Transporting 4 month-old - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-05-2011, 01:52 AM Thread Starter
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Transporting 4 month-old

I need to transport a 4-month old for 1.5 hours. 1) Should I have an unknown trainer halter-break the foal for a couple of days and then tie the foal up in the trailer with an adult horse using metal gate separators? 2) Should I put the untrained foal in the trailer without being tied up or without another horse? Then allow the foal into the home pasture for several days to cool down before starting halter breaking?

Thanks for any input.
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post #2 of 6 Old 10-05-2011, 08:53 AM
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Before you take the trip teach the foal to load, then start with short trips around the block. Do NOT tie the foal inside the trailer but the foal does need to be halter broken enough to lead and stand quietly. A young horse not yet taught to tie should not be tied in a trailer - take your time and slowly teach horse to tie then when horse reliably ties at home for a couple of hours then put the horse on the trailer tied.

For this trip open up trailer compartment making 2 stalls into one. Make certain there is nothing sticking out foal could step on or fall into that could damage the foal (sharp corners, etc.). Teach foal (practice) about standing inside the trailer once loaded and waiting to NOT run out once you stop and go to unload the foal - unless there is a corral you can pull trailer into so if foal gets loose while unloading the foal is still "contained" in a fence. Feed foal in trailer so they get accustomed to the fact that trailer = food (hay and feed) so they will want to load into the trailer.

Be careful that windows are only open if horse can not stick head through window opening (foals have been known to try to go through a window - even if their bodies will NOT fit - so don't take a chance. You do want plenty of light and airflow - a white interior inside the trailer is less scarey than a dark interior. A ramp trailer is usually easier to teach loading on than a step up - but key to both is coaxing horse to put first one leg (feed and pet) then another leg (feed and pet again) into the trailer. If you get both front legs the first time you try then don't push it - young horses have very short attention spans (like human kids) so better to teach things every day for 15-30 minutes rather than a long (1 hour) lesson every other day.

Many people tie trailer doors open (keep trailer attached to truck to it doesn't move when horse enters) and feed horse inside trailer for several days before teching horse to load for the first time. After doing this I have to make certain my trailer doors are closed or my horses walk in looking for treats!

Take your time and good luck.

Dressage is for Trainers!
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post #3 of 6 Old 10-05-2011, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your careful reply.
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post #4 of 6 Old 10-05-2011, 10:38 AM
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Stock trailer matted and with shavings to absorb any urine. Small enough so the foal is not tossed around but not big enough he can get any speed if he tries to run.

We hauled foals straight off mama (pasture) for years like this. Never handled. We'd back the trailer to barn and scoot them in and then once home we'd back to our arena and let them loose and encourage them into a box stall.

At 4 months you are not going to teach them to stand quietly in a trailer. Their attention span is approximately 15 minutes.

For the 1.5 hour drive you shouldn't need to stop. Pay attention to braking, aceleration and turns.
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post #5 of 6 Old 10-05-2011, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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This sounds very good. We will give it a try.
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post #6 of 6 Old 10-05-2011, 11:19 AM
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Agrees get that colt I'm there then take him home just watch your speed since he won't be tied up. You can work on proper training later. As for halter breaking u don't need a trainer. At four months they are small enough to play tug of war with. Just start with petting and such then after the colt is more relaxed you can try moving him bit by bit. I start usually with just getting the colt to turn around and move lil a little then praise. Just make sure your in an open enough area as they may rear up and also may fall down. It been my experience after they try thier falling down trick they usally start to follow since their last resort failed. It just takes patience and praise eventually they'll follow u everywhere u go.
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