SO Frustrated. - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 9 Old 06-17-2012, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Florence, SC
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SO Frustrated.

Yesterday, I was supposed to go trail riding at my dad's hunting club with my friend. We had been planning this trip for about a month now and we were both SO excited about it. Everything was set, I was all packed up, I had the trailer and truck ready, all I needed was Shamrock on the trailer before we could head out to get my friend's horse..

Shamrock has been on this trailer multiple times before and every time he's hopped right on. However, this time, he got on & decided he wanted back off before my boyfriend and his friend could get the butt bar up. After that experience, Shamrock decided he wanted NOTHING to do with the trailer. It took 2.5 hours & 5 people to get him loaded.. and by the time it was 1) too late to go, even if my friend's horse would load easily and 2) I wasn't sure he would get back on in an unfamiliar place after we got him off for the ride. So our trail ride was ruined. Yesterday brought on a lot of emotions, he had me in tears I was so upset, and he even suffered.. I imagine it was a traumatic experience to try to be loaded and getting fussed at for not getting on the trailer.

What frustrated me most was that after we tried every possible trick in the book to get him on, he would outsmart us. The older guys who were helping tried pushing him on from behind (which I don't see how that was going to work, he's too big to push into a trailer), so when anyone would touch him, he would back away from the trailer. After a while when we were taking a break, trying to figure our next step, I shook the bucket of pellets I had for him at the front of the trailer and he just hopped on as if it was no problem.. It was almost like he was laughing at us after all of our efforts! So, after that, he went on a 40 minute ride around the countryside and back home.

Luckily, I have access to that truck and trailer and can (& will) be practicing LOTS. I overestimated his readiness to travel, got frustrated, and for the first time in ages, our communication as a team failed. I'm not just frustrated with him, but mostly at myself.
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post #2 of 9 Old 06-17-2012, 05:03 PM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Kentucky
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There is nothing so frustrating as when you have a scheduled ride and the horse decides I'm not going to load. It is almost worse when there are a lot of people around, everyone has a opinion there is a lot going on and I don't think the horse can see the value of resting in the trailer plus you worry about the time and just a whole bunch of issues that make you doubt yourself. Take a deep breath it will be ok, you just need to practice.

On a side note one of my mares name is Shamrock (I call her Shammy) but we spent two hours getting her on a trailer because she had only ever been in those open large stock trailers and was being asked to get in a bumper pull. It was also going to be her first official trailride and I was so worried if we didn't get her in, then the ride wouldn't happen. She did go in after making her work so hard outside the trailer that I felt kind of bad for her when she had to ride that 3hr trailride 30mins later I will say though after the trailride it was nothing to get her to go back on the trailer, I think she was definitely tired and wanted that rest.

My other mare I figured out will go in if you open both doors and the side door I think because of all the light that comes through makes it less scary for her.

Good Luck and there will be other rides hang in there.
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post #3 of 9 Old 06-17-2012, 05:50 PM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
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I feel your pain and at least you had helpful or from what I am assuming helpful people around. For the longest time we had no truck or trailer and had to have someone else haul our horses, the first time he hauled them.. things went fine. The second time? He took off to quickly and our horses fell in the trailer, this was on the way to the vet, it took 3 men to get her off the trailer, she did however load back on. And when we go home?

She was NOT comming off that trailer, the owner of th etruck and trailer was so frustrated that he wanted to tie her to a tree, and pull the trailer out from under her.. what the heck!?? My mom was getting highly frustrated with her, and that was making the horse even more uneasy, I told her to walk away. And I told the man to walk away, after 15 minutes to coaxing I got her out. Ever seen then she has been iffy with stock trailers, she is perfectly find in a straight load, or in a slant load. And will load her self when the doors open ahaha


Baby, Sparta, Carmen, Henry, Hooch, Mercedes, Butterscotch
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post #4 of 9 Old 06-17-2012, 07:41 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2011
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I feel your tears. My horse was like that, too. We could never get him loaded and it took HOURS to get him on a trailer...it was even worse when it was a straight load trailer. We've had people pushing him, lunging him in front of the trailer, shaking feed...everything.

...but I have a secret weapon. Have you tried using a lunge whip? My horse will load immediately whenever someone gets near him with the whip. I can load him myself because I just tap his butt and he goes in.

Some horses are genuinely afraid of loading, and then I think others are just reluctant too. It's cramped, hot, and boring. That's when they play games -- Rusty plays those games. It's just a matter of letting them know that you are in charge, not them.

You'll find something that works for you, I'm sure. :)

Rusty - a miracle horse Knight - my golden oldie
Vlogging about Midwest trail riding here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_u...tIjwnOxjKzOfjA
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post #5 of 9 Old 06-17-2012, 08:25 PM
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I'm glad you ended up figuring it out. I think it was just made it be a huge deal after he wouldn't go in.. which dialed up his flight instincts which the shaking of his favourite food by his favourite person snapped him out of :)

Next time you'll get to go on that trail ride! Don't fret!

Hugs x

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #6 of 9 Old 06-17-2012, 08:42 PM
Started
 
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I'm sorry to hear that Shamrock didn't load as easily as he has before. I can only imagine how frustrating that can be.

However, I am glad that you didn't give up and you got him on that trailer.
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post #7 of 9 Old 06-18-2012, 05:06 AM
Yearling
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Melbourne
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Like others I can feel your pain. Both at missing the ride and getting frustrated and taking it out on the boy. It happens to the best of us a few times. You'll have learnt some lessons to better prepare you for next time.
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post #8 of 9 Old 06-18-2012, 05:42 AM
Green Broke
 
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I feel your frustration I had a simialr incident recently where my reliable practically self loading horse just decided he wanted nothing to do with a float someone came to pick me up in. I got really embarrassed too as I hadn't expected it and other than a few emails I had never met the person taking me to my riding lesson before. Thankfully it didn't take me 2.5 hours but at least you finally got your boy on, good luck with working with him more.

My two horse Apache and Sammy are my world
along with our dogs Patch and Bear.
But I will always love you Jimmy R.I.P
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post #9 of 9 Old 06-18-2012, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chandra1313 View Post
I will say though after the trailride it was nothing to get her to go back on the trailer, I think she was definitely tired and wanted that rest.
This makes me wish I would have went ahead to the trail ride! Though, it was getting late.. It was 3:30 before we got him on and we still had another horse to pick up. However, my friend keeps her horses at home (we were going to pick one of hers up to go), and they ride there, so I should have just taken him there and we could've ridden at her house. Worst case scenario, her dad would have to help us get him back on. Oh well, there's always next time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilkitty90 View Post
i feel your pain and at least you had helpful or from what I am assuming helpful people around. For the longest time we had no truck or trailer and had to have someone else haul our horses
After about an hour and a half of watching me struggle, get frustrated, and cry, they did get up and help. Before that, I was doing it with the help of my boyfriend and his friend (both of which are not horse people AT ALL), so basically I was doing it myself since they didn't know what they were doing. The other guys (the actual horse people) would throw suggestions my way, but watched me suffer before helping. They did say they would've helped sooner if I had asked.. but the last thing I'm thinking about is asking them to help when I'm trying to get my horse on the trailer..

I don't own a truck/trailer either, but some people at the barn let me borrow theirs and it's the one I practiced loading him with. :P

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corazon Lock View Post
I feel your tears. My horse was like that, too. We could never get him loaded and it took HOURS to get him on a trailer...it was even worse when it was a straight load trailer. We've had people pushing him, lunging him in front of the trailer, shaking feed...everything.

...but I have a secret weapon. Have you tried using a lunge whip? My horse will load immediately whenever someone gets near him with the whip. I can load him myself because I just tap his butt and he goes in.

Some horses are genuinely afraid of loading, and then I think others are just reluctant too. It's cramped, hot, and boring. That's when they play games -- Rusty plays those games. It's just a matter of letting them know that you are in charge, not them.

You'll find something that works for you, I'm sure. :)
What made it most frustrating was the fact that he usually just hops on no problem! Every other time we've practiced, even the FIRST time I practiced loading him in the bumper pull, I just led him up to it and he hopped right on! We were even using the same trailer he was used to. I'm not sure what was different on Saturday.. I guess maybe he could tell I was stressed and we were already running late, so we were in a hurry to begin with. Usually he gets to load once, get off, load again, and get secured in there. So I guess that's what the major difference was. I went there with the attitude, "He has to hop right on, so we can go." and that ruined it.

On Saturday, I did bring out the lunge whip, it didn't work. At all. It only made him angrier. He'd move his behind in every way EXCEPT where I needed him to go.

He wasn't scared of the trailer, either. That's another thing. He showed no fear, just agitation. He started out playing with us to be annoying, then when he was getting fussed at for it, he started getting mad. When everyone eased off of him, he got time to collect himself, and had food in the trailer, he hopped on.
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