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This is a discussion on FLOATING PROBLEM within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    09-13-2008, 09:13 PM

Ok so I have a horse, her name is mei-li she is a 15.2hh 6 year old thoroughbred.
And I was actually ment to go to pony club today but heres the thing.... she WONT get on the float.
We have floated her many times before and we had no trouble getting her on the float.
But last time we went to pony club she wouldnt get back on the float to go home.
Then I was ment to go to a friends house to ride with her and her horse but again she wouldnt get on the float we tried for 1 hour but she just wouldnt get on even with us dangling food infront of her face.
She goes on but not all the way, she gets her front feet in the actual float and her back feet on the ramp and stretches her neck to reach the food.
I have tried just about everything e.g. Food, dressage whip, people pushing her from behind. But she just wont budge.

We live on a simple 6 acre property and have no arena or round yard so I can't lunge her but I still can't lunge her anyway because when I try to she always ends up pulling away or bucking or rearing.
She is also fine to ride and does not try to bolt, buck, rear.

I thought she could be scared because a few weeks ago I was riding her in my paddock (the closest one to the road) and I was cantering over a jump when a car came along and she pigrooted and I fell of.

I really want to go to pony club and shows!!
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    09-13-2008, 11:03 PM
It sounds like something happened on the last trip that scared or hurt her. You may have a long job in retraining her to get in that trailer. You need to try your best to remember what may have happened to her and look the trailer over very carefully for any new bumps, hairs, whatever -- any clue as to what happened or what was different.

My girl would go in the trailer for me all the time without a problem. One day, I put the top of the doors on (I don't remember why) and after that she didn't want to go back in the trailer. I finally tried it without the top of the doors and now she is fine again. She just doesn't like it being completely closed. It is a small trailer.

I would try to give her supper rations only in the trailer. Since you can't get her all the way right now, settle for front feet only and put the food as far in on the floor as you think she will reach. Put a mark on the floor so you know where it is. Do this every day and gradually move the food further and further in. This will give her the idea that the trailer is safe after all.

You can also try this with another horse already in the trailer. Some horses will go in more easily with a partner.
    09-14-2008, 07:44 PM
Is your reference to a "Float" actually a trailer? To haul her from point A to point B?

Guess it is a location thing in how we use different terms to describe the same thing
    09-19-2008, 04:14 AM
It sounds like your horse is being naughty, If you have floated her before and she has stopped loading unless she could have become frightened she is just being naughty.

My horse did that for a while, one day he just decided not to go to pony club. To get him on I walked him towards the float and as soon as he hesitated I tap him with a whip, If he dosn't walk straight on a lunge him in front of the float (just on the leadrope, it needs to be done straight away) untill he startes liking and chewing (shows submissiveness) then we have another go at getting on the float and if he dosn't load perfectly I go back to lunging.

It took a few houres to get him on the float but when he did we went to pony club and rode for the rest of the day, it is very important that you take the horse to the event even if your really late because it renforces the fact that you won.

After doing this my horse loads perfectly every time now.

Good luck and feel free to ask any questions.
    09-19-2008, 11:11 AM
SInce she used to load I'd follow NMomma's advice and feed her in the trailer. She most likely just got scared. As soon as she realizes that it's safe again your problem should go away.

Something else to think about is having someone else try loading her. Someone she is not familiar with. I have noticed that sometimes rather than follow a stranger a horse will load on a familiar "float". This does not always work but it's easy and worth a shot.

Either way, your horse just needs to see the trailer as safe again.

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