Help With Horse Trailering - Page 2
 
 

       The Horse Forum > Training Horses > Horse Training

Help With Horse Trailering

This is a discussion on Help With Horse Trailering within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

     
    LinkBack Thread Tools
        02-21-2009, 10:21 PM
      #11
    Weanling
    If you are careful, and you can read your horse accordingly, there is no need for a "blow up horrible state of mind" type situation. Horses respect clear, confident guidance. If you took that I meant beat the living __ out of your horse, then I apologize. You can take all day trying to convince the horse to trust the trailer. Or you can give it options. The horse will then build trust by the fact that you didn't lie to it. You telling the horse, "Hey, you need to get in this trailer. I wouldn't put you in a dangerous place, so trust me." The horse says, "Yeah, I don't think so. Thanks anyways" If you say "please get in the trailer? It won't hurt you," quietly over and over and nothing gets convinced, you are not giving your horse any clear confidence, and will second guess you. So by being direct and clear, you can spend a fraction of the time by being clear.
    You don't always have to cause fear with being direct. If you have, you have made a mistake and have gone too far. And then you know for future references.
         
    Sponsored Links
    Advertisement
     
        02-21-2009, 11:44 PM
      #12
    Started
    That is not what I thought you meant koomy. Here is what I meant.

    For the horse who is confident and is just not listening, getting after him won't work because he will just fight you. And it's never ok, IMO, to get into a fight with a horse. It can be prevented. So you keep telling him "Don't look away from the trailer, keep trying." You can put pressure on a confident horse and as soon as he tries to release the pressure. But you have to keep progressing.

    For the fearful horse, he CAN NOT LEARN when he is afraid. If we push the horse when he is fearful he will not gain confidence, he will lose confidence. And if we say to him "Get in the trailer or else____" then that is a form of force, IMO. I'm not saying anyone is whippin the daylights out of the horse, but force comes at many, many levels. And if we keep saying to the horse "Look in the trailer!" then we are making him look at/into the thing he is so scared of and that is not good for him mentally or emotionally. So we need to respect his thresholds and say "Approach the trailer and then come away." Approach and retreat. In this way he gains confidence because we aren't forcing him toward the thing he is scared of. Imagine if you were afraid of heights and someone kept trying to shove you toward a cliff to make you look over the edge....what would your reaction be? To fight and try to get away. Same with horses. He can go to one threshold 3 times and then after that I ask him to try a little harder. When he tries I release all pressure. Once he is calm and has had a moment to think I ask him to retreat, then re-approach. If I were to just tell him to approach approach approach, go go go (or else), how can he possibly gain confidence? He can't. IT'S NOT ABOUT THE TRAILER. It's about his confidence and doing whatever it takes to help him gain confidence in himself, in me, in my leadership and in what I am asking him to do. Once he knows, without a shadow of a doubt, that I will never push him over the edge, he will offer me anything because he trusts me.
         
        02-21-2009, 11:48 PM
      #13
    Started
    I forgot to add that bribing the horse, confident or unconfident, will not work. It won't work for confident horses because they just don't care and they aren't going in the trailer b/c that's what they know you want, and it won't work for unconfident horses because they have safety issues so food is not even on their radar. Bribing a horse at any time is not good.
         
        02-22-2009, 12:38 AM
      #14
    Trained
    I have to respectfully disagree. I have bribed a horse to catch it, I have bribed a horse onto a trailer and bribed that same horse to get out of the trailer, I have bribed a horse to get in and out of a pasture, on and on. Not that it's the way I'd prefer. But it does work for a temporary fix.

    Sometimes you just need to get said horse from point a to point b and then you work on the fine tuning later.

    I prefer to trailer train a horse when you have no where to go. When you can take your time and reward each effort of the horse until it's understanding and loading properly. Like I said before, if the OP can borrow the trailer, patience and practice will solve the issue.
         
        02-22-2009, 08:17 AM
      #15
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Spirithorse    
    I forgot to add that bribing the horse, confident or unconfident, will not work. It won't work for confident horses because they just don't care and they aren't going in the trailer b/c that's what they know you want, and it won't work for unconfident horses because they have safety issues so food is not even on their radar. Bribing a horse at any time is not good.
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dumas'_Grrrl    
    I have to respectfully disagree. I have bribed a horse to catch it, I have bribed a horse onto a trailer and bribed that same horse to get out of the trailer, I have bribed a horse to get in and out of a pasture, on and on. Not that it's the way I'd prefer. But it does work for a temporary fix.

    Sometimes you just need to get said horse from point a to point b and then you work on the fine tuning later.

    I prefer to trailer train a horse when you have no where to go. When you can take your time and reward each effort of the horse until it's understanding and loading properly. Like I said before, if the OP can borrow the trailer, patience and practice will solve the issue.
    Trailer loading, like many things in horse training, can be such an emotional topic! Not to sound wishy-washy or wordsmithing, but I think the bottom line is that how it's done depends very much on the horse AND the situation.

    As I see it, the goal is for your horse to load and unload by him/herself whenever you want, regardless of the trailer or what is going on around him/her, without expecting a reward (i.e. This is part of the horse's 'job').
    If you reward, that's fine, as a 'bonus' for the horse.

    Just some experiences of mine, for whatever they are worth...

    Our 14 yr old seasoned, ex-penner mare will walk in and back out by herself without a treat or reward (though we do reward her). All you have to do is walk her to the trailer and she'll load herself. Remember, though, that she is experienced, has been to countless shows, and has done this hundreds of times. As good as she is, you do have to watch when unloading because if she has too much room, she will want to try and turn instead of backing out. I expect it's just normal for a horse to prefer to go out frontwise instead of backward, especially in a step up trailer.

    Our 6 yr old mare had only been in a large stock trailer a couple times before we started working her with our 2 horse stock/combo. After about an hour, she would load and unload at home every time without problem using a hay reward for loading (she loves to eat). Trailer her out to a friend's place, and she loaded fine after an afternoon of riding.
    Second time out, loaded fine at home, but after the ride, there was a 4H show at the ranch with lots of horses in/around the arena, and it was obvious that she just wanted to stay and watch. Practiced more loading/unloading at home later and she did fine.
    Third time out, (remember, only her 3rd time actually trailered somewhere)loaded fine at home, but after the ride (with a larger group), there were a lot of folks helping people load, and she would go to the back of the trailer and just stand, not wanting to go in. After a few minutes, I stepped back, scratched my head, and saw that she had her head down, taking a nap....she was happy and relaxed, enjoying all the attention from people trying to help...I'm sure she was thinking, this is great!, why get it?

    Our 4 yr old mare had never been in a trailer with a divider either. I don't have an urgent need to trailer her anywhere yet, so I'm just taking my time working with her, without and with the divider in, and she's gaining confidence.

    I guess this is just a long way of saying that, IMHO, it depends on the horse, experience, age, what motivates it, the trailer, the environment/situation....a lot more things than just the trailer.

    ...and...if it's 7pm after a day of riding and it's going to rain, you don't want to spend all night trying to coax your horse into your trailer to go home. As Dumas'_Grrrl said, you just need to 'go', and if all else fails, I've found that a surprise swat on the butt will get those hind legs up and in (though you have to be prepared so you or your horse doesn't get hurt). There is that point where I think the horse believes he/she has 'out smarted' you, and you have to make being in the trailer look like a better choice than not going in.

    Sorry for the long post. I hope my experiences will help someone.
         
        02-22-2009, 10:45 AM
      #16
    Started
    That's where proper preperation comes in. If someone has truly prepared their horse to trailer load and the horse trusts/respects them completely they will not refuse to get in. Why would they, if they are trusting and respectful?
         
        02-22-2009, 10:53 AM
      #17
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PaintHorseMares    
    and you have to make being in the trailer look like a better choice than not going in.
    Very good way of putting this.

    Trailer loading is an emotional part of training. For horses that have been loaded, and are to the most part familiar with the drill, that is where the clear & direct, black or white situation occurs. Of course given the circumstance.

    For those who have never been trailered, yes you'd take your time to reassure the horse that it's not a horse-eating machine. With all of the ground work preparation we do, however, by the time it needs to get into the trailer, we have already established a calm confident animal that believes in what I say. So on another note I don't think I would push the trailer issue until you have that demeanor in a horse, or until its ready.

    Even horses who show "fear" need direction, sometimes not in the most cuddly way.
    I worked with this horse who wouldnt not get into any trailer. No matter the type, build, anything. The second he thought we were advancing towards the trailer, he'd try to drag me into timbucktoo. I'd say he had a fear of the trailer, would you not? This poor horse had been through the mill with the trailering. People had try to to the butt rope, which he taught the ignorant people that they'd release the butt rope if he backed up. He taught them that he could get away with barging in front of the handler to escape the trailer. And he taught himself that humans aren't a fraction strong he is, and it's worth dragging them around at the end of their mercy until they said they'd had enough. He didn't repect the flag, and he could care less about you bumping on his halter. This horse had a history of battles, and always won. You could see him apply his shield of armor when we'd approach the trailer. It's like he was suiting up for the battle.
    So, as you said, Spirithorse, it isn't about the trailer. From there on out I practiced loading him into the trailer, only without the trailer. I taught him to send away from the lead rope, without bulldozing in front of me. I had to get pretty loud on that, because he'd run me over if I wasn't careful.
    Once he understood his boundries, I then re-approached the trailer. He was better, but still fighting every step. So this is where I thought, "Okay. I know this guy is preparing for a battle. I do not want to give him one, but if I'm too gentle or passive her just might be the death of me." I had a number of choices. First off, I switched sides. Instead of being on his left side, I switched to his right. Boy did that confuse him. From that, I could get his front feet in. Then I'd back him out. If he looked away from the trailer, you bet I bonked his halter as hard as I could. And if he attempted to back up, I got really loud with the end of the rope and sent him forwards again. Then he'd proceed to load him self onto the trailer, and then I'd back him out. Pretty soon this issue was what I was going to ask of him next, not the actual issue of getting inside.
    I had to prepare this poor horse to be shipped half way across the country. The shipper didn't show up until after dark, and it was snowing and slippery. It was his big day, and he had no daylight to prove what a winner he had become.
    For those who are not familiar with some of the shipping trucks, I think if I were a horse, I would have definitely removed myself and high-tailed it to timbucktoo. There was this narrow hallway, that the horse had to step into from at least 2 feet off the ground. We'd only practiced on one that was not even a foot. There were no lights, no shavings, just cold hard & slippery rubber to get into. Even to me, who knew it was just another form of a horse trailer, it looked like a horse-eating machine.
    To my surprise, that darn hors loaded himself behind me without any hesitation, positioned himself like a champion.
    So you see, without me having been so clear to him, he wouldn't have trusted me to do such a thing. There def were at times I thought that I maybe was too hard on him, but always after he'd trust me to advance farther. I had to make this horse believe in me, and in the end he did.
    So as everyone had stated before, it does depend on the horse, the trailer, the handler, the day, the everything. But one thing I truely believe you can always turn to is having the ability to be calm, clear, and direct.
         
        02-22-2009, 11:04 AM
      #18
    Started
    From how you described the horse koomy I would say that he wasn't afraid, I would say he was one smart cookie who learned he could muscle humans around. He knew they wanted him in the trailer and because they were trying to force him he said "No way, you are not making me do this." And that is where he started fighting. So in that instance, yes, he needed direction and boundaries. He needed to become more obedient, and it sounds like he did just that. Horses like this NEED to feel your leadership, otherwise they won't believe you. And when they don't believe you, they can act like ratbags lol.
         
        02-22-2009, 01:28 PM
      #19
    Weanling
    Lol, good description. I might have to use that one, ratbags. :)
    I completely agree, actually. Int he end he wasn't afraid of the trailer, it was about the fight. Initially he was afraid, and I did forget to mention that pushing a horse over the edge as he did, is where you get their fight for life attitude. If handled clearly and positively in the beginning, he wouldn't have felt the need to fight so badly.
    I really hope you don't think I am trying to prove you wrong or anything, I am not. I think you have very strong points and that you are right about alot of them. :)
         
        02-22-2009, 02:39 PM
      #20
    Started
    Lol I like using the term ratbags because it really sums up a horse's behavior sometimes lol.

    I agree, if the horse is handled properly from the beginning the chance of a fight or fearful behavior is reduced dramatically.

    I don't think you are trying to prove me wrong :) No worries! I hope you don't think I'm trying to prove you wrong as well, that is certainly not my intention.
         

    Quick Reply
    Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.
    Message:
    Options

    Register Now

    In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

    Already have a Horse Forum account?
    Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

    New to the Horse Forum?
    Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

    User Name:
    Password
    Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
    Password:
    Confirm Password:
    Email Address
    Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
    Email Address:

    Log-in

    Human Verification

    In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


    Old Thread Warning
    This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

    Thread Tools

    Similar Threads
    Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
    Trailering We Control The Chaos Horse Talk 3 07-31-2008 08:19 PM
    Trailering another person's horse ajegberg Horse Talk 1 06-13-2008 08:33 PM
    Trailering my horse long distance Jumpit007 Horse Talk 1 11-10-2007 06:25 PM
    Trailering Help! CrCountryGirl Horse Training 4 07-23-2007 05:54 PM
    trailering thorprincess Horse Training 8 03-21-2007 03:59 AM



    All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:00 AM.


    Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
    Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
    Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0