trailer issues

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trailer issues

This is a discussion on trailer issues within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Horse runs out of trailer
  • Horse box walking in the trailer issues

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    01-15-2010, 08:40 PM
trailer issues

My mom's horse has issues trailer loading. We've been working with her for about 3 years now and she still only gets on the trailer when she wants too. She will pull back and rear if you try to pull on her halter to get her in the trailer. She has never had a bad trailering experience because when we first got her she walked right on. I've run out of ideas and I need help, we've tried professionals and they haven't gotten anywhere either.
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    01-15-2010, 09:06 PM
What methods HAVE you tried? Will be easier to suggest something new if you describe what you've tried already!
    01-15-2010, 09:20 PM
We started by tapping her on the hip with a dressage whip until she would move forward and rewarded her by stopping tapping when she did move forward. Needless to say that doesn't work anymore. Then I moved on to bribing her with treats and snacks and that worked until I went to hook her in and then she would just fly backwards out of the trailer. We used to have a trailer in her field as a run in shed and she used it so I know she's not afraid of the trailer. I've run out of ideas for other things to try.
    01-15-2010, 09:36 PM
If you know she is used to it now it sounds like she just knows that she doesnt have to. She knows that if she flys backwards she doesnt have to stay in there.
    01-15-2010, 09:40 PM
It's not about the everything around the with the horse, but ignore the trailer that is right by you. Don't try to trailer when you are already late or going to be late. Remember a trailer is a metal cave on wheels. It can be quite scary to some horses :)
    01-15-2010, 09:46 PM
OK so she knows what it is, but just stubborn in knowing she doesn't have to. Get stubborn back. Walk her up to it and when she stops, back her up FAST. Make it more work for her to refuse to load than to just walk in. This might take a bit of time...I once spent over an hour in a training session with one of my 2 year olds working on loading. Be patient, don't get frustrated, and if you DO start getting upset, find a place to stop and come back to it instead of losing your cool and making it a bad experience for her.

Another thing I'd try is a butt rope. Hook it to the center divider, around the horse's back end, and apply pressure at the same time as the halter. When she steps up, release the pressure as her reward and ask again. If she steps BACK into the pressure, I'd pop her on the butt with a crop. Make it count and she'll scoot forward, be prepared to take in the extra slack. Reward for stepping up witht he lack of pressure, and ask again.

It's a LONG process. Easier if they're not scared of the trailer in the first place though. Good luck and keep us posted.
    01-15-2010, 09:49 PM
EveningShadows GREAT advice! I have done both of those techniques
    01-15-2010, 09:50 PM
Butt ropes don't work...she almost flipped over. I forgot we had tried that before. It took me over 2 hours to get her on the trailer one time and I missed my first class at the show. She's not scared of the trailer, the biggest problem is trying to get her to stay in the trailer so we can hook her in. Some people have told me to shut the door behind her once she steps in, but I see that ending very badly. Has anybody else ever tried that?
    01-15-2010, 09:52 PM
Yeah I would shut the door as long as you have an escape door that you can get out of, if you don't I wouldnt shut the door
    01-15-2010, 09:55 PM
I'll get a picture of the trailer tomorrow because there's a 5 foot gap between the end of the divider and the door. She's also 14 years old and extremely stubborn. It makes working with her very

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