Trailering Dilemna...Almost Resolved - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 03-29-2010, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Trailering Dilemna...Almost Resolved

Thanks everyone for posting in my other thread, but I've gotten Tango over her fear-more stubbornness-of entering the trailer-now it's the actual fact of staying in there. (Thanks NittanyEquestrian for posting in the other one and giving me tips on how to deal with my dad and Tang IN the trailer.) But yeah, so, now Tango will walk no problem onto the trailer, stand while she's being tied, but when I step out of the trailer she gets really nervous and starts moving around and dancing and shuffling (trying to wheel around and see where I am). When we drive you can feel her banging around and jostling the entire vehicle. I don't know if we should just keep driving out and hope that she just calms down and gets used to it, or if I should do something else. She's got a haynet that she mostly ignores...what else can I do to calm her down in there? Besides leaving her inside for longer amounts of time each day.
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post #2 of 12 Old 03-29-2010, 09:01 PM
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I didn't read the original thread, but as far as her jigging around, I'd just make sure you wrap her legs up nicely so that she doesn't try to stomp her leg off like my mare did, and take her wherever she needs to go. =]

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
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post #3 of 12 Old 03-30-2010, 01:32 PM
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This is just a thought. But why don't you try putting another horse in with her? At least just when you load her at the farm and let her in there to relax. Maybe offer to haul a friend's horse for free to a lesson and see if that makes a difference. It sounds like you do a lot of stuff on your own and she might just need a calming influence of another horse a few times to learn that it's ok to be alone in the big scary box. If that's not an option I suggest buying a cheap radio and turning it to a station that plays classic rock or country. Something with a good beat and that isn't too loud and screechy. If she feels like she's not alone she might calm down.

Also, like I stated in your last thread. Always carefully wrap her legs from hoof to knee with quilts and polos or at the least shipping boots and if you do use the radio. Make sure to securely fasten it somewhere if you do haul with it so that it can't bounce around and hurt her.

Good luck and keep us posted! I'm sure other people will have more good advice for you soon!
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post #4 of 12 Old 03-30-2010, 01:39 PM
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I've even ridden in the back with a nervous horse talking to him calmly as my wife drove. Speed is not a problem on the straight aways. It is the cornering that causes scrambling so be careful on the corners. Also watch braking.
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post #5 of 12 Old 03-30-2010, 04:20 PM
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If by chance you get RFDTV, you are so in luck. Clinton Anderson did a show today with a mare who didn't like to be in the trailer and would shoot out backwards like a bullet. With a bit of work, he had the horse going into the trailer on her own. The jist of it was make the horse work when outside of the trailer and make the trailer the happy place where's he's allowed to rest. It's on again tonight at 1000 EST if you can watch it.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #6 of 12 Old 03-30-2010, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah...my dad has always been careful around corners...it's the straights he was normally fast on. I'm going to get her wraps as soon as I can, but the trailer's not really big enough to take another horse. It's a calf trailer originally (to take one or two 4H calves to the shows, or other small animals like sheep and pigs to the petting zoo at our fair), and there's really only room for her alone to comfortably fit. The radio's an idea...I guess for now just a lot of practice leaving her in there is the way to go..
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post #7 of 12 Old 03-30-2010, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilyTango View Post
Yeah...my dad has always been careful around corners...it's the straights he was normally fast on. I'm going to get her wraps as soon as I can, but the trailer's not really big enough to take another horse. It's a calf trailer originally (to take one or two 4H calves to the shows, or other small animals like sheep and pigs to the petting zoo at our fair), and there's really only room for her alone to comfortably fit. The radio's an idea...I guess for now just a lot of practice leaving her in there is the way to go..
I gotta ask... how high is the ceiling in your trailer? My family bought an H&S stock trailer to haul our cattle and horses, with a 6 foot ceiling height that dropped off toward the front, where the horse's were tied. Here's the trailer. My easy-loading pony flatly refused to step on without a ramp, and my sister's QH wouldn't load at all. These are not giants of horses, 14.1 and 14.3 hands. We actually ended up chopping the roof and raising it by about a foot. The trailer turned out nice, and the horses instantly loaded.

Moral of the story... maybe the trailer designed for calves is just too low for your horse to be comfortable? Just a thought.

Best of luck!

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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post #8 of 12 Old 03-30-2010, 04:53 PM
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My horse was in a trailering accident as as a result it takes a lot of time and creativity to get him on a new trailer. The first and fore most thing I make sure of is that the trailer is high and bright enough. He likes to put his head up so he needs at least a 7'6" ceiling and he loads much better if all the front doors and windows are open with light coming in. If the trailer is the right height, once he is on and securely fastened he calms right down. If it's too small he gets very frantic.
One hauler I know doesn't put up with horses wrecking his trailer so he will drive slowly and when they kick, he will bump just the trailer brakes to jar the trailer enough that the horse has to keep all 4 legs on the ground. He has a huge trailer though. Another strategy (if your trailer is big enough) is to put up a hay net. And I've also head of some people filling the trailer with chicks so the horse doesn't move. Never tried that one, I think you might just end up with some dead chicks...

Never mind the hay net part, just re read the OP.
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post #9 of 12 Old 03-30-2010, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~ View Post
And I've also head of some people filling the trailer with chicks so the horse doesn't move. Never tried that one, I think you might just end up with some dead chicks...
Is it sad that this made me laugh?

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
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post #10 of 12 Old 03-30-2010, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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Haha. Sounds like a waste of money buying all those chicks...our chickens were in the trailer the other day pecking at straw and fallen grain on the ground and before I could get in there and shoo them out Tango just came up on behind me. All of the chickens fled the trailer, but one was trapped in the corner, flipping out like "OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD I'M BEING EATEN BY A GIANT HORSE MONSTER!" Tango's trying to sniff it and it's leaping around and finally runs out under Tang's feet, and the horse is just like "...What the hell?"

ANYWAYS...I worked with her a while today, by the end got her standing calmly, face forwards (she always insists on turning her head and staring out the back of the trailer). I didn't get out though...I'll do that tomorrow. I was too preoccupied with getting her to calm down, which she did.
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