I really need your help. Never imagined that I would have a problem with my Jack..He has always loaded easily and backed off the trailer. He has always prefered to turn around (thanks hubby)but I never allowed that so he stopped trying until a couple of weeks ago. I trailered him over to a friends and when he was backing off he put his foot down and apparently did not feel the ground soon enough so jerked it back up. We started over and he did back off However he hit his head coming off. Every time since then he has been a bugger to back off the trailer and has ended up hitting his head EVERY TIME. Now things have gotten really bad. He is actually afraid of backing off the trailer. I know he is afraid because he has always been a very calm and compliant horse. This past weekend I trailered him to ride and he actually started acting crazy when I was unloading him. He backed up about about half way, threw his head up and hit it and then bolted forward and then tried to turn around. We tried a couple more times with the same result and he ended up with the "white eye and diarreah. Then I did something I know I should not have done which was let him turn around. I know better but he was so upset that I just did not know what to do and I sure did not want him to get hurt. I really don't understand why he has started this or how to correct it. Any advice would be most appreciated.
Load just his front feet only then back off several times until he does it calmly. Then load in all the way and rinse and repeat.
When backing a horse off the trailer I always say back back and then when they are at the end to step down I lower my voice and say doowwn doowwn that way they can expect the drop.
I would also put a head cover to protect his poll to prevent an injury in this case.
I was asked to help with a difficult to load horse that would bang his head both going in and coming out of the trailer. What I did was to put a roller or surcingle (not an elastic one) on him, put two halter ropes on his halter, one I would tie his head down so he couldn't throw it up. Once in the trailer untied the tie down and put it back on before unloading.
A taller trailer? At least get him a head bumper, as you know he's going to hit his head, the poll is a very sensitive area for horses. If I have room for a horse to turn around and walk off, I always let them, it's so much safer for them. I am not sure why you are opposed to that?
They jerk there heads up like that cause they think they are falling down in the rear. If you have ever had the misfortune of having a horse slip in a trailer you will know what I am talking about. Cause all you hear is BOOM BOOM BOOM as they desperately whack their head off the roof trying to regain balance and get up. I would say your horse does it to keep from "falling" because you said he step down and didn't feel the ground fast enough and that was the original trigger to the whole situation....somehow you got to make it click he is NOT going to fall down when he is coming backwards...he is actually just trying to prevent falling down in the rear...maybe a ramp? Something he can feel with his feet to feel more secure till he successfully comes off a few times so he again feels secure.