Horse will not back off float!
A while ago I posted on here about how Mitch would not back off a horse float.. When I first got him he would refuse to back up at all, pushing against you and the chest bar with all his weight if you asked him backwards..
We ended up turning him around and hauling him out of the float (thankfully it was plenty wide enough, but it was not my float and I can't rely on turning him around every time.)
After this we worked extensively from the ground on backing up, he now knows this very well so we borrowed the neighbourse float (very wide) and I walked him up to the ramp, then backed him away, then got his front hooves on the ramp, then backed off etc so he knew how to get out before we got in there.
So now we're inside the float: Mitch will comfortably back up inside the float up until his back hooves have to get onto the ramp, at which point he panics and rushes forwards again. We had to have breaks every 10 minutes because his heart rate was so high I thought he might drop in there(but he didn't). We spent over 2 hours inside that float going backwards and shooting forwards before I managed to suprise him into backing off(very forcefully and I was exhausted afterwards), however he didnt back off fully, he got halfway down the ramp and spun around and come out sideways instead. So we tried again after cooling off a bit.
This time all he will do is go sideways and up against the walls, he will still back up but still as soon as he hits the ramp he goes forwards. I had 2 people with me, one on both sides to make sure he wouldnt go off the ramp. We tried having two lunge lines attatched to him and pulling him backwards, as well as my brother pushing on his chest.... Fail... Still can't get him out and he is just getting more worked up at this point. So I back him up to where he is comfortable and we stand there a while so he calms down, knowing that he did what he was asked to an extent.
I took him to a show the next day and just attatched a lunge line to him and hauled him out forwards with no struggle, and did the same when we got home. But I know I can't rely on always having a float wide enough to turn around it, he's not a small horse. So any suggestions to help here?
We have tried with treats and feed and everything that I can think of, it just seems to be that he panics on having to back down the actual ramp, which is not a steep one at all.
Or do I just give up with this and make sure I buy a wide float or an angle loader?
R.I.P ~ Bubbles - 25yo tb mare - 13.04.2011 ~ 8:30am ~ passed away naturally and peacefully in my arms