Trailers and Bridges and Puddles, oh my!
 
 

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Trailers and Bridges and Puddles, oh my!

This is a discussion on Trailers and Bridges and Puddles, oh my! within the New to Horses forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        07-22-2014, 12:31 PM
      #1
    Foal
    Exclamation Trailers and Bridges and Puddles, oh my!

    Hi everybody! My name is Madison and my first horse's name is Prince Remington "Remy". He's 2 and I've had him for about a month. I love him so much! He's so level headed and sweet and willing. I don't ride him yet so I've been taking him out on long walks and trails and hikes. :) But we have some issues with whenever he is asked to get in a trailer, or cross (or even confront!) a bridge or puddle, he starts rearing and pulling and hurting himself! :( Just last night I was trying to coax him across a small bridge over a few rocks in the forest. I pull gently and when there's no response I pull more and more until he steps forward, then I release pressure and praise. Repeat. When he gets real close or gets sick of it though, he starts pulling way back and sometimes rearing. :( Then he slipped back onto a rock and got a nasty little gash right above his back hoof. When I saw blood I felt so bad and starting comforting him and took him straight back to the farm, washed it, and put biodine on it. I'm determined to get him okay with these things and we will be going back to the bridge every day now. It's the same thing with trailers. To get him to the new farm we had to spend 5 hours getting him into the trailer and it was a very bad experience for him. I had professional horse trainers out there with me, too, and the poor boy kept bringing whips upon himself by striking and rearing away from the trailer. :( I felt so bad. I love this horse so much and I know we can get over these things together. I spend every evening with him after school/work (I'm in the AF training at DLI right now so hanging out with him is my therapy) and any advice to help him with this would be great!!! <3 Also, just so y'all know, I've tried coaxing with food, being most gentle at first, less force, more force, walks around and then re-approaching, whips, ropes, no whips, only soft pressure, nothing seems to make him less freaked out about these things!!! Thanks guys!!!
         
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        07-23-2014, 06:17 AM
      #2
    Super Moderator
    Sorry but I do not think much of your professional trainers if they took 5 hours to load a horse in a trailer.

    You are going to have to get a lot tougher with this horse, the more he gets away with not doing something the stronger he will get at refusing to do it.

    As for blood, when as a child, I cut myself, my mother would say, "It's a long way from your heart, you won't bleed to death!"

    You need to get someone who knows what they are doing to help you sort out these problems. No one can say if it is plain stubbornness or fear.
         
        07-23-2014, 10:26 AM
      #3
    Foal
    Red face

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Foxhunter    
    Sorry but I do not think much of your professional trainers if they took 5 hours to load a horse in a trailer.

    You are going to have to get a lot tougher with this horse, the more he gets away with not doing something the stronger he will get at refusing to do it.

    As for blood, when as a child, I cut myself, my mother would say, "It's a long way from your heart, you won't bleed to death!"

    You need to get someone who knows what they are doing to help you sort out these problems. No one can say if it is plain stubbornness or fear.
    I KNOW! One of the reasons I left the barn. They would charge so much and nag so they could 'help' and that was the result. I agree about that. Every time he rears now I discipline right away and back him way up.

    I can say it is most likely fear. Please offer some suggestions? :)
         
        07-23-2014, 10:32 AM
      #4
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Foxhunter    
    Sorry but I do not think much of your professional trainers if they took 5 hours to load a horse in a trailer.

    You are going to have to get a lot tougher with this horse, the more he gets away with not doing something the stronger he will get at refusing to do it.

    As for blood, when as a child, I cut myself, my mother would say, "It's a long way from your heart, you won't bleed to death!"

    You need to get someone who knows what they are doing to help you sort out these problems. No one can say if it is plain stubbornness or fear.
    Oh and maybe I failed to mention that I had to turn back and leave before getting him to cross because we weren't getting anywhere, he was bleeding, AND it was getting quite dark out.
         
        07-23-2014, 11:48 AM
      #5
    Banned
    A 2 year old for a first horse is a mixture for disaster. Even the top level trainers do no allow their youth or ammy riders to do anything but maybe brush them off. My daughters are seasoned youth riders with titles and I will not let them do anything with my 2 year old futurity horse and my horse has been under saddle since January

    A first horse needs to be a been there and done that with same level rider. I much prefer to do some maintenance from miles then see the new remodel at the local ER
    HagonNag, Cherie and Chasin Ponies like this.
         
        07-23-2014, 12:00 PM
      #6
    Foal
    I agree, I too have concerns that a two year old is your first horse, and I hope you get another trainer to help you train him.

    That said, you have only had him one month, and are getting quite a bit done already, by actually having him follow you so long on the lead rope without just pulling out of your hands and going back to the barn.

    Id suggest some trust and training exercises around the farm so he learns to trust you and your judgement. Then he won't question you or the situation when you tell him to walk through or around a puddle, or load properly in a trailer, he'll just do as you ask.
         
        07-23-2014, 12:18 PM
      #7
    Foal
    He's a sweet good level headed boy except when it comes to these obstacles he freaks out. I love him and am spending a ton of money on him for good care. He was neglected at his old home. Has great bloodlines but was backyard bred, no shots, no hoof care. :( I've gotten him his shots, his hooves are looking way better, and he follows me on trails. I'm kind with him but firm. We are bonding quite well. He's my first but I've leased and I've been riding for about 5 years. Just haven't ridden in some months. Please, no harsh words or telling me he isn't right for me. To each their own and I love this horse, I believe he is right for me. <3
         
        07-23-2014, 12:18 PM
      #8
    Started
    Do you have a trailer to work with, or did you have someone haul him for you? It helps if you have a trailer available to get him used to entering. There is a lot of information available on how to safely and sanely load a difficult horse.

    One thing you might do is work at the barn with all sorts of obstacles, like a tarp on the ground, make a puddle, have him walk over poles (or tree branches). There is no end to the stuff you can come up with. Can you take him out for a walk and have another person with their horse go along? A horse with experience?

    A young horse can be challenge for an experienced horseman, and a double challenge for a new owner. Get help if you can. It is best to stop an issue early than try and correct it later on after it has become a pattern.
         
        07-23-2014, 12:22 PM
      #9
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dustbunny    
    Do you have a trailer to work with, or did you have someone haul him for you? It helps if you have a trailer available to get him used to entering. There is a lot of information available on how to safely and sanely load a difficult horse.

    One thing you might do is work at the barn with all sorts of obstacles, like a tarp on the ground, make a puddle, have him walk over poles (or tree branches). There is no end to the stuff you can come up with. Can you take him out for a walk and have another person with their horse go along? A horse with experience?

    A young horse can be challenge for an experienced horseman, and a double challenge for a new owner. Get help if you can. It is best to stop an issue early than try and correct it later on after it has become a pattern.
    Ooo good suggestions!!! :) It would be a good idea to start with tarps and sticks and things, yeah. No I don't have my own trailer, but I'm talking to a trainer at the new farm here about paying her to help me and use her trailer. Also good idea about the experienced horse thing. I've got a friend named Grig who actually referred me to this farm so I will ask if she'd like to take her horse with me and walk ahead!! :)
    mrsgrubby likes this.
         
        07-27-2014, 01:11 PM
      #10
    Weanling
    The tarps and other obstacles are great training trips. You said one thing earlier - when he rears, you back him up. Rearing is a form of backing away, so when you back him, you are reinforcing that. If he rears, you should make him go forward, even if that's a circle around you. Rearing is dangerous!

    If you can borrow a trailer and a smaller paddock with no grazing, you can put the feed in the trailer. First start by putting his feed just at the door so he has to put his head in. Every day, move it a bit farther forward. He'll learn it isn't a monster that is going to eat him, and the only pressure he'll have is himself.

    I had a filly who would just lie down if you led her to a trailer. Talk about passive resistance!! We put her in the dry run with a 4 horse stock trailer and she eventually got to the point where, when it was feeding time, she'd load and stamp her foot occasionally if I was late with her dinner.
         

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