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Horse will not back off float!

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  • What do you do if a horse backs down cliffs while on its back

 
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    11-08-2011, 07:21 PM
  #11
Super Moderator
It is time to stop 'asking' her to back out of the trailer and 'tell' her to. The inmates are running the asylum here.
     
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    11-09-2011, 01:47 AM
  #12
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
Another thought, have you tried backin him thro parallel poles on the ground. It teaches them to travel straight while backing. My shetland would not back out if there was a ramp, would not do it. Since it was a wooden ramp we backed up to, we just moved the trailer ahead and let her step out. She'd go in with the ramp so we just did it her way.
I haven't done that yet, but I will do.. We worked on backing up undersaddle today as he hasn't been taught before, within 5 minutes he was backing up without a second person on the ground, so he learns quickly.

That's cool, I might shop for a wider float anyway just incase we have problems in the future, but I definitely want to have him backing off the float instead of turning around, it scares me having to turn him around in there even though he manages it alright
     
    11-09-2011, 02:22 AM
  #13
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
... I had an arab that had to physically check the trailer out. He'd look around and bang on the floor. If he didn't like it, he wouldn't load. If it met with his satisfaction he'd load like a charm. In one trailer a floorboard was weak. We discovered this after he absolutely refused to load.
This is a beautiful true story showing us that we should listen to our horses! Thanks for sharing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by HollyBubbles    
...We worked on backing up undersaddle today as he hasn't been taught before, within 5 minutes he was backing up without a second person on the ground, so he learns quickly.
Right, a horse gone right-brained (scared) is NOT stupid, but just can't think clearly, due to panic. The worst thing for a scared horse is to force it with ropes/whatever; it's pushing it over a cliff emotionally, & its trust of you will plummet. This horse needs to be able to THINK its way through this puzzle, to UNDERSTAND that it's safe to back out, so you need to provide the time for it to gain that confidence by inching your way along with her. Backing out over & through other things on the ground works because you're gaining her confidence & thinking part of her brain, so that's a great start!
     
    11-09-2011, 04:26 AM
  #14
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern    
Right, a horse gone right-brained (scared) is NOT stupid, but just can't think clearly, due to panic. The worst thing for a scared horse is to force it with ropes/whatever; it's pushing it over a cliff emotionally, & its trust of you will plummet. This horse needs to be able to THINK its way through this puzzle, to UNDERSTAND that it's safe to back out, so you need to provide the time for it to gain that confidence by inching your way along with her. Backing out over & through other things on the ground works because you're gaining her confidence & thinking part of her brain, so that's a great start!
That makes sense, so your saying that if I force him down that ramp he's just going to get worse and he won't trust me as much anymore?
So would backing up in lots of places even through poles and such help him gain enough trust in me to help him off the float?

Is it safe for me to back him up/down small hills from the ground? To simulate the going down the ramp? I want to do that but I want to make sure I'm not going to risk getting one or both of us hurt by doing that
     
    11-09-2011, 06:20 AM
  #15
Green Broke
I think your best bet would be to keep repeating what you have done. Get him to take a step or two on the ramp and back Jim off. Keep repeating but have him go a little farther forward before backing. I also think it is a good idea to keep backing him away from the trailer. Too many don't do this and the horse learns that once they are out of the trailer they can turn on their own.

I will also agree with your idea of backing him down a small hill. I was going to reply to have him back down a ditch. Since they can't see right behind them, they don't like to back where they can't feel the ground. Start with just a step or two and reward. Do not walk him back up and start over! This will reinforce what he does now. Instead have him back up the hill. You'll probably have to do it a couple of steps at a time at first. When he gets somewhat good at it, then try the trailer. This will also help when your in the saddle and have to back over uneven ground.
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    11-09-2011, 07:19 AM
  #16
Weanling
On the ground outside the trailer, get him backing up just as well from 2 cues. Pushing back on the halter and maybe tapping his chest (NOT at the same time) and keep practicing both of those (seperately) untill they are just as good as each other. Only combining the 2 inside the trailer will double his chance of responding.
     
    11-09-2011, 02:50 PM
  #17
Started
OP, go over to the other current trailer loading thread for a good instructional video of Clinton Anderson loading a horse. (I don't endorse CA altogether, but the proof is in the pudding here). You'll see that he takes the horse through the panic of the trailer by just asking the horse to walk by it, till the horse loses panicky fixation that he's going to get pressured into trailer, then CA sends the horse back, doesn't allow horse to fully enter, even though horse would have, to instill in horse the understanding that backing out is safe. CA also says to practice with all sorts of things on the ground, as we've been saying. It's pretty much all there. :)

Notice also how he 100% gives the horse the time to check out the trailer, every time the horse wants to, & says how important that is for the horse!!
     

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