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Sophie Kirkman 08-06-2012 02:41 PM

Nightmare in the box!
I'm having a lot of trouble with my 17yo TB mare in the horsebox. She has had an accident in a lorry about 5 years ago but I'm not sure of the exact details, she just has a huge scar on her left hip. She will not travel in a lorry but recently she has also started to play up in the horsebox. When going around a corner she leans to the right and kicks violently. We have had various incidents with her when she will not stop kicking or get out the box even when it has stopped. Her most recent panic attack was the scariest: around a corner she started kicking and leaning, then fell. She kicked and struggled to get up and was terrified. We took my other horse out but she couldn't get up for some time, and we just let her lie still for a while. We eventually got her up and tried to close the partition again, but she tried to lean over again, so we had to take her out and send her home on foot.
We normally manage to get her to local shows without mishap, but we can't take her to away shows, and I'd love to because she's my best horse, jumping 1,20m at the moment.
Some people have suggested giving her equimote (an antidepressant) to calm her down, or putting her in a sling to stop her falling or even sedating her before traveling!
Does anyone have any ideas that could either help to keep her upright when she leans or to stop her kicking? And would any of the above suggestions work? Many thanks

Iseul 08-06-2012 05:58 PM

I, personally, would NOT sedate her, especially if you plan to show her after you unload her. Not only will she be partially sedated for showing, she won't be able to react as she would if something were to happen, god forbid.
I don't know how the insides of boxes or lorries are, I've only had experience with slant, stock, and straight-loads. But, have you tried moving her to a different "stall"? Have you tried hauling her alone with no partition like a stock trailer? She may not be fond of being in such a small space and feel like she doesn't have enough room to properly balance herself.
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With Grace 08-06-2012 07:28 PM

Sophie - i have no words of advice, only to say misery loves company. I too have a trailer panicky horse, and ends up hurting herself every time we trailer. We gave her calming pills to get home from a show yesterday, and they made no difference. My trainer is going to start working with her in the trailer, as I slowly pull her around the property to see if he can correct this behavior. Do you have a trainer you can work with? Sedating is my last option, as we have blood tests on arrival to our next show, and most tranqs show up in tests.

Sophie Kirkman 08-07-2012 12:41 AM

I think I'm going to try taking out the partition as I've heard a few other people mention it before. I do know someone that could come and help and is very good with loading etc so maybe will have to give him a call! Thanks for ideas!
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rookie 08-07-2012 08:42 AM

Can you video her in the box (which I think is like a trailer but you brits have lost me on what a lorry is). I ask because I wonder if she is leaning or if she is falling. I saw a horse a few years ago that would fall over when the trailer took a left but not a right. They took it to an equine specialist and found it was a form of narcolepsy. If she has a similar condition that would explain some of her accidents. If you can video her in the horsebox and see what is going on. If she is standing calmly and then every time you take a specific turn she stumbles thats something. If she is just thrashing about then thats something too.

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