The horse: A 14 year old Thoroughbred mare named Sassy, about 16hh.
When we got her she was deathly afraid of trailers, but we worked with her last summer and she would walk in/out just fine. Then we didn't trailer her for about a year and we had to take her to the vet a month ago and well she wasn't afraid of the trailer she just didn't want to go in. The last 3 days I have been working on trailering with her using the method of teaching her that she is going to get her butt worked outside the trailer and rest inside. So she loads fine now. Sassy is not my horse, but I work with her and nobody else does so that's why I kind of call her mine. Haha. But we use her owner's trailer. He has a 6'5 Stock Trailer. She always has to ride facing backwards. ALWAYS! Her owner goes down south for the winter and he had bought this trailer before he left so he didn't have time to put mats in it. Our old trailer was only 6ft tall and she barely fit and we sold it to a friend. It is also buried under a ton of snow so we can't get it out and use it, and most of everyone else's trailers are buried under snow piles. So this is the only trailer we can use. The floor is wood and I put a ton of straw in it.
She is 100% afraid to get out of the trailer. Yesterday it took her 5 minutes to get out. Yes, get out. The ground isn't slippery it just has a few inches of snow, there is no ice in the trailer. She is barefoot. I do have a video of the 5 minutes it took to get her out but I can't upload it at the moment. I told her owner and he will be putting mats in and make a ramp for the trailer. She will dance at the edge of the trailer and gets scared the moment a front foot goes off the edge. She attempts to 'leap' out of the trailer. I stand out of the way and just let her come out on her own, she doesn't give up. And pulling on her just gets her more worked up. The other day she ended up clipping her back foot on her front leg when getting out. So yesterday when I practiced I put her sports boots on so she wouldn't get hurt if she clipped her leg again. Lessons are only about a mile away but that really isn't the point we have to trailer her down there because of certain reasons, plus it would be pitch dark by the time I would get done. And she needs to know how to get out of a trailer anyways we have a barrel racing clinic in a week.
Last summer she was a little scared about getting out of the trailer. Any ideas on how to help her?
We can't back her out. The moment you turn her around in the trailer to back out she gets all worked up, and if you do get her to the edge the moment her back foot goes off she just flips out and half the time when it goes off she will run backwards out, throw her head up and hit it on the top hard. And she might have hock issues, might. And doing research, horses with hock issues don't like backing out of trailers.
On the way to the barrel racing clinic I probably will polo wrap her legs. Just for when she gets out. I might be able to throw by boots on her quick before I get out. But one way or another she is going to have something on her front legs. Tonight at lessons I will ask if we can back to the trailer up to the indoor arena to unload her.
So any ideas at all for her to become more comfortable with getting out of a trailer? I know strange, a horse that doesn't want to get out of a trailer.