wont get onto a trailer!!! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-01-2007, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Columbus, GA
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wont get onto a trailer!!!

Please help me and my horse, i love to go on trails and me and my friends would love to go to a park nearby, but my horse wont load.
the only way to get him on is with food, but i dont like doing that because i dont want him to get over fed.
he unloads great, but he has a hard time loading. and we only can pull a 2 horse trailer. the trailer we use has a non removable patishoin *spelling?*, and Rain wont get on if another horse is or isnt on.
i'm starting to think he acks like it cause he knows i'll end up putting food in the trailer eventualy.

sorry about my spelling yall, but could ya please help?
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-01-2007, 03:18 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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We have a horse like that at my barn, and the only way we can get her to load is to move the partition over for her to load and then slide it back once she is on. So I don't know if you're partition is moveable or not but that's what worked for her.

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brittx6x6 is offline  
post #3 of 7 Old 08-01-2007, 05:18 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
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Bribing horses to do things with feed is a peeve of mine. I know that it may have its place at times, but it seems that a horse should do something because they trust and respect you, not because they are bribed.

If you are able to get your horse loading without food, that would be excellent :)

One way that has worked for me witH many different horses has been to lead them up to the trailer with all the confidence and expectation that the horse is going to load. The second the horse quits making forward movement, turn around and either drive them backwards a ways or drive them in circles. If the horse pulls back from me, I usually drive them backwards. You have to be careful about driving backwards because sometimes they will just get furthur from the trailer as you drive them back and they continue to refuse forward movement. For horses like this, driving in circles is better. As soon as they begin forward movement again, relax and remove the driving pressure that you had been doing. repeat until they understand that they need to keep forward movement all the way into the trailer - otherwise it is a lot more work! Make the idea of entering the trailer more pleasant than refusing by showing them that if they refuse, they must work.

This method worked for all of the horses that I did it with. They now eagerly hop into the trailer and seem to enjoy going places.
Be careful that you know your horse before doing it the way that I do, because you don't want to make things worse. If the above method does not sound like it will mesh with his personality, do not do it - seek other advise. Different things work for different horses.

I actually clicked this thread because I also have a trailering question. We just picked up my sisters horse, and brought him to our house. He apparently has a serious problem with refusing to go in the trailer. Once he gets used to a particular trailer he may do okay with a lot of encouragement, but then he refuses to go in a new trailer if presented. My sister sent him to have this worked on with a gentleman who practices natural horsemanship, and he used pressure, release by wisking him with a rope when he didn't move and stopping when he move. He loaded him into about seven different trailers successfully. Last night when my husband went to pick up the horse, they tried for two hours to load him in our trailer before calling the trainer out who had worked with him. He had him loaded multiple times within 20 minutes.
I am planning on working with him about loading, but am nervous about using my usual method (described above) because he is a very timid horse. I have not gotten to know him well yet, and I am sure it will become more clear how to handle it as I get to know him, but I would appreciate any other ideas. I can continue the natural horsemanship methods practiced by my sister's trainer, but really the way I do it in the first place is a version of that anyway (pressure-release, driving-relax, dominant horse move feet of less dominant horse, etc.). She is trying to sell him, and not everyone is going to want to go through a whole ordeal to load the horse into a trailer.
AKPaintLover is offline  
post #4 of 7 Old 08-01-2007, 10:31 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
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Trailer loading

If you can, get your horse used to the trailer itself.
You'll need to spend some time just hanging around it with him.
Don't try to put him in, just let him sniff and explore.
If he looks like he wants to go in, don't get exited and hurry or force him, just hang out.
It's ok to put food in there. Let him feel that it is safe to be in there. Food is comfort.
He won't over eat because as soon as he is in there, let him have a few bites, then back him out and walk away. Repeat until he'll go in by you just gently giving a tug on the lead.
Try to do this several days in a row. Make it a habit that he can associate with. "oh, I get an extra treat if I go in"
I also have a little 2-horse with the partition in the way. I use it for training only because it needs repair, but it work for the taskl.
Hope that helps.
iceyarab is offline  
post #5 of 7 Old 08-02-2007, 01:21 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Adelaide Hills, South Australia
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First of all what does your horse do, when they refuse to go on as this will help us to comment on how to fix it :)

He/She doesn't sound like they're scared of the float, just stubborn.

I have to float my ponies by myself a lot, and to teach them how to load, I carry a long dressage whip, make sure they are wearing a thickish cotton rug (so it makes a noise but doesn't hurt when they're hit) and similar to AK's method,
- I will walk them up to the ramp as far as they will go, if they want to sniff, let them.
-then I ask them to walk further.
-if they do, good, if not then I start tapping them on the rear with the whip. Please note, tap, not hit, enough so that they can feel it through the rug but more so hear the noise.
-I keep tapping until they show motion to move forward
-as soon as they do, I stop tapping and see how far they go.
- then when they stop I praise them with pats.
-I keep repeating the process until they are in the bay.
-throughout this I try not to pull the horse in by pressure on the halter, as this more often than not will create resistance. I tend to drive them from behind, similar to the training process whilst riding

This is a very brief description of how I train, if can vary for different horses depending on their form of resistance, however I have never had a horse that didn't end up self loading by the third trip on the float.

Good luck

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Frog is offline  
post #6 of 7 Old 08-02-2007, 03:43 PM
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Ok. First of all NO food. A horse thats nervous about the trailer in the first place, Will eat. And when he eats in his trailer being that nervous. He won't digest the food and get colic becuase he's not moving.

Second, you don't need to bribe a horse. It gives him a chance to disrespect you. Focus on your ground work. Never let his eye leave you. And never let his rear end face you. This is also disrespect to you. Work on hindquarter yeilding. Focus on that hip and move it over. Get some respect before going to the trailer. Just remember, your his leader and he must respect you.

When you ready to go to the trailer. Walk forward with confedince.
Aproach the trailer and let him investigate. When he's ready he might put a foot in. If he tries to go in all the way, take him back out. This offers curiosity and he will want to know what it's all about. When he is finnaly inside the trailer DO NOT SHUT THE GATE. He will get scared and might hurt himself.

Good luck!
horse_luver4e is offline  
post #7 of 7 Old 08-02-2007, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Columbus, GA
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Rain is not the least bit scared around the trailer, he's just very very stubborn. All he wants is the grass around the trailer. i have let him eat and sniff and nibble on the trailer, but he finds more interest in the grass.
i dont think i will be able to do the method with the whip because he his dead terrified of them.
i like the idea of backing him up, i'll try that soon, not now because it is terribly hot out here and i dont want to die of heat stroke, lol.
thank you for all of you tips!!!
joseylovesrain123 is offline  

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