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Help tried everything how can i load my horse in the trailer?

This is a discussion on Help tried everything how can i load my horse in the trailer? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        04-18-2010, 04:50 PM
      #11
    Weanling
    Oh, wow. This is exactly what I was going through. I even posted a thread asking for advice a while ago... Anyways, the point is, we got over our problems.

    There were a few weeks there where my horse would NOT come near the trailer. She would not take one step up. She fought everything we tried to do, and some of the stuff we tried was: have a rope around the nerve on the back of her head or a chain over her nose, and use pressure/release (this didn't work that well). We tried smacking her with a whip and the lead rope etc, making outside seem as scary as possible and inside the trailer calm and relaxing, tried bribing her with treats (please don't call me out on this one, I was extremely desperate and I knew even then it's not the right thing to do) and what always seemed to work was putting a lunge rope around her butt and hauling her in. Still, I always hated the lunge rope way, and it was stressful and hard work for everyone involved.

    So basically what I did was start at the very beginning. Not many people have stooks of grain, but we did, so I'd put a sheave or two in the bottom of the trailer and simply sit or stand in there while she ate, letting her be relaxed and within a day or two she was starting to step up onto the trailer. Eventually she'd come all the way on. I'd praise her, then quickly back her off.

    After a week or so, it evolved into her willingly coming onto the trailer, and when she didn't, I'd repeatedly back her up, bring her forwards, back her up, bring her forwards, until she got so bored that she just said: "Ok, I'll get on the trailer." After a few weeks of doing that, she started to refuse again, so I had to do something different.

    In the final "stage" of it, to get her to walk on I'd send her out of my space, and back her up and do all that, but wouldn't let her near me. Then I'd walk up to her, pat her and tell her to follow me. With that, I'd walk away, head up looking forwards, taking confident steps and never looked back at her and when I walked onto the trailer she followed without hesitation. When she did hesitate or refuse, I'd just send her away again and do the same thing. What also worked was when she wouldn't step up I'd step off and rush her-make her dance and spin and move her feet and hassle her, then would walk over to the trailer where I was instantly calm, and show her that if she doesn't follow me onto the trailer I'm going to harass her, and she's going to have to move and work.

    At the point where you're at, just spend lots of time around the trailer. Feed her in there, make yourself comfortable and get her used to just looking at it-make sure she associates the trailer with relaxation and calmness (is that a word? Calmness?). The trailer we were using at that time was small, dark and extremely old and in less than perfect condition, and by the end of several weeks' work she had no problem in it.

    When your horse does get to the point where she'll put even one foot in, praise her PROFUSELY, give her treats and big pats, and then I would always back her out immediately. I guess you could encourage her to step all the way up, but I never wanted to push it too far. It just depends on your horse and what you both are comfortable with, I guess. One foot leads to two, and two leads to her back feet coming up as well. If she feels confident and safe in knowing that she can back up and get out whenever she wants (well, at the start, anyways) she's probably going to be a lot more likely to be comfortable in there.
         
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        04-18-2010, 09:20 PM
      #12
    Trained
    I think Elky's got the best advice of anyone here; the trailer needs to be a place of 'comfort' in this case, as she is obviously clausterphobic...making the trailer be the only place she can rest will help her understand that it is an 'okay' place to be. The first couple times may take you a while of working, though, so don't go out an expect her to do it in 10 minutes...she might, but she also may not. I had a gelding who had been forced into a stock trailer (butt ropes, and the door shut into him), and he took well over an hour of me working him before he finally started even putting two feet in. Granted, he loaded like a champ from that day on, but it took a long time for him to realize that the trailer was the only place I was going to let him rest.
         
        04-18-2010, 09:28 PM
      #13
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheGoldenFilly    
    Tune into your horse. <major snip>

    If you have any Q's let me know...again, I really am forcing myself to stop writing!! (if you can't tell :[ lol)

    ~The Golden Filly!~
    Ohmigod! You're kidding right?
         
        04-18-2010, 09:52 PM
      #14
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Elky    
    One other thing, open the escape door if you have one and also the door/window at the manger to make it more open and not so closed in.

    Making a horse go in with a rope with the aid of others is like forcing the horse to go in, and what is to happen when you are out by yourself after riding all day and you are there alone, just you and your horse? You want the horse to get in because it is a good place, not because he was forced in. Always have a reward for the horse once he is in. Even if it is just a few pieces of horse candy or a little hay or little grain.
    we opened every single window and door in that trailer, didnt work!! So we already tried it,
         
        04-18-2010, 09:59 PM
      #15
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ilyTango    
    Oh, wow. This is exactly what I was going through. I even posted a thread asking for advice a while ago... Anyways, the point is, we got over our problems.

    There were a few weeks there where my horse would NOT come near the trailer. She would not take one step up. She fought everything we tried to do, and some of the stuff we tried was: have a rope around the nerve on the back of her head or a chain over her nose, and use pressure/release (this didn't work that well). We tried smacking her with a whip and the lead rope etc, making outside seem as scary as possible and inside the trailer calm and relaxing, tried bribing her with treats (please don't call me out on this one, I was extremely desperate and I knew even then it's not the right thing to do) and what always seemed to work was putting a lunge rope around her butt and hauling her in. Still, I always hated the lunge rope way, and it was stressful and hard work for everyone involved.

    So basically what I did was start at the very beginning. Not many people have stooks of grain, but we did, so I'd put a sheave or two in the bottom of the trailer and simply sit or stand in there while she ate, letting her be relaxed and within a day or two she was starting to step up onto the trailer. Eventually she'd come all the way on. I'd praise her, then quickly back her off.

    After a week or so, it evolved into her willingly coming onto the trailer, and when she didn't, I'd repeatedly back her up, bring her forwards, back her up, bring her forwards, until she got so bored that she just said: "Ok, I'll get on the trailer." After a few weeks of doing that, she started to refuse again, so I had to do something different.

    In the final "stage" of it, to get her to walk on I'd send her out of my space, and back her up and do all that, but wouldn't let her near me. Then I'd walk up to her, pat her and tell her to follow me. With that, I'd walk away, head up looking forwards, taking confident steps and never looked back at her and when I walked onto the trailer she followed without hesitation. When she did hesitate or refuse, I'd just send her away again and do the same thing. What also worked was when she wouldn't step up I'd step off and rush her-make her dance and spin and move her feet and hassle her, then would walk over to the trailer where I was instantly calm, and show her that if she doesn't follow me onto the trailer I'm going to harass her, and she's going to have to move and work.

    At the point where you're at, just spend lots of time around the trailer. Feed her in there, make yourself comfortable and get her used to just looking at it-make sure she associates the trailer with relaxation and calmness (is that a word? Calmness?). The trailer we were using at that time was small, dark and extremely old and in less than perfect condition, and by the end of several weeks' work she had no problem in it.

    When your horse does get to the point where she'll put even one foot in, praise her PROFUSELY, give her treats and big pats, and then I would always back her out immediately. I guess you could encourage her to step all the way up, but I never wanted to push it too far. It just depends on your horse and what you both are comfortable with, I guess. One foot leads to two, and two leads to her back feet coming up as well. If she feels confident and safe in knowing that she can back up and get out whenever she wants (well, at the start, anyways) she's probably going to be a lot more likely to be comfortable in there.
    we did the thing you suggested!! And we did the rope thing, EVERY THING YOU SAID WE WERE SO DESPERATE!!
    When am I going to find the perfect adivice...
         
        04-18-2010, 10:36 PM
      #16
    Trained
    Maybe you need to do it better or stick to it longer. Get some help in person. I can't tell you how many horses that were "impossible" to load that I loaded in less than 15 minutes. I take a long rope and run it to the front of the trailer then back to me. I then stand behind the horse and put some pressure opn the line until the horse steps forward. As soon as the horse steps forward I release the tension on the rope. If I have to I will use a buggy whip or my hat or the tail of the rope to encourage some forward movement. If the horse runs backward I don't try to stop it I just start over again. If you try to stop the horse from moving backward they commit more energy to it and that is when the wreck starts.
         
        04-18-2010, 10:38 PM
      #17
    Trained
    Oh don't forget to load her aura to.
         
        04-18-2010, 10:41 PM
      #18
    Yearling
    Kevin, if you load her aura first, the rest of her will just walk right on. No need for ropes!
         
        04-18-2010, 10:44 PM
      #19
    Trained
    Those auras can be tricky little buggers though. Sometimes you have to use an aura net and drag them in.
         
        04-18-2010, 10:46 PM
      #20
    Yearling
    Not if you think happy thoughts!!
         

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