First off, I find this kind of funny, because I know most travelling problems are getting the horse into the mode of transport, not out.
Mitchell was a race horse, and was always trucked so he would turn around to come off. When I bought him I *floated him home, we had no problems getting him on and tied up. However he is a big horse and must have been either impatient or felt closed in, as we closed it up and talked to owners for a minute and he started jumping around and rocking the trailer... It was actually properly rocking. He was fine once we started moving though.
We knew he had always been trucked, even with them, and the owners were really nice in that when we arrived to pick him up, they had him in their horse float and were trying to teach him to back off for me. (They have both a truck and a float) He eventually did get off but I think he may have turned and squashed himself around so he could walk off forwards.
Anyway, We got him home and parked in the paddock incase he decided to rush off, we untied him, opened up the ramp, and he stood there. And stood there. And stood there. And stood there some more
. We tried to push on his chest (he does back on the ground, not undersaddle though) and he would take a step back, then lean forwards until he was back against the chest bar. Then would look out the side door as if to say "i'm supposed to walk out that one forwards" so we shut that door hoping he would realise the only way he could get out was backwards.
-He stood in there for the good part of an hour and never figured it out. He did stand quite patiently though.
We ended up getting our neighbour (who's float we had borrowed) and he tried, even put the lead rope in his mouth and pushed backwards, and Mitch didn't budge. So he ended up being turned around and taken off forwards. -We were lucky the float was quite a big one because he is not a small horse and I was afraid he would get stuck turning around.
Any idea's on how to teach him to back off the float?
-My farrier suggested starve him for a day, take him for a ride in the float, then untie him and pull the ramp down and stand there outside the float with a bucket of feed because he will come to one. But to tell you the truth I would rather not try this method because I'm not keen on starving him just because he's confused on how to do something(seeing as he's not doing it to be naughty), and I know that the most likely event will result in Mitch trying to turn in the float to come out forwards, and either getting stuck, or freaking out because he is confused and doesn't know how to get out.
*Float = New Zealand term for horse trailer.
And P.S, sorry for the novel