trailer unloading problem - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 04-24-2012, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada
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trailer unloading problem

I have a new horse and he is hesitant to load but i can usually get him loaded but unloading has become a nightmare. I am alone when i load and unload so problems can come up very suddenly that I can't easily figure out how to fix. He gets very anxious to get out of the trailer when we have reached our destination. If I open the door of my straight load and undo the butt chain he throws himself backward and pulls until he breaks the tie attached to his halter. Last time we unloaded I stepped in and unfastioned the tie on his halter and before i could get back to open the door or undo the butt chain he threw a fit and literally tore the inside of my tailer all to heck. He tried coming out the escape door at the front between the two "stalls" and tore it off the hinges breaking all the bars and then tore out the divider and came charging out. If I dont tie him he puts his head down and tries to crawl out under the divider. I don't know how to fix this and now I am even nervous to try loading him. The trailer has to be repaired before i take him anywhere again but if I want to ride him other than on the busy highway I have to trailer him to where the trails are. Any ideas?
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post #2 of 4 Old 04-24-2012, 09:52 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: MN
Posts: 5,464
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Untie him, throw a couple of treats in the manager for him to hunt for to give you time to go around and prepare for him to back out.

When you have the time, load him, drive around the block and come home and park. Feed his grain, hay, etc in the trailer and let him come to understand that being in the trailer is not a punishment but a time he can relax.
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post #3 of 4 Old 04-24-2012, 10:04 AM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: upstate NY
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When it comes to loading and unloading everybody has their own openion. What works for us is "if ya have the time" feed them in the trailer. Keep the lead rope on and the chest restraint locked in place. It takes time and lots of it. The horse should walk into the trailer when asked, not forced. Once he sees that he can walk in and out when he wants than he will become more confortable. Than you can bore him to death by loading and unloading so many times that its just another one of those things that he has to do. Good luck
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post #4 of 4 Old 04-24-2012, 05:40 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Ohio
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My mare will not unload backwards off the trailer, which is surprising for an OTTB. She loads like a dream and is very quiet and relaxed in the trailer, but to unload her, my trainer and I have tried everything, to no avail. We have to take out the removeable divider and turn her around whenever we take her somewhere.

For your horse, it sounds like anxiety is the main problem, so make trailering a pleasant experience with a companion horse, hay, and treats.
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