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Panic when braking

This is a discussion on Panic when braking within the Horse Trailers forums, part of the Barns, Boarding, and Farms category

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        06-18-2014, 11:12 AM
      #11
    Green Broke
    I second/third/whatever checking out your brake controller settings and seeing if it's working right. Odds are even the controller isn't working right anymore but then if you're not used to using that controller odds are even you don't have it set up right.

    Another thing to try, put him in the back stall of your slant to see how he his. It takes most horses a bit to adjust to standing up against the front wall. They move their feet, hit the wall causing a banging sound then jump, cause more banging then panic. Some horses never do figure it out and need to be put in a stall away from the wall every time they are hauled..
         
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        06-18-2014, 08:02 PM
      #12
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PrivatePilot    
    I find that highly unlikely considering electric brakes operate at 12 volts.
    Aren't horses extra sensitive to electricity, though? I think I read that from someone on HF not too long ago... In any case, I would think it might be just enough to make a horse super anxious in a trailer that they've never been in before, and if the brake controller in the truck is junk then that could add just another thing on top of that.
         
        06-18-2014, 11:26 PM
      #13
    Yearling
    It takes a lot more amps (at 12 volts) then what makes it to the trailer brakes to feel anything so far as an electric shock.

    Next time you have your hood open put one hand on each battery terminal - feel anything? Didn't think so. And that's right at the battery, with your body creating a dead short across several hundred amps of battery at 12 volts.
         
        06-19-2014, 06:04 PM
      #14
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PrivatePilot    
    It takes a lot more amps (at 12 volts) then what makes it to the trailer brakes to feel anything so far as an electric shock.

    Next time you have your hood open put one hand on each battery terminal - feel anything? Didn't think so. And that's right at the battery, with your body creating a dead short across several hundred amps of battery at 12 volts.
    Huh. The more you know!
         
        06-20-2014, 01:04 AM
      #15
    Weanling
    Have you tried riding in the trailer to find out how it feels? Seriously, that is step number 1.
    Chasin Ponies and SueC like this.
         
        06-20-2014, 06:52 AM
      #16
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PrivatePilot    
    It takes a lot more amps (at 12 volts) then what makes it to the trailer brakes to feel anything so far as an electric shock.

    Next time you have your hood open put one hand on each battery terminal - feel anything? Didn't think so.
    (Warning: Nerd alert! )

    This is correct. Dry skin has quite a bit of resistance. Now try it with your tongue! Or stick a metal watch band on the positive terminal, while leaning your arm across the negative ground frame. Suddenly those electrons are moving! As a car battery has quite a bit of amperage compared to a household battery, you can get skin burns from the current flowing through the wrist band.

    So while it's uncommon to receive shocks from 12V car batteries, it's not impossible. Now the detective work is figuring out how the current was entering the metal parts of the float that were probably involved in the shock the lady in the example observed while riding in the float.


    Quote:
    And that's right at the battery, with your body creating a dead short across several hundred amps of battery at 12 volts.
    Technically it's not a short unless electrons are moving! Which won't be happening much with dry skin, or even that much more with moist skin, because skin is quite good protection with that kind of low-level power source. But get some crocodile clips and connect them to the battery terminals on the one hand and to a sewing needle each on the other, and stick the sewing needles just below the surface of the skin, where the body's (electrolytic) fluids can be reached with the metal. This is guaranteed to be a really bad experience.

    Electricity and the body is a really interesting subject. 10-20 microamps (1 microamp is a millionth of an amp) across the heart is often enough to induce fibrillation. But even the above unpleasant experiments shouldn't cause that to happen, unless you're going to stick those sewing needles through your ribcage.

    On the topic of the OP's floating issue: Drive the float a short distance like you normally would, and brake like you normally would, with a human "reporter" in the float, holding on to the breast bar. They can give you some feedback on whether it's hard to balance during braking. Float brakes are often quite savage and act so quickly that the horse has little warning and struggles to maintain its balance (even worse when standing on an angle). It can cause scrambling injuries and float sourness. When I float horses, I try to avoid braking as much as I can by coming off the accelerator way before a turn or traffic light, and letting the vehicle slow down naturally as much as possible, and engaging brakes lightly and early rather than more heavily and late in the piece. It makes a lot of difference, and the horses appreciate it.

    Good luck with it! Let us know how it goes!
    2BigReds and Chasin Ponies like this.
         
        06-20-2014, 07:11 AM
      #17
    Yearling
    OP needs to get back to us on the model of the brake controller they are using. I suspect (as the OP touched on last) that it's simply an issue with rough braking due to a combination of a cheap improperly setup brake controller, and super-effective brand new trailer brakes.

    As others have suggested, taking a ride in the trailer is apt to be an enlightening experience as to what your horse might be upset about.

    A good quality proportional brake controller that is setup properly, as well as proper braking techniques for livestock hauling (agree with SueC above, your driving style means a LOT!) will probably alleviate a lot of the issues.

    The Tekonsha Voyager and Primus series are well regarded proportional controllers, and if you want top of the line, the P3 (the controller I have towed with coast to coast) is simply unbeatable.
    SueC likes this.
         
        06-20-2014, 09:23 AM
      #18
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 2BigReds    
    Aren't horses extra sensitive to electricity, though? I think I read that from someone on HF not too long ago...
    I don't know, but it wouldn't surprise me. Dogs are way more able to sense smells than us, and have better hearing, for instance. A lot of the human brain is tied up in complex cognitive processing and we have kind of dull senses compared to some of the other mammals. Relatively good (daytime) vision though.

    One thing we can say for sure is that the horse's nose and muzzle area are very sensitive, and I wouldn't be surprised if they provided less resistance to small electrical shocks than the dry skin of a human arm. The thinner and moister the skin, the less electrical resistance.
    2BigReds likes this.
         
        06-20-2014, 09:26 AM
      #19
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PrivatePilot    
    OP needs to get back to us on the model of the brake controller they are using.
    PP, I'm not very well versed in mechanics, would you mind explaining to me what a brake controller does and how it works?
         
        06-20-2014, 10:08 AM
      #20
    Yearling
    See the link I posted earlier in this thread In one of my previous responses. ;)
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