Horse Won't Step IN Trailer! Help!
I have a 1 year old filly (just turned one yesterday) named Twista and we are just not having any luck with getting her into the trailer.
We loaded her once as a 6 month old, and even at that time she was a bit difficult but because of the conditions I was not able to practice with her. We tried loading her another time so that she could go to the fair, she started throwing herself against the door, side of the trailer, rearing, etc...
I tried working with her another day, I watched her more intently to see what was troubleing her. It just seems to be the step up into the trailer. We have a 16' stock trailer that is 6'5 tall with thick matting in it.
I have tried loading another horse, putting hay/grain up front, leaving it out in the pasture with food in it, using a butt rope, using a whip, etc...
A trainer is going to come help me this week, and see if we can maybe get her loaded.
I'm wondering if I could make a ramp? If I bought heavy duty plywood and reinforced it with 2 X 4's? Backing up to a ditch/hill isn't an option.
She will prance around on the edge just like she wants to get in, but just can't.
It doesn't sound like you have done any general groundwork training with this filly.
Is that the case?
Either way, this filly doesn't TRUST you and doesn't RESPECT you. You need to teach her that.
I wrote this up a while back about teaching to trailer load, but keep in mind general groundwork is what is going to train this filly.
Give her some time.. .
1.. She is a year old. SO do NOT make this something she is going to hate doing the rest of her life..
take her to the trailer.. as far as she is WILLING to go.. and praise her.. and then LEAVE the trailer..
Go farther and farther ( closer to the trailer) each time.. and once she is close enough to step in.. STOP.. let her eat the hay off the inside of the trailer.. and pet her.. give her some lovin'..
Make her think the trailer is AWESOME.. lol:)..
Once again, if she DOES have all the groundwork for her age done.... she may just be a bit scared... so get her used to it little by little..
Don't make this a bad experience for her.. or she may have trouble her whole life....
She has had some general groundwork done, knows how pick up all 4 feet, yield hindquarters, move her shoulders, lunge at a walk/trot, stand tied, etc...
She will walk up to the trailer just fine, I can tie her to it, walk her right up to the edge, put hay on the edge and she will eat it, etc... I can stand in there and jump to make noise and it doesn't affect her. It is just THAT step into it. I have lifted both her front legs so that both are in and she was just like oook. She tries to get in, but just can't seem to do it.
I agree with beau159 on this one... she doesn't trust you. I've worked with many horses on trailer loading, if you make it into something they hate they will always well... hate it. Work more on ground training, get her to trust you more. Then work up into the trailer....
The thing is that she tries, she will jump along the edge and just want to get in but it seems like a physical issue almost.
She is learning that she doesn't have to get in trailer.
And what you are taking as wanting to get in the trailer when she is jumping along the edge is not her wanting to get in trailer and just can't, but her saying I am NOT getting in the trailer...but will move around so you think I might.
Are there shavings on the floor? Many will not get in as easily when there seems to be a black hole to them.
Hopefully whoever you have coming to help will sort this out for you, and you can build on that.
Groundwork. If you look at Clinton Anderson-he has a video on trailer loading. What you want to do is teach her to drive, in a way. I think PP calls it the "squeeze game"...and most of the major name trainers do something very very similar. Rope halter, long line....and teach her to go over, under, around and thru all sorts of things on the ground. (Barrels, tarps, etc) THis translates really easily to the trailer loading, and you end up with a horse that will self load in the end. I also have watched a trainer do this with several horses and it takes a lot of patience, since you never force, and reward the slightest try.
Another good thing, bar whats already been mentioned is to park the trailer in the field, leave the ramp down, and let her walk in and out by herself. Tie a hay net up inside and open the front ramp and the main ramp, letting her walk in and out. Once she sees the trailer is an utterly boring piece of equipment, you can start trying to load her.
Getting her to trust you will work wonders too ;)
When mine was a yearling I would try to park the trailer in a dip somewhere so it was lower a bit a it was a fairly big step up. I also fed him his grain in it everyday. I would ask for baby steps at first. Everyday I asked for a little more and a little further to get the grain. It took a bit of time at first but I liked working slowly
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