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post #11 of 17 Old 05-31-2013, 12:00 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Alberta, Canada
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Straight loads are generally less inviting to a horse than a stock or slant - can you borrow one to try? What have you tried so far to entice her to get in?
I just bought a 2 horse straight load myself and it's been a learning curve for my gelding, who has only hauled in angle hauls so far.
How is she on the ground? Does she know how to move away from pressure?
With Ronan, he's always been beaten into trailers. My goal for my trailer is for him to be stress free and self load.
On day 1, our goal was one foot up on the trailer. He's highly food motivated, so we are using that as the reward. Day 1 we got him calmly standing at the entrance eating his grain, and we could put one foot up. That took about two hours to get him stress free. Day two our goal was two feet up. Took about an hour to get him standing calmly with two feet on, listening to my commands and me deciding to back him off. Day three our goal was for him to take steps into the trailer. After about an hour he was stepping up and into the trailer with both fronts and coming forwards to eat his grain. He also was not bolting back when he backed up, he would back off then stay standing at the entrance, and load again. The obvious next step is his hind end. Haha. And that will happen when it stops $&@&ing raining.

If you want a calm horse, you need time and patience. Lots of it. You cannot be stressed and you cannot lose your temper. You must be willing to walk away with minor goals and call it a day.

Why does she have to load tomorrow?

If your goal is simply loading up, then by all means get the whips, chains, ropes etc out. But expect to have a stressed horse that is going to be even tougher to load next time.

Have you looked at videos of troubleshooting tough loaders?

The key is that you have to leave your emotion at the door. You cannot let the horse make you angry. Period. You also have to be bang on with your give and take of pressure and know when to give and when to take. With Ro, I ask him to "step up" which means take a step forwards, and I release the pressure the instant he complies. He is a horse that you cannot pressure the head with when inside the trailer. Some horses you can. You have to know how to read your horse.
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post #12 of 17 Old 05-31-2013, 12:15 PM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: NW Oregon
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You are in a tough spot with basically no time...
Check on YouTube Trailer Loading either Dennis Reis or Clinton Anderson. Others may have specific suggestions also.
Be prepared to spend some time, and I do mean like a couple of hours, possibly more. Keep emotions in check and be patient. Allow the horse time and always release pressure when she makes a positive move. The videos will make this more clear. If you can do this without causing trauma you will be in so much better shape the next time you have to load.
Good luck. This is not fun but it is rewarding when you end up with a horse who willing loads when asked.

If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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post #13 of 17 Old 05-31-2013, 01:21 PM
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I should mention: When I said "then by all means get the whips, chains, ropes etc out." - I'm not condoning this. I've been there in the past and it's done nothing positive for myself or the horse. It's the "go to" for people who have a tough loader - fight them on, slam the door shut in relief.. rinse, repeat, except the horse starts to get tougher and tougher to load.

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post #14 of 17 Old 05-31-2013, 02:05 PM
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JustDressageIt...we had one of those incidents. Sort of got marooned at a trailhead when horse absolutely refused. Husband took his horse home and got the neighbor with his stock trailer and the attitude she was going in. Looking back I can see how things could have been done differently but at the time I was not looking forward to the 20 mile walk home.
Anyway, I said we would NEVER do that again. Next couple of days we hooked up the trailer in front of the barn and set about solving this problem (and a Dennis Reis video did help). It took 2 hours of head in-head out, feet in-feet out all the time releasing pressure when she responded. When she finally got in I let her stand and relax, we did not close the door, and she stepped out and we were done for the day. Next day 15 minutes and we closed the door.
And that was the end of the problem.
The best part was a few weeks later when we went camping with the neighbor. We got ready to load to come home and he headed to get a longer rope. The expression was wonderful as she loaded without any hesitation.
This success probably happened faster than some have experienced but it took the willingness to take-as-long-as-it-takes...and not having people on the sidelines yapping at you and offering unwanted advice.

If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger

Last edited by Dustbunny; 05-31-2013 at 02:07 PM.
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post #15 of 17 Old 05-31-2013, 02:07 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: North Dakota, USA
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One "trick" that I've learned to load a stubborn horse in a short time frame. You will need a few extra people to help. Run a long lead rope into the trailer and out the front, or as far forward as you can. You won't pull the horse in, just keep steady pressure unless the horse moves forward. The other people stand beside the horse and rock the horse side to side. As the horse rocks, it gets unbalanced and has to step to rebalance which should end up forward with the pressure on the lead rope. When the horse does step forward, let her rest for a few seconds, then repeat until the horse goes in.

After you get her moved, you will need to work on desensitizing to the whip and rope moving around her. Then you can use them to work on loading.
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post #16 of 17 Old 05-31-2013, 02:13 PM
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US - that can work for some horses, sure.. Ro sees people behind him as people that could potentially have whips or the like, so responds negatively to that pressure. It took me a day of unsuccessful loading and a crapload of self-reflection to realize that.

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post #17 of 17 Old 05-31-2013, 04:03 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
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A few overall "issues" I see here.

Originally Posted by gabby0426 View Post
Hello i have a rescue horse who is scared to get into the trailer she was abused and starved she was rescued in September but she wont get into the Trailer any ideas please i have to get her moved by Saturday.
This is like saying I have a 4-yr-old mustang who's never seen a human before, but I have to ride him in a reining competition in 2 days.

**face palm**

You are setting yourself and the horse up for failure when you don't prepare.

Is this your first horse? Have you owned horses before? You didn't say so that's why I am asking. How experienced are you with horses?

Originally Posted by gabby0426 View Post
I dont have that kind of money to call a trainer i was hoping for some natural horsemanship i can do to load her
So you can't afford $100 for a trainer to come help you for the day?

Then what are you going to do when you force her to load and she gashes her leg open in the struggle, and now you have to keep her overnight at the vet and now have months of banadging ahead of you, not to mention about a $1,000 in vet bills, anti-biotics, and bandaging materials?

There is nothing natural about forcing a horse to get into a tin can of a trailer, because you don't have the time to train her.

Originally Posted by gabby0426 View Post
Im loading her in a two horse trailer and the rescue said she loads fine but it turned out when i went to load her she was terrified, and i tried loading her with her grain its been helping but i was wondering if there was something else i can also try? I been trying with grain for about a week now
If I bribed you with chocolate chip cookies, would you follow a complete stranger into......

Why not? They are chocolate chip cookies!!!

**face palm**

So why on earth do you think you could bribe a horse with some grain to get into one of these death traps?

It still baffles me why some people think they can "train" a horse to load with grain.

Originally Posted by gabby0426 View Post
its a straight load all she has to do is step up she will usually just walk away but if you bring a rope or lunge line and try to get her in she freaks out and bolts.
That's a pretty darn big task to ask of her. (Per my cave description above.) It's not that simple.

For an untrained 2-yr-old horse, all they have to do is let me strap a saddle on their back. And all they have to do is turn when I tell them and go when I tell them.

Plus YOU are dealing with an ABUSED horse. She is probably going to have some mental and emotional issues. Maybe she was beat with a rope or beat with a lunge line.

Again, do you see the predicament you've placed yourself in?

Okay, scolding aside (hopefully you've learned a lesson here) there are ways to "force" a horse to load. However, you need to know that it might set you back in her training.

I highly recommend Clinton Anderson's trailer loading DVD. It is worth every penny. He goes through the proper steps of training a horse to load. But he does also have a couple of "emergency" strategies if you need to load your horse and haven't fully completed the training process. They're not recommended unless you have absolutely no choice, because of course they are going to set you back in training a little bit. The emergency strategies will allow you to load a horse once; it will not teach them to load for a lifetime.

If it is at all possible for you to borrow or rent a stock trailer (rather than a 2-horse straight) it is going to make the process a lot easier. Straight loads are often the hardest to get a horse to load into because it is so small and claustraphobic to them.

The main thing to remember: PRESSURE and RELEASE.

Clinton uses a rope as a "butt rope" for one of his emergency strategies. To ask the horse to go forward, pull on the rope to put pressure on her butt and also the leadrope on her head. The very instant she walks forward, you need to immediately remove the lead rope pressure and remove the butt rope pressure. If she stops, apply pressure again. Release immeidately when she moves forward.

It may be easier to have a couple people help you, especially.

I've also had success in an emergency situation before by using corral panels (and a few helpers). One person is coaxing the horse, while the others slowly creep the panels closer to "encourage" the horse to go onto the trailer.

Again, these methods should only be used if you have absolutely no other way to get a horse loaded and they must be loaded. Because it certainly isn't going to make a good impression in the horse's mind.

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It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.
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