Need help with a stubborn horse and the trailer!

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Need help with a stubborn horse and the trailer!

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  • How to load a stubborn horse in a trailer
  • Best way to coax stubborn horse

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  • 1 Post By ~*~anebel~*~

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    04-08-2013, 05:46 PM
Need help with a stubborn horse and the trailer!

Hello there! I'm in a bit of a predicament, and I really would appreciate any help that can be given.

So I have this horse, and I love her to bits. I love showing her, but the problem is she has such a hard time getting in the trailer. She's not scared of it, she's just so stubborn! She'll rear and turn away from it or just stand there and not budge. Mostly she'll just rear. And if you get her into the trailer, before you can even move to put up the back bar she'll back up so quickly. Same with trying to put the trailer tie on her halter.

I've tried to take the partition out so its more spacious but I still achieve the same results. We've tried grain/treat to coax her on, lunging before hand, putting another horse on first and other things but still she won't get on. I'm starting to think it's lack of respect she has for me, but I've been riding this horse for 5 years?

So please, anyone, I'd like to know a solid way to help her get on the trailer. Any input is appreciated, thank you!
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    04-08-2013, 05:49 PM
You need Clinton Anderson's Lunging for Respect. It helps to get your horse to go anywhere and into anything that he is unreasonably afraid of going, and I have used to train my 16'33hh gelding to stand by the mounting block, among other things, so it does work.
    04-08-2013, 05:58 PM
It really depends on the horse.

My horse was in a trailering accident, and even before then was not a great loader. But now he hops onto the trailer so quickly I can't actually be in front of him in the trailer. He is a self loader.

What he used to do was get frantic and run back and forth in front of the trailer, rear, bolt, etc.. So I just made him stand in front of the ramp, just stand still, and then waited. Patience is key, give yourself an hour, and have hay just in the trailer (I always have at least a handful of hay in the manger when my horses get in). Eventually she should hop up. Don't punish anything, just reposition her calmly in front of the trailer if she moves.
I used this method for another horse who had not every been trailered apart from the trip to the vet check when he was purchased. We did the same thing with him. No pressure, just hop on when you're ready. He also now self loads. Takes me under 30 seconds to get both horses loaded by myself.

Don't over complicate it. It's the same as anything else. Make the right thing easy, stay calm and don't make anything more dangerous than it has to be (lunging by the trailer scares the bajeebus out of me). Patience is key. The horse did not learn how to stand in the crossties perfectly in one day, or to be in a stall, or to jump a 4' course. It will take time and good experiences.

Good luck!
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    04-08-2013, 06:10 PM
My favorite topic to talk about :)

I have a 16hh Thoroughbred who can be the world's most stubborn horse. When we got her she was deathly afraid of trailers, then we got her to the point she was to stubborn to go in.

One method I used was lunge before hand, ask for them to get in, if they don't go lunge the heck out of them again, go over and try again, if they don't get in or take an attempt such as sniffing/licking lips/picking up feet go lunge the heck out of them. That has been the best thing that has worked with me.

The method of if they take a step you back them up hasn't worked for me. The thoroughbred got smart and I would get her half in and then she wouldn't get in because she thought she was suppost to back out and if you pulled on the lead to correct her she would throw her head up, hit it on the trailer, and flip out.

Make her learn that it is a whole heck of work outside the trailer. When I mean make it work, lunge her for 5 minutes doing a ton of transitions. I do trotting, no cantering. I let my horses have a few chances at the trailer to get in and if you can see its a deffo no I immediately start lunging the heck out of them.

My thoroughbred mare now you can walk up to the trailer, stop, throw the lead and she walks right in.

You could also put a butt rope on her. Tie it to one side of the trailer, run a lunge line through the front of the trailer and give a tug on it while tugging on the butt rope. That's the only way we can load out stud and he rears straight up in the air, but we can load him in 5 secs if he just sees the butt rope. Then its harder for them to back up. Also never tie before you put the butt bar on, butt bar goes on first then tie.
    04-08-2013, 06:26 PM
The last thing you want to do is go into the trailer yourself. Sometimes a person will stand in the trailer, facing the horse to coax it in. The person doesn't hear the horse say "you're in my way and there's no room to pass". Entering the trailer can result in your death, it happened to a well known equestrian at the Biltmore Estates. There are some CA examples on youtube. Look at his trailer loading over and over until it is imprinted in your head, then go load your horse.

horse, stubborn, trailer problems

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