Loading problems - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 09-15-2012, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: East Texas
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Loading problems

I had a lesson this morning and i was gonna trailer my new horse in.At first he just pulled away and backed up.We got him in once but then he shot outa the trailer before we could close it.We tried a few more times and he started rearing.We had to give up and had had to ride another horse in my lesson.What should I do?
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-16-2012, 05:06 AM
Join Date: Mar 2012
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Do you have a trailer at your place to work with him, or have access to one to work with him? The most important criteria you need is patience, for your safety as well as the horse's. Patience, gentle coaxing, no pulling, no pushing. Unless you stop everything you've already done, your problems will likely get worse.

Is the trailer safe and large enough for him? Straight load, slant, how big?

Is he being loaded with other horses in the trailer or alone?

If you have a trailer at home to work with him, or can borrow one and can feed him inside the trailer, that is one way to acclimate them to loading and unloading themselves almost automatically.

There are lots of reasons why horses have bad experiences with trailers, and I don't know how long you've had him/her or what you know about the history, but the more you can find out the better and then see what you can do to make a negative experience one that is positive and something to look forward to.

Have you put any hay or grain in the trailer to gently encourage the horse to come in? Even so, sometimes they will still bolt once they're inside and they panic. There can be a myriad of reasons for that.

Sometimes not tying a horse is safer, depending upon the trailer, and every situation is a little different. Some horses hate to be tied and in the right trailer and with safe driving will ride better loose and prefer to ride with their butts to the front of the trailer because they balance themselves better.

There are so many things to consider, and if your experience is limited it's important that you be safe, and if you can find someone to help you who is patient and doesn't try to bully the horse in, I hope there's someone available to give you a hand there.
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post #3 of 7 Old 09-16-2012, 11:30 AM
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Kansas
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This is a common problem with two horse trailers. Horses are born claustrophobic, some more so than others.

Some horses feel trapped in a stock trailer, but it's pretty rare. If you have a two horse, see if you can borrow a bigger trailer to see if he'll load in that.

Another option is to open all head doors, and escape door if it's a straight load two horse. Put a little feed or hay in the manger.

Once he loads and you've got him secure, stand around like it's no big deal. Don't love on him. Let him figure out that it's an okay place to be.

If you start with a bigger trailer and move to a smaller one, use the same procedures each time you switch sizes. And slowly increase the time you ask him to stand in the trailer.
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post #4 of 7 Old 09-16-2012, 12:03 PM
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You can try giving him a good workout first, lunging with lots of reversing of direction but allowing him to rest by the open trailer. If he's evasive, more work and not just circles. The trailer is the only place he gets to rest. Don't become frustrated and plan plenty of time for this. When he is willing to put a hoof in, allow him to rest then back him out. Many horses don't know how to back out calmly so they panic. So you are teaching him to calmly back out as well as load. Ask him to go forward again. If a two horse, load on the driver's side and open the escape door on the other side only if there's a divider to prevent him trying to go out of it. If he backs out before you ask put him to work again. To him the trailer will begin to be a place to rest. Or if you have your own trailer, open the doors and tie them securely. Put his grain up front along with a little hay on the floor. If you can put the trailer in a dry lot so much the better. Block it well so it's can't tip forward. Don't rely on the foot but stout blocking both under the hitch and at the back. He can decide just how much he wants his grain.
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post #5 of 7 Old 09-16-2012, 12:30 PM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Oklahoma
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Feed him in it. Never had I horse I couldn't train to get in the trailer using that method. I just put my trailer in the pasture and show the horse I put his dinner in there, and after they think about it for awhile they want that dinner more. And if he gets weirded out he can back out think about then hop in again.
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Peppy Barrel Racing is offline  
post #6 of 7 Old 09-16-2012, 12:46 PM
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: new york state
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my horse draft horse did the same thing and the method above do work it takes time so go slow and it will work out

ride a draft and see the world differently
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post #7 of 7 Old 09-16-2012, 03:18 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Vidor, Texas
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Invest the in the Clinton Anderson trailering DVD. One of my geldings was a toot to load and did some of the same things. He's a much better loader now!
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