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Moocow2431 08-20-2013 12:11 PM

Trailering problems.
So I need some trailering advice for my mare. She acts as if the trailer is to short for her. We know it's not bc we have gotten her in a couple time but if there is no food she won't go and even if there is its a struggle she stretches as far as she can with her front feet in the trailer, to try and get it. She shuts down of we try to Use a whip at all. Any advice? The trailer is a 2 horse bumper pull.

beau159 08-20-2013 12:22 PM

A horse that refuses to load into a trailer is 1) fearful 2) lacks respect. Or sometimes a combination of the two. But most of the time, it's because the horse does not respect and trust the handler to go where the handler points.

I typed up a lengthy description of trailer loading a while back.

But again, it really comes down to making sure you horse has good ground manners. The trailer itself it just an obstacle or an object, and just happens to be a true test of if your horse really trusts you and respects you to listen.

Moocow2431 08-20-2013 12:28 PM

She will follow me into the trailer but stop with the back feet. She has great ground manners and works well with everything else.

beau159 08-20-2013 12:31 PM


Originally Posted by Moocow2431 (Post 3407882)
She will follow me into the trailer but stop with the back feet. She has great ground manners and works well with everything else.

If she won't follow you into the trailer then she has holes in her ground manners, because she doesn't trust you / respect you to follow you all the way in. (Provided you say that the trailer is big enough for her to fit into.)

Moocow2431 08-20-2013 12:34 PM

She follows me with her front feet but acts as if she can't pick her back feet up to get in.

BlueSpark 08-20-2013 01:18 PM

As much as I agree the horse SHOULD follow you in, I sympathise with tiny two horse trailers. I wouldn't get in something the same relative size, and humans are predators, less claustrophobic than horses, which are prey. Look at how many people who need to be heavily sedated to get a CAT scan or MRI.

If someone tried to shove me into something the size of a bathroom closet, I would be screaming for help, never mind if they brought out a whip and started trying to beat me in!:shock:

If the trailer is too short, she may have been banged around during transport and learned her lesson last time, which she is now refusing to repeat. If her butt is up against the backdoor and her head is close to the front, the stopping/starting motion could cause her to hit her head, shoulder, and hind end.

Corporal 08-20-2013 01:33 PM

Use the Clinton Anderson method. MY horse is either 16'3hh or 17'hh, depending upon whether your ask ME or my Vet. My trailer is NOT an oversized one, and he loads fine be he will LOAD. Bc of his bulk I have removed the first partition in my 4 horse slant load so he isn't squished, but your horse is afraid of the trailer and will also balk in other ways if your let this behavior continue.

usandpets 08-20-2013 01:48 PM

I am going to disagree, BlueSpark. A horse should NOT follow you in. For your own safety, you should not be in the trailer while loading a horse.

It could be that the horse is claustrophobic. It could have had a traumatic experience last time. It could be holes in its training or it is disrespect. I think that this horse is calling the shots. You have to meet certain criteria to get it in. You have to lead it in. You have to have hay or feed in the trailer. You can't use pressure or the horse explodes.

There are so many threads about trailer loading. You will find most have the same answers.
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Corporal 08-20-2013 01:59 PM

People have trained their horses to load in all sorts of trailer and contraptions, including loading onto the back of a truck parked into a ditch (with sides, of course.)
OP must decide to train the horse or replace the trailer AND train the horse. You can't even Sell this horse if she won't load.

beau159 08-20-2013 02:50 PM


Originally Posted by Moocow2431 (Post 3407906)
She follows me with her front feet but acts as if she can't pick her back feet up to get in.

She isn't "acting" anything. She is downright refusing to follow you. I don't think you understand at all what we are trying to tell you, or else refuse to admit your horse isn't as perfect as you thought.

Did you read my thread?

Your horse has your number. And you've discovered that when she doesn't want food or treats, she isn't going to do diddly squat. And the she throws basically a teenage temper tantrum by shutting down when you try to introduce a whip, and you let her. Your horse doesn't respect you. She's not going to follow you wherever you go; including into a trailer.

I also agree 100% with usandpets. I teach all my horses to "self load" for that exact reason. I want to be able to send them into the trailer, while I safely stay outside. Especially if it is a small two-horse bumper pull trailer.

And exactly as corporal pointed out, it should not matter what you are trying to lead (or send) your horse into. If they have respect and trust for you, they will go without question. Respect and trust is NOT something they are going to learn overnight or in one session. There isn't a "magic fix" to get your horse to hop on the trailer (or do other things you ask). It takes time, patience, and consistency.

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