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Ian McDonald 12-13-2011 02:25 AM

Cool Trailer Loading Video
 
A little compilation of past and present work with my pet horse. I got her as a weanling and she never has quite grown up big enough for me to ride so she's kind of become like another dog.

If anyone is interested I have the uncut version of the video where I talk about what I was doing. It's about 25 mins long and I'll probably put it up tomorrow.


kitten_Val 12-13-2011 08:31 AM

Ian, I have a problem loading every time I have to trailer. Now, she loads perfect when she knows for sure we are not trailering (fly on, stand quietly, you can lock the door, whatever). But whenever she knows we are going to the lesson or the park (and she LOVES to ride in park, so it's not a resistance to work) it's usually 5-10 mins fight with her jumping around the trailer, rearing, etc. In fact she's all heat up even before the loading to the point the muscles are shaking (not afraid but super excited) (and no, ground work or lunging does NOT calm her down unless you run her in circles for over an hour, and yes, I stay calm and take my time :) ). Any ideas on how to approach this? It's not that big of deal, just annoying.

Ian McDonald 12-13-2011 01:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kitten_Val (Post 1264314)
Ian, I have a problem loading every time I have to trailer. Now, she loads perfect when she knows for sure we are not trailering (fly on, stand quietly, you can lock the door, whatever). But whenever she knows we are going to the lesson or the park (and she LOVES to ride in park, so it's not a resistance to work) it's usually 5-10 mins fight with her jumping around the trailer, rearing, etc. In fact she's all heat up even before the loading to the point the muscles are shaking (not afraid but super excited) (and no, ground work or lunging does NOT calm her down unless you run her in circles for over an hour, and yes, I stay calm and take my time :) ). Any ideas on how to approach this? It's not that big of deal, just annoying.

That's an interesting problem. If I'm understanding what you're saying, your horse only displays the behavior when she knows you're actually going somewhere. These things are always tough to judge without actually seeing what happens beforehand. If I had to guess though, I would say that something must be different about the approach to the trailer in one instance over another. The way you describe it kind of reminds me of how a dog will start going berserk when it knows that it's about to be taken for a walk.

I once loaded a stallion who would always get right on the trailer when you were going somewhere but completely refuse when you went to load him again to come home. He apparently did it every time. In his case I moved his feet around for a couple of minutes before even trying to approach the trailer to get him loosened up and remind him that humans are in charge. I don't mean I lunged him or anything like that; I didn't want him to get hot. I just kept things slow and moved his hindquarters left and right, front end, back circles, back straight, basically just remind him (going slowly) that he should listen. Then he would get right on the trailer with no trouble.

I don't think so much of knocking the fresh off of a horse by lunging, or making it more work outside the trailer than inside or anything like that. I too have found that with certain horses that approach will have the opposite of the intended effect. Instead, anytime a horse is acting up I visualize it as a kind of storm where I'm the eye. I'm the calm place, and I'll bring the horse into that calm center with me eventually by keeping that frame of mind no matter what he may do. Then it's only a matter of time before the horse starts acting simultaneously relaxed and responsive. At that point loading into the trailer is easy, but I never even approach the trailer until I have that horse dialed into me the way I want and I *know* he'll load.

nuisance 12-13-2011 01:19 PM

I'm looking forward to the extended version. I have a 4 yr old qh mare, who had the holy he!! Beat out of her by prior owners "trainer" 2 yrs ago, then was left to rot for 2 yrs. She has come a long way, trusts me, etc... But i can not get her in the trailer. We got her in once, and almost never got her out. Used alot of patience, but she was still scared to death, trembled all over, sweat pouring. I fed her in the trailer, hay and some of her grain. She ate well, but still won't get back in. I've use the whip, like you did in above video, but, she sees the whip and freak out, goes backwards as fast and hard as she can. I have never hit her with it, but obviously someone has! She will walk up to it where her knees are about 2" from the trailer, and lean in as far as possible, but that is as far as she will go.

So thanks, and anxiously waiting extended version for some kind of help!

Ian McDonald 12-13-2011 02:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nuisance (Post 1264631)
I'm looking forward to the extended version. I have a 4 yr old qh mare, who had the holy he!! Beat out of her by prior owners "trainer" 2 yrs ago, then was left to rot for 2 yrs. She has come a long way, trusts me, etc... But i can not get her in the trailer. We got her in once, and almost never got her out. Used alot of patience, but she was still scared to death, trembled all over, sweat pouring. I fed her in the trailer, hay and some of her grain. She ate well, but still won't get back in. I've use the whip, like you did in above video, but, she sees the whip and freak out, goes backwards as fast and hard as she can. I have never hit her with it, but obviously someone has! She will walk up to it where her knees are about 2" from the trailer, and lean in as far as possible, but that is as far as she will go.

So thanks, and anxiously waiting extended version for some kind of help!

Here's the full version (2 parts)



kitten_Val 12-14-2011 08:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ian McDonald (Post 1264603)
That's an interesting problem. If I'm understanding what you're saying, your horse only displays the behavior when she knows you're actually going somewhere. These things are always tough to judge without actually seeing what happens beforehand. If I had to guess though, I would say that something must be different about the approach to the trailer in one instance over another. The way you describe it kind of reminds me of how a dog will start going berserk when it knows that it's about to be taken for a walk.

Yep, you are right. I tried to imitate everything (boots on, head helmet on, same halter, etc.) but she still can recognize it somehow. The funny thing she runs to the trailer, just doesn't want to jump on right away until she's done with jumping around. As for calming her down the problem is she doesn't. I also tried to put her back to the field couple times when she started going bananas (to calm down), and she run like crazy in circles there till she is all sweaty.

MHFoundation Quarters 12-14-2011 09:57 AM

Good vid Ian. Have to say great music choice, love that song!!!!

Ian McDonald 12-14-2011 02:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MHFoundation Quarters (Post 1265714)
Good vid Ian. Have to say great music choice, love that song!!!!

Thanks. A couple years ago I did the first segment to the studio version of the song. When I was re-doing it this time I found the live version and dug it. I'm into live music anyway. 8-)

tinyliny 12-14-2011 02:39 PM

What a lovely video. Ian, you have such a calm way with horses. Heck, with that music and all I found myself getting really relaxed and sleepy , just watching it.


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