Can get my horse on the trailer! Help! Show in 4 days! - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 18 Old 08-07-2012, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by trampis67 View Post
Talented Brannaman protage' there. Thanks for posting this.
Thanks for appreciating it! I see by your signature that we could be on the same wavelength about some things.
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post #12 of 18 Old 08-07-2012, 11:09 PM
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My horse is 12 and we had the same issue for a little bit. It was the first time we trailered somewhere else to go on a trail ride, and it wasn't a trailer he was familiar with. He's a big guy (16.1hh), and he was used to a big stock trailer. Going TO the trail, he loaded and unloaded fine. Once we were done with the ride, he would not go in. Long and extremely frustrating story short, we had to call the owner of the barn to bring her big trailer.
You can try using a stud chain and a dressage-length whip. Sometimes it isn't a matter of coaxing or scaring them, it is just taking control and showing them that YOU are the boss, and they are going to load because you are telling them to. Don't be afraid to discipline him, as long as you are being fair. You can determine this by his body language. If it's fear (very obvious to tell on a horse), it might take a bit longer. He needs to see that he's safe. Let him sniff and do what he wants, and then do a bit of coaxing.
However, if you can tell it isn't fear, but stubbornness, resort to a chain and a dressage whip (I say a dressage whip because of the length...a riding crop is too short, while a big lunge whip with a long tail is too bulky most of the time.)
Practice, practice, practice! Be firm.

Riders aren't 16 and pregnant. Riders are 16 and arthritic.
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post #13 of 18 Old 08-07-2012, 11:21 PM
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For a horse who won't load, a dressage whip (as mentioned by someone else) is my best friend. Lead the horse towards the trailer, with slight pressure on the lead-rope, hand out in front of you, and at the FIRST HINT of resistance, tap with the dressage whip without turning your body at all. VERY IMPORTANT keep yourself squarely pointed at the trailer while you tap! If you have to turn to tap, you are going to pull the horse around you, consequently allowing (and encouraging)him to evade the trailer. The first hint of resistance could be a slight slowing, head coming up, leaning one way or the other, or it could be a dead stop. Tap lightly, you don't want to frighten him into the trailer, and keep tapping until the resistance is gone. If the resistance increases (and if he's pretty sure he's got your number, it WILL increase) immediately back the horse up, or lunge, both with ENERGY, not anger, but definite energy. I prefer to back, as it is harder work, and keeps the horse facing the trailer, but many prefer to lunge. Once you've done that, start all over, calmly expecting that the horse will load this time. Keep repeating until the horse loads. Have the horse stand for a minute, unload and do it again. And maybe yet again. It should get easier each time. If you manage to accomplish this with time to spare, go for a short ride and then come home and do it again. If you have another day, go to a local showground and unload and repeat the process there. Nothing worse than thinking you've got the problem fixed only to find that you have no way to get home!
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post #14 of 18 Old 08-07-2012, 11:22 PM
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Didn't read all the other posts, but I just heard a new idea that is so obvious but I'd never thought of it before! Just work him in circles just outside the trailer. Go around for a bit, then try to lead him straight into the trailer. No go? Back to circles! Eventually he'll figure out that if he gets in, that's going to be a reward because he gets to stop working. If you need to, the guy who told me about this said back the trailer up to the arena gate and work him right there in front of the gate, then lead him into the trailer. Again, if he doesn't go, it's back to circles! The guy said it's worked pretty quick because about the 4th or 5th time they figure out they don't want to work anymore.
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post #15 of 18 Old 08-07-2012, 11:29 PM
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Wow...what a good idea! That would probably do the trick!

Riders aren't 16 and pregnant. Riders are 16 and arthritic.
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post #16 of 18 Old 08-07-2012, 11:33 PM
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Yeah, I grew up with the more "hands on" approach with the whips, and my dad's personal favorite, the lariat around the butt. But while that did work sometimes, it seemed to explode frustrating problems into impossible problems with bad reactions for some horses. I loved this idea when I learned about it and will definitely use it in the future! It seems that a little extra work motivates horses pretty well! It works with so many other applications and in lots of training methods, so why not loading?
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post #17 of 18 Old 08-08-2012, 10:53 AM
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While there are a lot of different ways to get a horse to load. You have to first look at the horse. I have one that has been hauled a lot. When I say a lot he has more miles in a trailer then most people have in a car. This horse still will not load esily. He is very very well trained. I am even trying several new things and working more with him to see if I can improve his loading in a smaller trailer. Great in a bigger trailer and once you get him in and going but getting him in anything shy of a 6 horse slant is like finding heans teath.

Why you ask? B/C of what someone did to him as a baby. He is not 22. Chances are her will NEVER get over that. Shame really he loves to go places work and ride.

So what I am trying to say if no matter what you try it may or may not work. You need to look at the indivual horse. I could lunge Te until there was a ditch to china. Would not change anything.
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post #18 of 18 Old 08-13-2012, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help everyone! This weekend went very smoothly!
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asap , outsmarting , trailer

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