of his girls away for a ride. But never in the trailer. It took many months and many trips to get him to that point. It’s fun to look back at how he was and see how far he’s come.