she wont load worth a crap
i have a 3yr old tn walker mare named motowns majorette.i think that she would be a fantastic trail horse the only problem is she wont load worth a crap.in fact the previous owners drugged her to make her load.and thne when we tried to load her she wouldnt we tried for an hour then my papaw put her in with a bobcat!it was horrible so now she wont load worth a crap.i never want it to come to force again with her.she hasnt been loaded at all since then.and what makes it worse is i havent any where to work her at really,just the section where we load the horses at no arena or anything yet.she is very afraid and i want to take her places because she is a showstopper with her gait.the problem is how do i get a horse thats terrified of trailers to get in?
You could have the trailer in the pasture with her and have her eat out of the trailer. Start with the feed close to the door (or as close as she is comfortable), make sure everything is secure so she won't get hurt or more scared. Eventually move the feed further into the trailer. This should help her with her fear of the trailer. I have friends that use this method with results, I would go one step more though. Then once she eats in there (or before) I would just work on leading her to the door - if she does this praise lots, then get her to put one foot in the door, only one foot though so she doesn't learn to bolt into the trailer, you want some control.
I also found this on the web, might help.
Troubleshooting Guide for Trailer Loading
feed her around the trailer, praise her, lunge her around it, etc
You lunge her near it (dont make her go in yet). If she shys from it then take her up to have a look at it then continue. Be sure to change directions!!! Then once she is comfortable then get a little closer. Once you are close enough that she could walk in it then just walk her.If she wants to smell it that is fine. Then ask her to go in if she refuses then lunge her ( make her RUN!) for about 2 minutes. Ask her again. If refuses then lunge again. This may take several hours but it really works!!
Make sure your consistent with the trailer otherwise it would never help.
The way I got most of my horses trained to load is exactly what others have said...but I back the trailer up to our round pen and threw the hay straight to the front. They HAD to go in whether they liked it or not. But you have to have it hooked up to something so it doesn't tip when they step up...that would be bad. Once they were fine to go in and eat, I got them to follow me in without a lead rope for some grain. Once that was fine, add the lead rope and ask them to step in...then without the aid of grain...then upgrade to out where you would normally load them to haul.
Takes alot of time and patience, but makes for safe loading.
Is she really nervous around it or just a bit stubborn? I have never had a problem with my pony, but a friend of mine has a very nervous and VERY stubborn arab who refuses to do anything if she is the slightest bit scared. What she did was park the trailer just outside the gate near the barnyard, and put some hay and oats in there. It took them about 2 hours, but they got her to walk in twice with no spazzes! They led her to the door and praised her every time she got close. Eventually she would stick her neck in and sniff the floor, then she would put one foot in, then the other, and after 2 hours her whole body was in. They left her in there for a while and let her eat and gave her lots of praise, then they walked her off and brought her in again.
If that doesn't work, you could try monty roberts method. Some friends of mine got there extremely stubborn percherons in the trailer using this. Heres a video of how he does it:
My tactic would be very similar to what Arab123 suggested. Work her (energetically) outside the trailer, then give her the chance to get on and rest. NO REST UNLESS IT IS ON THE TRAILER. If she chooses to fuss and not get on, start lunging again. When she makes the connection between resting and the trailer, let her rest in there. If she starts to get out by herself, let her, then work her again before giving her the chance to get on and rest again. My mom and I saw Clinton Anderson use this method in a demo at Equine Affaire with a horse that nearly refused to go in the same arena as the trailer, and had the horse literally begging to be on within an hour. While feeding can get the horse on the trailer, at the end of the day it is a bribe and just covers up the problem. Anyway, unless your mare is very food motivated, she'll probably get sly to it anyway.
Sheer curiosity, but how tall is your trailer? Since we have cattle, and not enough money to buy a separate trailer for the cows and the horses, we bought a stock trailer. Since our horses are both under 15 hands, we figured they'd be fine in the shorter trailer. Wrong. After a month with the new trailer, one refused to load without a ramp, and the other wouldn't go any farther than putting his front feet on, then flying off backwards. We ended up raising the trailer roof by nearly a foot, a little higher than the standard horse trailer. Both horses instantly loaded like a dream. Trailer even looks better, lol.
Well, if you ever get her on.. DRIVE SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY. Make it an enjoyable ride for her so that she wont mind or be scared to load onto a trailer again. When trying to load her, don't look at her. Look straight into the trailer.
I am with Scoutrider on this one.
I have been to see a Monty Robers trailer clinic and also a Clinton Anderson trailer clinic. I have to say that while both methods worked, i preferred the CA method.
Working outside the trailer and letting the horse know rest comes with the inside or nearness of the trailer I thought worked much better and much faster.
Loading horse that do not want to go can become a huge issue! i can not stress enough that the more you desensitze the trailer as a place of relaxaion to your horse the better results I think you will get. Now because we are not like Monty or CA we make many more mistakes then they do. One way to learn might be to read one of these to horsemeans books and or watch their DVD's or videos...
I was pretty amazed at both methods but the CA method took a whole lot less time and less stress to the horse that was used. I watched his clinic at the Wester States Hores Expo. It was an awesome experience and i truly have learned a lot.
Time comsistensy and patience. One the horse starts to get into the fight or battle mode your sort of committed to a certain exten to not back off untill the resistence is at least tried by the horse ...meaning that the horse shows some type of relaxation or trying as small as that might be.
I have also learned a lot obout my own body language and fristration ....which for sure effect my horses thinking. When I make it not that bg of a deal at the horses response in doing something I don't like and just continue on with the lesson until i see some effort on my horses part to participate then I can take the minute to stop and rub and reward the horse.
Trailering is sometimes something I see turn into tragic and barbaric means of geting horses to load. Food...as Scoutrider suggested is only a band-aid to the problem. The rel proble is to get the horse to use its thinking side of the brain and t=not the reacting side of its brain when it come to most anything. Your horse probably now views a trailer as a big object that is going to eat it up.
I love the suggestion Scoutrider made about Lounging once a refusal has been made to go into the trailer...and yes parking a trailer in my person opinion in the hores view or in it area of living is something that I have seen work....The reason I feel this works is because the horse will become accustomed to seeing this "trailer Object" as a part of its everyday environment.
Patiece and consistency will be your best friend with this issue especially since the last time a bobcat was used to get the aimal into the trailer...
I am so sorry that this is a huge issue for you right now especially since your wanting to expose your horse to other area's and shows. But in my personal opinion once your horse is completly comfortable loading and unloding into the trailer I don't know how he or she could travel to anyplace and be comfortable upon arrival.
There is many techniques and information to find on both the horseman mentioned above that I think will be beneficail to you.
I might try to use CA or Monty's trailering techniques on some lesser excitable and resistant horses to better familiarize yourself with the problems both the horse and owner might make as mistakes in the consistency issue.
Hope this helps....
All my best
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