Going for a ride in the TRAILER!!
   

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Going for a ride in the TRAILER!!

This is a discussion on Going for a ride in the TRAILER!! within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

     
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        03-30-2008, 03:15 PM
      #1
    Foal
    Going for a ride in the TRAILER!!

    OK, so Im trying to help a friend with her QH Mare that is just terrified of the trailer. When She got her I guess she just jumped right in, and last year when she was sent off to get bread she jumped right in as well.She didn't get hurt or make any fuss what so ever. Well about a month ago we moved are horses to a new barn. It took us 2 hours to get her in the trailer. She had sweat just running off of her an we just tried every thing to get her in. What the heck could have happened to change her mind of the trailer when nothing we have seen hurt her or should have made her scared of it. ???? How can we fix this with out it taking 2 hours the next time to load her. We want to start trail riding really soon... but we are dreading the trailer issue. Now I have got many horses into a trailer that have problems with a trailer, but this one is just so hard headed and scared that I am just stumped....
         
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        03-30-2008, 07:25 PM
      #2
    Yearling
    What is she doing exactly?
         
        03-30-2008, 08:36 PM
      #3
    Weanling
    This could be a matter of trust issue. Do you know if the owner and her did something where they lost their trust in eachother? Was there hay/grain in the trailer?
    Anyway, just practice getting into and out of the trail. Reward her with verbal praise and treats (- they're always nice!). Make the trailer a very fun experience. Have a buddy load with her, or before her for the first few times so she knows its safe. Also, spend a while sitting by the trailer with her (if you feel safe enough) and reading or something, and just let her look at it.
    Good luck!
         
        03-30-2008, 11:20 PM
      #4
    Yearling
    Weird. Did anything happen at the breeding facility? How did she load up leaving the breeding facility? I wonder if something scary happened while she was there or while being bred that traumatized her and caused a negative association?

    With her, knowing that she has been a willing loader in the past, I would just take your time. Reward every little step toward the trailer, feed her dinner on the edge of the trailer. All the old trick in the book. I would not push her to load, but encourage her to get comfortable again in her own time.

    If it turns out she seems to be manipulating the situation, then I might get a little firmer, but otherwise just take your time, and make it a short daily casual practice until it is no big deal again.

    Once she is loading well again (even reluctantly, load another horse first, and just work really hard to make it as calm a process as possible.

    You know, riding in an enclosed box over roads with random bumps, stops, turns, etc....it is surprising that more horses don't get scared unexplainably. :)

    Is she currently in foal from being bred last year? Our mare is very quirky at the moment (10 months in foal)
         
        03-31-2008, 12:37 AM
      #5
    Foal
    Thanks for all the comments. :) Ok so... I asked my friend how she got in the trailer when she was coming home from the breeders, she said that she was not there. The stallion owner brought her home. Hmmm... The stallion owner said she jumped in the trailer as well..... Im wondering if something went wrong that time and my friend did not get told. ??? So... so far I have tried feeding her out of the trailer, by putting her food right at the edge of it. I have tried the treat reward and of course lots and lots of praise. I have sat at the edge of the trailer and just sat there for a good hour to get her to relax around it. Here is what she does..... I will bring her up to the trailer as nothing was wrong and just go right to loading her, she will put her front feet in and then blow back out. She will do this for ever and then she will just plant her feet and not move or just pull you as far back as she can away from the trailer. I tried every time she put her front feet in to feed her a treat and let her relax with her front feet in there, but she just grabs the treat and backs out as fast as she can. Some times its like she is just being a brat. No she is not in foal now. She lost her baby premature.
         
        03-31-2008, 04:08 PM
      #6
    Yearling
    If you have the equipment and room, you can connect panels to the trailer and start housing her like that for a while. Make sure all doors are secured open and safe. Thow her food on the floor at the front of the trailer so that she had to at least get her front feet into the trailer, and would be more comfy with all four in. If the trailer has mangers, you could put the food there. Just leave her be, and watch to make sure she is eating. I say to start with the food there because we know she has been comfortable in a trailer before. When no human is involved, and it is all opened up, it may seem less threatening. When she is easily loading on her own to eat for a couple of days.

    Go back to working with loading again (but make sure the area is clear of panels. If/when she blows back, step to her side, and drive her into a trotting circle. Keep driving her until she is showing signs of wanting to stop. Again walk up to the trailer to load as normal, and repeat the circleing activity if she blows back again. If she locks up, step to her side, and drive her forward into a circle. If she is being particularily stubborn, get the front feet, or even the head (on a really bad session) in, and then YOU end the session by walking her away. Pen her back up with the trairler and resume feeding that way. Work up to more and more body parts in trailer, always ending by you taking her away from it. For this activity, try to have another horse (calm horse) loaded already. Also, just keep your demeaner calm and relaxed - try to send good vibes.

    It sounds like she was freaked out somewhere along the line. :)
         
        03-31-2008, 08:54 PM
      #7
    Weanling
    The breeder could be lying to you (very likely!) just go get rid of the horse.
    Never trust people that sell you horses (unless you know that person personaly ... but that's pretty much a different story).
         
        04-01-2008, 06:01 AM
      #8
    Showing
    I may be way off here but I think sometimes its the light. If the trailer is very dark inside its harder to load the horse. If that's the case try opening any windows/vents/doors to let some light in.
    If its a dark overcast day try setting an electric lantern inside to light it.
         

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