Backing vs. walking out?

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Backing vs. walking out?

This is a discussion on Backing vs. walking out? within the Horse Trailers forums, part of the Barns, Boarding, and Farms category

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    07-03-2011, 05:56 PM
Backing vs. walking out?

I just purchased a 2H slant load trailer. I have loaded and unloaded all my horses in and they fit well. One mare, the largest at 16.2HH, doesn't seem to want to back out. She throws her head around and walks out forward. I wanted to know if it's okay if she walks forward out of the trailer? I am used to hauling a straight load and don't know if walking forward is a bad thing or not? I am not afraid to work with her and make her back out. She's more comfortable walking forward, and I'll let her, provided it's okay. All of the other mares will back out fine, just not Lexi!
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    07-03-2011, 07:43 PM
Teen Forum Moderator
I personally don't think its a big deal. It would be a good idea to continue working with her at backing out just because it is a very good fundamental for all horses, but don't sweat over it too much. If she can comfortably turn, it should be fine. I know of plenty of people who let their horses walk out of the trailer. The only risk I can really think of off the top of my head is that when trailering her with another horse, she might bump another horse when trying to turn and scare them, this causing a kick or a head getting banged on the roof if one were to rear.
    07-03-2011, 09:27 PM
My qh ALWAYS walks out. I just started doing it with paint as well. They both know how to back out, but walking out head forward seems to be less stressful for both. So why not?

P.S> I have 2H slant as well...
    07-03-2011, 09:51 PM
I've been told many times that it is only safe to back horses out of trailers, no matter what the configuration, but have never been given an explanation for why walking out should be a no-no beyond "it's just safer."

I have a small stock trailer, no divider, and Scout walks out. He does so slowly and carefully, and stops at the door for me to step down before he does. I'm very picky about trailer manners, lol. High on my list of things to teach him is how to back out equally well, just in case he is ever sold and someone down the line tries to back him out or load him into a straight load trailer. I'm a firm believer in preparing horses for any contingency.
    07-03-2011, 11:22 PM
As long as it's done in a controlled manner, on my terms, I let my horse exit however he wants. Ironically he mixes it up. He even stands differently coming and going...goofball.
    07-03-2011, 11:25 PM
Green Broke
The thing with going out forwards, is your horse could possibly jump, or run over you. However, if they can walk out and off normally, it shouldn't be a big deal.
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    07-04-2011, 12:47 AM
She can turn comfortably and seems pretty good with walking off calmly. I just wanted to know if anyone had any reasoning (like scoutrider said) for why it's not safe? I can see if the horse were to run over you...makes sense...but she does fine, so I think I will just let her turn and walk out since she is more comfortable with it.

I was able to get my problem loader into the trailer today. I had my husband spank the ground whenever she tried to back up and release all pressure as she came forward. She is now loading MUCH better. I gave her dinner tonight in the trailer to make her see it's not horrible and make her get better accustomed to it.

Thanks for all the helpful replies!
    07-04-2011, 02:58 AM
I think they should know how to back out of a trailer so you can use that if you have to. Other than that, as long as they're respectful, I let my horse come out however each one is most comfortable. I use my divider bar though and never let two loose in the trailer together.

I seem to recall my equine chiropractor telling me one of the worst things physically for a horse is backing out of a trailer. This was many years ago, and I don't remember what the logic behind it was. Obviously something skeletal, but I don't remember what the actual effect was.
    07-04-2011, 12:32 PM
I will keep working with her on backing out. She had horrible ground manners when I first bought her, and I have worked that out. I don't anticipate it being a difficult fix. I just wanted to know if it was bad if they walked out forward and why. Thanks so much for the help!
    07-04-2011, 01:37 PM
I used to walk mine out but the vet told me not to after my horse injured his shoulder from the weight landing on the front end like that. I would also think there is more of a chance of the horse jumping on you.

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