I had business meetings all day Tuesday that kept me from the barn. Wednesday I headed out with a clear head and positive thoughts about the garage door and people door. At the very least there was no wind, and that would be a bonus. My hope was that we'd be able to make progress with both issues.
We repeated our technique from Monday starting with tying Rose up at the post while I opened the garage door. This time she stood nice and quiet immediately. Inside the arena I removed her lead, as the tie ring has not been reattached to the wall, and closed the door. She ran around the arena a little bit, but not as reactively as on Monday. Given my two free hands, I set up some ground poles to play with. We ended up having a very nice ride. I was glad I thought of the poles, as she seemed very interested in having something more stimulating to do than circles, half-halts, shoulder/haunches in, and transitions. I need to remember to put some more fun back into our rides now that we are taking a break from jumping. After our ride, I wrapped her reins back up and left her loose in the arena to open the door. She just stood there nice and quiet the whole time. Yea!
After our ride it occurred to me that I could probably get a remote control garage door opener, thus negating the need for tying up altogether. That will allow me to stand at a comfortable distance and slowly get her used to standing closer and closer to it, desensitizing her over time. I plan on asking the barn owner if they already have one, otherwise I'll go out and get one ASAP.
Given her overall good attitude, I decided to work on the people door after our ride. Once she was cooled out and untacked we headed back to the arena. Immediately she almost walked all the way in. Wouldn't you know it though, just as she placed one front hoof in the doorway the neighbor started shooting his rifle! He does this often, so I'm fairly certain he's set up a target range behind the arena on his side of the fence/creek. Rose immediately pulled out of the door, got super tall, and ridged. It took me another 5-minutes to get her attention again. Once I did though she focused and walked in. Grand total of 10-minutes! Plus, she WALKED. She didn't bolt through the door. After she ate her payload of timothy pellets and got lots of praise we turned around to go out the door. She calmly followed me right along, without pause, and again WALKED out the door. I can't express was a great feeling that was. Such a good way to end a day.
Happy trails and swooshing tails!