Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Orleans, Indiana
Trailer Loading Problem - Emergency!
So, we trailered Chili to go see Jennifer (Remi here on HF) and she loaded with a slight hesitation into a 2 horse, straight load bp trailer. Ride was fine except for one small problem when the colt we were bringing for Jennifer (not tied in the trailer) stuck his head into Chili's manger and she didn't like it - then we tied him, no problems after that.
We got there and she unloaded fine. No problems.
Tried to load yesterday to go home and she would have nothing of it. I know we probably did a few things that were not correct and I can only hope they do not hinder our being able to load her in the future.
We started out with obvious encouragement - tapping her on the backside with either a dressage whip or lead rope while trying to pull her into the trailer (now know NOT to pull)....
Worked her every single time she refused to load by circling first then trotting her. Never yelled - at least, not at her.
Put her in a round pen and led the trailer up to it with the doors open and feed in it - and she did put 2 feet into it but then backed out quickly and never put her feet back in.
She kept yanking her head up - and at one point hit her head on the trailer and another time got her halter stuck on the trailer door latch.
We got her in ONCE (in the beginning) but she turned around before we could get her tied (a TIGHT fit) and pretty much - sat down in the trailer like a dog - which I'm sure obviously scared the crap outta her and caused her not to want to come to the trailer at all.
After that, I just kept talking to her, leading her up to the trailer to snif it/walked around it, worked her - nothing would get her back in.
Called a friend of mine out of state and they suggested more - forceful means - but we couldn't get her head down, so it was useless to try pulling her in from behind. We did have a slight bit of success blindfolding her - but after she got 2 feet in the trailer at that point, threw her head up and hit her head - again. (these methods are all mixed up and not in any order btw).
When she was in the round pen, as a last resort, we were coaxing her in with feed, I had a hold of her lead rope and my husband touched - not tapped or prodded - touched her backside with a stick and she kicked him, full on in the groin. He walked away so I worked her in 2 quick circles in the pen and then went to tend to him. I'd have worked her longer but after he jumped the fence, he went down on the ground, so I wanted to make sure he was ok - obviously.
We ended up leaving her there with Jennifer's horses in the pasture. We are taking this smaller trailer back to where we borrowed it and borrowing a stock trailer, but I'm petrified we won't be able to get her back in and want to know what we can do - with limited time and resources - to get her loaded????
I think originally the problem was that the trailer was small for her - she had room to lean to each side but her tail was touching the trailer door. Then, with her getting stuck in the trailer and then hitting her head on the trailer a few times- I'm afraid I've created a worse problem.
It's been suggested that we sedate her enough to get her loaded. We will have *some* time to leave the trailer there with the doors open so she can get used to it being there but not for several days. It's not like we can set it up and let her get used to it again and work with her over a few days. We have one day to get it done.
I know - as I stated - that there are things we shouldn't have done, so please, just give suggestions for what we can do NOW to get my girl home.
On a side note, I thought for sure my hubby was going to say we had to get rid of her bc she kicked him but he said no. That it was his fault and she is coming home.
Jennifer is a saint for letting Chili stay there with her horses and taking care of her until we can come get her.
and other than that, my birthday was a definite adventure!
Comments can be posted, pm'd or even emailed to me directly. I'll even accept text messages at this point. And I don't care about my phone # being on the board bc I have a business with the same phone #, so it's all over the Internet anyway!
THANK YOU IN ADVANCE
"Not evil, dear. Wicked." - Once Upon A Time.