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Help with Unloading a horse

This is a discussion on Help with Unloading a horse within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        01-02-2013, 02:43 PM
      #11
    Super Moderator
    It is not a good idea to let a horse stay spoiled about backing out of a trailer. Their feet can slip as they are really too big to turn around gracefully and can really hurt themselves and anyone that gets in their way. It is so much better to fix the problem than try to work around it. It is just not that big a deal to fix it.
    nvr2many, ARTEMISBLOSSOM and LynnF like this.
         
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        01-02-2013, 02:58 PM
      #12
    Started
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        01-05-2013, 04:30 PM
      #13
    Weanling
    Hello Again I just brought Music home. He loaded good and rode well. When I got home and opened the trailer door and tried to back him out he would take only a couple of steps and then rush back into the trailer as far as he could go. Cherie I put the 2 ropes on either side of him halter like you said and we asked him to back. We just had to tug with the ropes a couple of times and he backed right off. I think he was afraid of stepping down and when he could feel the two ropes along his sides guiding him he felt more comfortable. I didn;t load him up again right away because he was a bit scared being in new surroundings with new people and horses. When he settles in a bit I will practice loading and unloading him. Next week I am taking him to a friends house where several of us are getting a vet check and a hoof trim and I hope to have him unloading like a pro by that time.
         
        01-06-2013, 06:01 AM
      #14
    Started
    Oh no lol not another one of these I have two of these ones...

    The first is my 16.1hh gelding mitch, who was always trucked as a race horse.. We tried everythig from leaving him there to pushing and using ropes in his mouth and chains over his nose... Nope. Nothing of that sort worked with him, he would literally stand there quiet patiently waiting for some magical front door to open up so he could walk on out. Sorry bud, that aint happening and your a bit big to turn around.
    He actually tried turning around one day and managed to cut his head and one leg, slip on the float mats, hurt his back and fall out of the back of the trailer.
    So one day, I loaded him up in the float and hooked up two lung lines to him, gave one to my dad and said Pull. And by god we hauled that horses butt right out of that float, did it a few more times and he understood.
    He's been to a few shows since then etc, and he has only needed one reminder.

    The thing I can not stress enough, is to stay calm and patient. It gets very hot inside those floats if you are stuck in there with a stubborn horse (or the likes), I remember sweating like crazy, even though the day was not overly warm.
    It is really good to have a helper or two on hand also :) good luck
         
        01-06-2013, 09:46 PM
      #15
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kayella    
    Is your divider removable? If so, remove it for the trip and he should be able to turn around no problem. I actually prefer removing the divider when hauling only one horse. The horse can distribute its weight over more than half the trailer and make the haul home both easier for you and the horse.
    Posted via Mobile Device
    Not necessarily true. A normal two-horse trailer is not nearly as wide as a stock trailer.
         
        01-06-2013, 10:42 PM
      #16
    Weanling
    I know the OP has solved her trouble, but I thought I'd post this for the benefit of others.

    The mare in my avatar was the same as the OP's horse. She loaded fine when I bought her, but would not back out of the trailer when I got her to my pasture. She showed the desire to turn, so rather than fight her at the time, I let her try to turn around. It was a two-horse Shoop trailer without a divider, but it was too narrow for her to make the turn. She ended up pretty much falling out sideways and got a couple minor scrapes. It was a mistake on my part not to fix the problem at the time, but I just didn't have the time to mess with it.

    When I decided to fix the problem, I got a two-horse trailer with a divider, so she could not turn around. I did this by myself, but I recommend a helper.

    I fed the lead rope through to the rear on the side against the wall, so I could pull from the rear to coax her to back. Then I stood at the rear with a second rope and captured a rear hoof at the pasturn. I lifted the hoof up and to the rear with the rope, staying well clear to the side, so as not to get kicked. She kicked and tried to free the hoof, but I just held the pressure until she relaxed about it. I lifted the hoof outside the trailer and let it down. It took me several minutes to get her to let it go all the way to the ground. I worked like that with each hoof, and within about an hour had both hooves outside the trailer on the ground. All this time, I also put pressure on the lead from time to time to attempt to coax her to back a step. She didn't give much up to this point.

    At that point I pulled on the lead rope hard enough to get her to back. It took quite a pull, but was not harsh. She resisted, but by that time she was tired and I was able to get a couple steps back from her. She was about 3/4 out of the trailer when she reared and was about to leap back into the trailer. All of a sudden it was like, "Oh! I'm out!" and she came on out. Overall, it took me about two hours. I think I could have done it in about half that time, but I wasted a lot of time initially just trying to pull her out with the lead rope.

    She was edgy about backing out two or three more times, but after that she has been fine.

    I now have a 4-horse stock trailer that was converted by a previous owner to a 2-horse with a camper. It has no divider and is wide enough for her to turn around in, but I still require her to back out. I want her to keep the habit of backing carefully out of the trailer.

    I think one thing I accomplished with this method, is that she backs out carefully, rather than charging backwards as I have seen some horses do. I used no brute force, no punishment, just gentle, but firm and constant pressure. I used a regular flat-braid nylon halter and a long, strong 5/8" lead rope, and a second short rope for the hoof control.
         
        01-06-2013, 11:10 PM
      #17
    Yearling
    First off let me say I do not have years of trailer experience and my horse Spirit is an easy unloader. I most frequently ride with my friend who her horse doesn't want to unload or load until 30 mins of making it happen. We used my horse to make her horse "follow her buddy"...okay I'm going with you mentality. I load my horse first, she loads her horse who walks straight in. God forbid she be left behind is her thinking. When she needs to unload, I unload my horse first, while she gives her horse a treat to stay and then her horse unloads easily to be with my horse. God forbid she gets left behind is her thinking Worked for us. Sometimes a trusted buddy can show her the way and help calm her. Just what we did that worked but be safe and careful.
         
        01-06-2013, 11:34 PM
      #18
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpiritLifter    
    First off let me say I do not have years of trailer experience and my horse Spirit is an easy unloader. I most frequently ride with my friend who her horse doesn't want to unload or load until 30 mins of making it happen. We used my horse to make her horse "follow her buddy"...okay I'm going with you mentality. I load my horse first, she loads her horse who walks straight in. God forbid she be left behind is her thinking. When she needs to unload, I unload my horse first, while she gives her horse a treat to stay and then her horse unloads easily to be with my horse. God forbid she gets left behind is her thinking Worked for us. Sometimes a trusted buddy can show her the way and help calm her. Just what we did that worked but be safe and careful.
    I think this is a little different issue. Your friend's horse is just being disobedient. The OP's horse was afraid. They both need training, but the underlying issue changes the methodology a little. Your friend's horse probably just needs a little more assertive handling at the trailer.
         
        02-27-2013, 02:33 PM
      #19
    Super Moderator
    I hit the wrong key and brought this old post up that I was only trying to copy. Sorry. I think I have it fixed other than this old thread coming back to the top.

    I am technologically challenged -- I really am.
    Cherie
         

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