Horse ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT back out of trailer

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Horse ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT back out of trailer

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  • Horse won't back out of trailer
  • Horse backs out when loading

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    07-04-2013, 09:00 PM
Horse ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT back out of trailer

Hi everyone, I have a 7 year old Clyde TB cross who will not back out of the trailer. We have tried for HOURS at a time, and we have literally tried EVERYTHING I can think of, and everything I can pull up on the internet. He is a fairly big guy at 17.2hh, so that also adds more challenge as he will just fly towards you in the trailer when asked to back out.

He will back out, but only if it's just his front legs in the trailer. Any back legs, he just wont. I have no issue with turning him around, except our trailer is a straight load. It is warmblood sized, but it's not big enough for him not to squish when turning. I NEED him to back out, he already has chiropractic issues with his ribs and he has popped a rib out turning around because he has to squish so much. PLEASE! Help me! I have tried everything! We are even considering a ramp but that is an expensive option.

(I have also spent hours backing him over random stuff, but he will not even back out of a shelter that in 2-3 inches higher than the ground. I have gotten him to back off a small cement pad though.)

PS: How much would a ramp cost for a straight load?

Pictures of trailer:

Picture of horse (right horse):
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    07-04-2013, 10:02 PM
Our new horse has issues with backing as well. I have found two solutions that may help - hopefully.

1.) Take two leadropes - one that is on his halter and another one to clip on. Have another person help you with this. Have one person hold the leadrope tight and stand out of the way outside and to the side of the trailer. You (or someone else if you would rather be in the trailer and trying to help back him from the front, but if you don't have to then I wouldn't) hold the other leadrope and stand on the other side. Both of you apply pressure on the leadropes and one person (or both) keeps asking softly and steadily "back." Both of you apply pressure to the leads but don't let the horse turn his head - then best you can. Just continue asking to back holding the same amount of pressure for a few seconds. If he still doesn't back then add a bit more pressure wile still asking to back with your voice. As soon as he makes a move to back, release. Then repeat again and wait for a little more movement than his last one, then release again. Keep doing this until he backs out!! :)

2.) As he gets better with #1, then take a long leadrope, swing it around over his neck or withers, and either tie it back to the halter or slide just slide it through the same hole it is attached in. Hold it with one hand and apply pressure back and ask him to back. If it helps - sometimes the horse needs to think you are moving as well - then walk in place. Sometimes if the horse hears your feet moving then he think you are walking back and maybe get out of your way.

Good luck!
    07-04-2013, 11:19 PM
Green Broke
With my first horse trailer years ago (2 horse straight load step up) I had an issue with one of my horses rushing to back out and another one who was reluctant to step up so I had a ramp put on the trailer. It was purchased from the dealer I bought the trailer from and had a metal frame around wood (a welding shop could make one if you gave them the specs I'm sure); it was about 4 ft or so in length and the width of the trailer; I took it to a local welder and he welded it on to the frame/bumper part. I'm not remembering the actual costs but it wasn't all that much or else I wouldn't have done it. For those two horses the ramp was a success although it was hard on my back lifting it up.

I've now gone to a two horse slant step up. I lead my horses in and out and we're all very happy with that way of doing things. I don't think I could handle lifting a ramp now any more (bad back).

I suspect the quick and easy fix is to cheat - get a stock trailer or slant load so the horse can walk out.

I'm also wondering if it hurts him to do step downs backing up as you mentioned he had some chiropractic issues????

Good luck.
Palomine likes this.
    07-04-2013, 11:40 PM
I have the same problem with my horse I can get him on fine but of is impossible tho I had a ramp on the floats I have used he did back out once when the float ramp was parked near a slope so it was flat when backing out but he is litterally terrified of backing out I don't own a float to work with him
    07-06-2013, 12:57 PM
He might not be able to back out. Have you have the vet and/or chiro check him out?
Once you rule that out, I have a wonderful solution for you: put him in the trailer with the divider up and let him back out on his own. Crazy, right? I doubt he'll stay there for more than a day or two. Hang up a water bucket in front of him and leave him be. Make sure that he can't turn around.
Everyday feed him his grain in the trailer. If he doesn't go in, he doesn't get grain. If he doesn't back out on his own, he doesn't get to leave. He will get the picture.
Sharpie and ShelbyNicolay like this.
    07-06-2013, 01:05 PM
I was going to suggest what rascal did. Park the trailer in a safe field. Make sure he has hay and water, open/tie open the door and leave him alone. With the divider up, he will not be able to turn around and his only options are to stay in the trailer (which is not a problem since he has food and water) or back himself off in his own good time. Rinse and repeat until he unloads himself in a timely fashion, then you can start working on it with him again on your timeline. Might take a day or so, but the beauty is that you don't have to stand there watching him- no stress and no pressure for either of you.
    07-06-2013, 01:43 PM
If you do this, be sure the trailer is still attached to the truck or is blocked up really well. Loading a horse into a trailer that is not attached to a truck is dangerous if the trailer is not super stably positioned.
Sharpie, Palomine and FaydesMom like this.
    07-06-2013, 02:02 PM
Just out of curiosity (as I have a 17-something draft cross too!) What are the dimensions of your trailer? How wide is it - both the divided sections and total? Tall? Long? I'm having a hard time with trailers, can you tell? :)

As for getting him out... He won't stay in there forever. He's gotta come out eventually... Right? If you have tempting hay in sight, when he gets hungry enough he SHOULD come out to eat. (Though you may have tried this already!)
    07-06-2013, 02:05 PM
Green Broke
If that is the horse in the trailer, how did it get out???
    07-06-2013, 02:09 PM
We had one like that - a big standardbred - that would not back out. What I did was pull the lead rope through his front legs and back legs and pull his head down. He couldn't turn because his head was between his legs and he had to back out. After a few times of that he backed out. This was in a straight load with divider, but I understand the pain because my horse can and will turn around with the divider up.
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