Rocky loaded himself again and this time even went further — because I’d moved the hay bag closer to the front of the trailer and gave him room. I played Friendly Game for a while with the butt bar, rubbing it on him, bringing him out to show it to him, pressing it into his hind end while he was outside, then loading him up again.
Eventually I hooked it and let him hang out with it there, at first petting him to let him know something was behind him but then just leaving him.
And after a while, I shut the ramp.
And then I drove us a little way down the driveway. A really, really little way. Like one truck length.
I ended on the good note. Rocky didn’t want to get out as he was enjoying his hay, but eventually I asked him to unload and I put him away.
And then I drove a loop that involved narrow roads, curves, hills, weird cambers, dips and bumps, freeway speeds, downhills, and quite a bit of traffic because it was just after 5pm.
I discovered that I feel stressed by cars behind me. Hmm, how interesting! When I was 16, my mom told me never to let the guy behind me drive my car, and yet here I was, worried that I should drive faster, distracted by looking for a turnout that I felt safe enough to pull into and get out of again.
There were only a few areas that even had shoulders, much less turnouts, and I’m not even sure they were turnouts — it looked like deep, uneven gravel for a short period alongside the road, and each with a significant lip at the edge of the pavement. No thanks!
But I had to keep breathing deep into my lungs and consciously relaxing my tension. I finally managed to see, in time to use it, one intersection that had a wide enough paved shoulder to pull into. About a dozen cars whizzed past me.
I don’t know where this anxiety comes from and it doesn’t matter. Breathing and relaxing helped and I am certain that with more practice, it won’t bother me anymore. Or at least not as much.