Horse hates his new trailer
 
 

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Horse hates his new trailer

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  • Horse hates being on trailer
  • Equalizer bars for a horse trailer

 
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    05-01-2011, 10:23 PM
  #1
Trained
Horse hates his new trailer

So as I mentioned in a previous thread, I thought my horse hated his new trailer. Today I found out it's worse than I thought. Two weeks ago, my horse gave me a hard time about standing in his new trailer long enough for me to get the butt bar up. Today, we went to a clinic. He was a bit reluctant to go in when we were leaving, but a little giggle of grain did the trick. We did our clinic, had a great time, and then proceeded to spend close to 2 hours trying to get him into the trailer. It took 4 of us working a series of butt pulleys, crops, and someone inside steering to get him in. I am so bummed.

Before this trailer, he has previously been in a featherlite straight load with ramp, and three different slant load step ups all with no issues whatsoever. He practically self loaded. I just don't get it.

I have two options. I can resell this trailer and try something else, or put a ramp on this one which I think may be the cause of his dislike, but who the hell knows. At $4.25 for gas, I can't afford to keep bringing the truck up to barn just to hook it to the trailer so we can practice loading. Feeding him in it everyday for a few weeks is not an option because he is at a boarding stable.

Since I have no idea of why he hates this thing, which option makes more sense? Sell it or modify it and hope it's just a ramp issue?
     
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    05-01-2011, 11:09 PM
  #2
Trained
What is the trailer you ended up getting?
     
    05-01-2011, 11:57 PM
  #3
Trained
MBP -- how does the trailer pull? It kind of sounds like he is OK going into the trailer, but after the ride to the show & after the show, he has issues. If he didn't have "after show" nerves before, ie. With other trailers, that leads me to think that perhaps it is the way the trailer handles on the road. Maybe the suspension isn't very good? Maybe something is banging around inside or outside and making him nervous.

I also asked before about the interior of this trailer vs. others he had been in. Sometimes the colour of the interior will make them nervous, esp. If it is dark. What about the front hatches -- are there enough to open up to make the trailer seem larger while loading?

But, I'm starting to lean toward the ride of the trailer itself. Can you take the trailer down a quiet road with you inside and someone else driving? That might give you some insight.
     
    05-02-2011, 08:17 AM
  #4
Showing
MBP, ask someone to pull the trailer for little bit while you are IN the trailer (no horse of course). If something is wrong (like too noisy somewhere) you'll at least rule it out. BTW, I did it myself with my old trailer (tiny light Valley): I asked my neighbor to drive me around while I was "checking it out".

I traded my trailer for different one recently and those hay holders (whatever the name is) were EXTREMELY noisy when the trailer moved. So I wrapped them in plastic to eliminate the noise.

P.S. I didn't find feeding in trailer to be helpful at all....
     
    05-02-2011, 10:01 PM
  #5
Trained
Thanks for the input guys. The trailer I got is a 2 horse straight load with hay mangers in front. It is an all aluminum trailer so it is grey inside. I don't think the color is a factor since he's traveled in all aluminum's most of his rides and never had an issue. I'm not sure about the suspension. It was very recently serviced. Would that be something they would have checked? I know they repacked the bearings whatever the frig that means. I agree that it's probably the ride itself since he becomes more reluctant to go in with each ride. Where that doesn't make sense is that I am being very cautious since I'm new to trailering, while all his other rides were at the hand of my friend who drives 80 mph. I would think he's gotten far bumpier rides from her. I would also think that, if it was a bumpy ride, he would be yelling and kicking back there while we're moving. But he's dead quiet. I know from my the truck side, it does seem to tug a bit when we're going slower on windy roads. I'm told that is normal from others who trailer themselves. Once we're on the highway, I don't even know it's back there. We are going to do human pulling human on Friday so I can check for loud things.

My friend who originally trained him and sold him to me thinks she can get him right in, so we're going to try to load him tomorrow. I already told her my money is on Puck, but at least it will show me if he's just giving me the finger or if it's really the trailer.
     
    05-02-2011, 10:08 PM
  #6
Green Broke
What brand and age is the trailer. That will help to know more about the quality and suspension
     
    05-02-2011, 10:15 PM
  #7
Trained
2002 Featherlite model 9407, straight load 2 horse bumper pull step up.
     
    05-02-2011, 10:19 PM
  #8
CCH
Weanling
Is he more used to slant loads? Straight load trailers can be harder for horses to balance in. I second the idea of taking a ride in it.

You may want to check your tire pressures to make sure they are correct. Many tow vehicles require additional rear tire pressure to haul. For a bumper pull, equalizer bars and a sway bar help immensely. Packing the wheel bearings has really nothing to do with how the trailer will ride, buy you should have it done annually or every 3,000 miles depending on how much you haul. You should also check all of your grease zerks and make sure they get a pump of grease. If you have loose chains banging, you can get foam PVC pipe covers (similar to water/fun noodles) that are fitted for different sizes.

Trailers don't usually have a "suspension" unless you have added an air ride or air bags. What you would generally check is that the axles are aligned. Commonly, lighter weight axles (ie 3,000lb) will warp with use and need to be realigned. Normally this would be evident by funny tire wear. Personally, I only buy trailers with 7-8,000lb axles to lessen this problem. On the subject of tires, you should also check that your tires are the proper "load range" for the performance you need. Manufacturers will put the cheapest lowest range tire they can get away with on.

With one horse in a two horse, you shouldn't even feel it behind the tow vehicle. What are you towing with? Are you running it in "tow/haul mode" or taking it out of "overdrive" or whatever the manufacturer recommends? Also, are you loading him on the driver's side?

You may want to check Shocker Hitch - Air Suspension Trailer Hitches out. If we hadn't spent what we have on our set up years ago, we would have bought one. I have friends who use it to tow a 4-horse behind their motor home and swear it is amazing.
     
    05-02-2011, 10:29 PM
  #9
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by CCH    
Is he more used to slant loads? Straight load trailers can be harder for horses to balance in. I second the idea of taking a ride in it.

You may want to check your tire pressures to make sure they are correct. Many tow vehicles require additional rear tire pressure to haul. For a bumper pull, equalizer bars and a sway bar help immensely. Packing the wheel bearings has really nothing to do with how the trailer will ride, buy you should have it done annually or every 3,000 miles depending on how much you haul. You should also check all of your grease zerks and make sure they get a pump of grease. If you have loose chains banging, you can get foam PVC pipe covers (similar to water/fun noodles) that are fitted for different sizes.

Trailers don't usually have a "suspension" unless you have added an air ride or air bags. What you would generally check is that the axles are aligned. Commonly, lighter weight axles (ie 3,000lb) will warp with use and need to be realigned. Normally this would be evident by funny tire wear. Personally, I only buy trailers with 7-8,000lb axles to lessen this problem. On the subject of tires, you should also check that your tires are the proper "load range" for the performance you need. Manufacturers will put the cheapest lowest range tire they can get away with on.

With one horse in a two horse, you shouldn't even feel it behind the tow vehicle. What are you towing with? Are you running it in "tow/haul mode" or taking it out of "overdrive" or whatever the manufacturer recommends? Also, are you loading him on the driver's side?

You may want to check Shocker Hitch - Air Suspension Trailer Hitches out. If we hadn't spent what we have on our set up years ago, we would have bought one. I have friends who use it to tow a 4-horse behind their motor home and swear it is amazing.
He's been in both straights and slants with no problems. We had taken the divider out yesterday in an effort to get him in. When I got back to the barn, he was standing at an angle, so he does seem to prefer slant. That's not a big problem. We're alone most of the time so he can stand however he wants.

I am towing in tow/haul mode. My truck is a 3/4 ton Chevy so I'm way good to go on towing capacity. The tires are inflated with higher PSI in the rears for towing. I don't get why it seems to pull back when we're going slower. The trailer brake controller is set a little on the lower side, so I doubt the brakes are engaging unnecessarily. I'm still so new to this, I'm not really sure.

I'll check the trailer tires for uneven wear. They are the only thing that look a little old on the trailer, so that might be all it is.
     
    05-02-2011, 10:34 PM
  #10
Weanling
He may be developing closterphobea to the smaller trailer. I have a TB that willl not go in to a two horse strait load of any kind. He will load up on a lawn mower trailer. He just dose not like the small inclosed space. It started graduly and got worce and worce where I have now gavin up on it he only gose int three horse slants.
     

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