Yesterday morning we were at the barn while she was unloading stuff from the trailer and truck when we heard an odd hissing sound - one of the front trailer tires was leaking from the valve stem (the cap was still on) - you could put your finger over it and feel the air coming out! This valve stem failure is troubling because we had a similar problem with another trailer tire last year. So my daughter took the tire off so we could take it to be fixed. She used this handy roll-on roll-off trailer jack to change tires - very easy to use and serves as a nice chock behind a wheel if you have to park on a hill:
As soon as we got the tire off, the other tire - the rear tire - showed a low pressure of 30 pounds. All tires had been properly inflated before she left South Carolina and none had showed signs of leaking until now. Once we got the spare on, this took the pressure off the rear tire.
We took the bad tire in and the tire place fixed the valve stem - for free! Now my daughter will take off the back tire and put on the fixed tire, and then we can take the other tire in to have it checked out - it doesn't seem to have a valve stem leak but may have some other problem.
How fortunate that this problem didn't come up on the drive from South Carolina! - she's had to change tires on the road before (we have US Rider roadside coverage which for some reason she didn't use last time) - but it's never a fun experience - the tires are heavy and hard to handle.
This morning was much cooler, with some wind and light rain. And we were going to new pastures, so the horses were all pretty up. I did some leading work with both Misty and Dawn, who both were really focussed on getting to the pasture - if I had let either one go they would have galloped all the way!
I try to be very clear with the horses about what I want when I lead - when I'm leading a single horse I want the horse to walk behind me on a loose lead while staying out of my personal space, which I define as an arm's length, and to stop when I stop. If a horse is having trouble with this, I focus on the feet, never the head, since my objective is to stop the feet.
To do this, as I am leading, I don't let the horse creep up on me and I check the brakes by stopping and turning to face the horse. I watch the feet as I turn - I want one front foot to stop moving and the second front foot to come to rest at a point that doesn't pass the first front foot. If the second foot goes too far, or if the horse is in my space, I ask for the horse to move out of my space by getting big - I raise my energy and step towards the horses, and if necessary, make noises (hissing works well) and/or throw my hands up in the air (not at the horse) to look bigger. I don't push on the horse with my hands or use the lead rope at all - the horse needs to decide to move just from the pressure of my body and presence.
In almost all cases, the horses pick this up almost instantly - very soon, the horses are slowing down if I even glance over my shoulder, and stop instantly if I turn around. I think the key is being very clear and also consistent - if I follow these rules with a horse every time I lead, things are much easier because the horses know exactly what I want them to do.
Both Misty and Dawn made it out to the pasture in good form!