horse won't back out of trailer
 
 

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horse won't back out of trailer

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  • Horse that can not back up
  • Trouble with horse backing off trailer

 
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    03-27-2011, 09:52 PM
  #1
Weanling
horse won't back out of trailer

Am going to look at a horse next weekend. She will not back out of a trailer, she will come out only if turned. My questions are would you buy a horse that will not back out and is it possible to turn around in a 2 horse trailer. I really don't think so but just asking. Has anyone had this problem and worked with the horse until it backed out or should I pass on this horse because of this. Keep in mind we haven't looked at her yet but if we really like her, I don't want to make the mistake of purchasing her and having a horse that wont back out if not possible to be turned.We do not and will not have a trailer until at least next year and prefer a 2 horse vs a sti=ock trailor. Thanks!
     
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    03-27-2011, 10:04 PM
  #2
Super Moderator
Many of the horses we encounter have this problem and it fixes really easily.

You just snap two lead-ropes on the horse's halter and run one back along each side of the horse. Then, two people just pull the horse out. After you do this a couple of times, most of them just back right out.

They get started doing this when they start to back out, step down and then instinctively hop back forward. If you then let them turn around, you create this thing where they decide they absolutely WILL NOT back out and they think everyone will just let them turn around if they are stubborn enough.

After forcing them back -- usually 2 or 3 times -- they will back out every time after that.
     
    03-27-2011, 10:10 PM
  #3
Green Broke
It's not a good thing but not something that can't be fixed. At least you know ahead of time so you can prepare, ie: have a trailer that the horse can turn around in until you can work with her to back out.
     
    03-28-2011, 01:54 AM
  #4
Banned
I don't think it's a big deal, and it is certainly something that you can work on and practice with the horse.

If that is the only thing the horse does wrong, you will be lucky! :)
     
    03-28-2011, 02:19 AM
  #5
Green Broke
My trainer had a horse that would *not* back out of a trailer. Just plain would NOT, no matter what or who tried. She spent nearly 30 hours in a 2 horse, straight load trailer before she finally came out flailing so hard she fell and slid under the trailer slicing herself up.

So she bought a slant load trailer, just so she could turn this horse around and get her out safely. When she sold the horse, it was under the condition that the buyer only use a slant load trailer. Buyer called her two weeks later, he'd stuck her in a 2 horse straight load and she'd been in there for 48 hours and still wasn't coming out.

If the seller tells you they won't back out, I wouldn't be buying a trailer you cannot turn them around in. You might be able to fix the backing out issue but what are you going to do if you can't and you now have a horse that's stuck in a trailer?
     
    03-28-2011, 09:31 AM
  #6
Super Moderator
And what is wrong with teaching one that is HAS to back up? I have not met the horse that could not be pulled back out of a trailer and taught to back up. Horses just do not run this ranch -- we do.

I have a slant load 6 horse aluminum trailer and 2 stock trailers -- one hauls 8 and the other hauls 7 head. I NEVER let any horse turn around in any of them -- period. They all back out without me ever getting in the trailer. It is what they are all trained to do.

I cannot see where it is a credit to let horses train their handlers like you suggest.
     
    03-28-2011, 10:03 AM
  #7
Showing
I have to agree with Cherie. You train the horse, not the other way around. My current mare is the easiest horse to load that I have ever owned but the first time I went to unload her by backing her out of a friend's 2 horse straight load, she simply wasn't going to go and kept trying to turn around. She got her first unloading lesson.

I didn't have a second person to work with so I just used one lead line and kept her back end against the trailer wall. It took ~1/2 an hour but she came off. The problem was not the backing but the fact that there was a step down that she wasn't familiar with and when her rear hoof hit open space, she would panic and charge back in the trailer. It just took time and patience. She was going to learn to do it my way - period. After I unloaded her, I reloaded her and repeated it several times. A few days latter, I went through it again but it was much easier that time. I've had her ~4 months now and she is no trouble what so ever.

BTW, since you will never win a tug of war with a horse, if it isn't working with you pulling her back using a lead line, I wouldn't hesitate using a lead with a chain over her nose.
     
    03-28-2011, 10:08 AM
  #8
Green Broke
Another way to teach a horse to back out is when loading, only let them step one hoof in and back them out. Then do two hooves and back out. Three hooves and back out. Finally all four and back out. Repeat each until the horse is calm before going to the next.
     
    03-28-2011, 11:05 PM
  #9
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by usandpets    
Another way to teach a horse to back out is when loading, only let them step one hoof in and back them out. Then do two hooves and back out. Three hooves and back out. Finally all four and back out. Repeat each until the horse is calm before going to the next.
Imo, this is the humane way. They don't want to back out because they're scared, so why not be kind & do it one step at a time (what to speak avoid the horse hurting itself as that poor horse Delfina described doing)?
     
    03-29-2011, 12:33 AM
  #10
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by usandpets    
Another way to teach a horse to back out is when loading, only let them step one hoof in and back them out. Then do two hooves and back out. Three hooves and back out. Finally all four and back out. Repeat each until the horse is calm before going to the next.
This is how I retrain a horse to back out; whether he likes to fly out, or doesn't know how to back out at all. I NEVER lead a horse out of trailer, especially a two horse; I will even back a horse off of slant and stock trailers, just because that's how I train them.

Before teaching him to back out of the trailer, I first make sure the horse knows how to back off of light pressure on the ground first... I will then move to a 'bridge' (usually a pallet with a good thick peice of plywood over top), and start asking him to step on, back off, step on, back off, and so on and so forth. As someone mentioned before it is often the step off of the trailer that scares most horses, so taking and breaking it down into smaller steps can really help him gain his confidence in backing off of something where he can't 'see down'.
     

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