Trailering? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 02-27-2012, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Question Trailering?

So my mare has been trailered before, and the person who trailered her said they "had no problem at all"
She won't even walk past a trailer! She's terrified.
Some of the stalls at my barn have wooden floors and the horses have to step up into them, my mare has a ground floor.
My friend's horse is lame for some odd reason and was in his stall(he has a wooden floor) the two stalls next to his are wooden so my friend thought I should put my horse in the stall next to her's so we could chat while grooming them.
WELL. Alibi didn't like that idea. I had the chain shank on her and she was rearing like crazy. I kept fighting her gently. The chain shank is so that she doesn't take off. She likes to do that when she doesn't want to do something. After about 10 minutes I got her in and gave her some grain and treats and looks of praise.
I took her out 20 minutes later and did it again, this time she walked right in.
She jumps out of the stall though.
I think I'll keep this up until she's more comfortable going in and out, then work on backing her out, THEN move to the trailer.

Do you guys think this will help? Everything is a battle of the wills with her.
Any tips on getting them in? I've heard of sending them while using the trailer as the wall. My horse can change direction on the lunge fairly well, but how do I turn it into sending? Anyone know?

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post #2 of 23 Old 02-27-2012, 10:31 PM
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Sending is pretty straight forward really...

Take her up to a fenceline...with you facing the fenceline and her parallel to the fenceline, ask her to go between you and the fence...when she gets to the other side, ask for a stop, rollback on her haunches, and right back between you and the fenceline the other direction, and then another stop, rollback, and come back through...I hope I haven't confused you. Lol!

If I can get someone to take some pics, or video this I will. It's pretty easy. It's basically a half circle of a lunge, and back the other direction, another half circle, and back the other direction...you can do it anywhere. I use it for going up and down ditches, across things, etc...it is the cure for 'boring old lunging' in my humble opinion!!!!

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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post #3 of 23 Old 02-27-2012, 10:38 PM
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What kind of a trailer is it? Straight or slant? I personally do not like straight loads and work with slant loads, but here is what I do with my horses who don't trailer well.

How close can you get your mare to the trailer? Walk her towards it and when she starts getting too tense, stop her there. If she's staring at the trailer, let her stare at it. Take your grooming bucket with you and start brushing her. Every time she looks away or puts her head down, or stops concentrating on the trailer, move her closer to it until she's looking at it again. When she puts her attention to something else, it means she has accepted the trailer is not a danger at that distance, so make the distance shorter.

Repeat that process until you get her to the trailer. This process might take several days or even weeks, let her go at her own pace. Do it every day you see her. Once she comfortably walks to the trailer without needing to stop, tie her to the trailer and groom her for the first time. The second time tie her, groom her, and then put up a hay bag for her and leave her there for half an hour or so. If she freaks out, go to her, untie her, calm her down, groom her there and quit. Try again the next day. When she's comfortable with the trailer and eating there start banging around the trailer so that the noises it makes won't scare her. Open the back until she's comfortable watching the door swing. Make sure you have a quick release knot in case she freaks out.

My next step is to tie and groom on the side of the trailer as the horse is comfortable with already, and open the trailer door. I put a grain bucket just inside the trailer on the floor. Make your horse aware you have a grain bucket and where you're putting it. Untie her and allow her to come around the corner to look inside the trailer as she eats her grain. When she is comfortable with looking in the trailer and eating grain at the end, while she is eating, walk in and play with the partitions. You might need a friend to hold her in case she runs, or have them open the partitions for you.

Then start graining in the middle of the trailer, far enough that the horse has to talk in to get it. Once they are comfortable walking into the trailer, put a hay bag up where you plan to tie her. Walk her into the trailer and let her eat there without tying her until the second or third time you do this. If she is comfortable enough, tie her there and leave her alone while she eats. Once she gets comfortable being there slowly introduce the partition, closing it until she is too uncomfortable and then backing off. Eventually you will be able to close it on her, and then leave her there to eat. Your horse will safely and comfortably be in the trailer!

I always hay my horses while I trailer anyway, so they associate trailering with comfort and food. If possible, also teach your horse to trailer even better by driving just down the road for 5 minutes at a time first and then start going for longer. It is hard work to keep their balance in there, so it's best to trailer them for short distances first and often so they learn. Eventually they will be comfortable in a trailer, moving or not. The process of desensitizing them to the trailer takes me a month or so on the worst cases, and then I spend a month trailering them at least once a week if not twice to get them used to the motions. After that I trailer at least once a month.
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post #4 of 23 Old 02-28-2012, 07:56 PM
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She needs to learn to lead properly before you'll ever be able to load her consistently

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post #5 of 23 Old 02-28-2012, 08:05 PM
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A chain shank is used for correction, if you are "fighting her gently" it is no wonder you are getting nowhere here.

The chain shank is not to be pulled on with steady pressure, that does nothing at all, except teach the horse to disrespect it, if that is what you are doing. It is a correction technique, to get their attention. There should never be pressure on it other than quick "pop" downwards and immediate release.

If you are hauling around on it any at all? Quit it.

And fighting a horse "gently?" That is a total waste of time. If you are going to battle with a horse? You can't be "gentle" about it, you have to go in with attitude you are going to win. This does not mean beat them like a cheap Sears rug, but means that you have the mindset it will come out with you the winner in very short time. Seconds really.

If you were using the shank correctly? She would not be rearing and pulling all this, your trying to be gentle and understanding is causing this more than anything.

She has the upper hand here. And will get to the point more than likely that you can do nothing with her.

Get someone to help you that understands horses, so that you will not end up with one that can't be handled at all, and someone that doesn't baby horses.

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post #6 of 23 Old 02-28-2012, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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I pull down when she rears or starts to rear.
Other people are really violent when they use it which is why I said gently. I've been working with horses for ten years and I don't baby them.
I know people who do and their horses have no respect.
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post #7 of 23 Old 02-28-2012, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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She was rearing because she hasn't had to step up.or.go near a trailer for 5 years
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post #8 of 23 Old 02-28-2012, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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That's the whole point of me working with her
Duh?
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post #9 of 23 Old 02-28-2012, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pintophile View Post
She needs to learn to lead properly before you'll ever be able to load her consistently
She leads fine. She doesn't like the stepping up and things making noise.
Leading and respect was what we worked on last year. She caught on fast. (:
So I'm thinking she'll get this too as long as I stay consistent.

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Horses are just angels without wings
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post #10 of 23 Old 02-29-2012, 07:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lexiie View Post
WELL. Alibi didn't like that idea. I had the chain shank on her and she was rearing like crazy. I kept fighting her gently. The chain shank is so that she doesn't take off. She likes to do that when she doesn't want to do something. After about 10 minutes I got her in and gave her some grain and treats and looks of praise.
This tells me that no, she doesn't lead fine. Rearing, fighting, and refusing to go where you are leading her very loudly tells me that she certainly doesn't lead consistently, all the time. A horse trained to lead will go anywhere, regardless of steps, loud noises, or what have you. She leads when it's easy, and when it suits her. When she doesn't want to go or do something (like go in trailers, like go in strange stalls), she is incredibly resistant and, forgive me for saying, dangerous, if she rears and bolts and you need a chain over her nose to control her. Get her leading quietly everywhere you could possibly take her, and then you won't have to worry about a trailering issue :)
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