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EmilyRosie 10-10-2010 01:52 PM

Trailer loading :(
 
Hello,
Previously to the barn I am at now I rode horses that were there, but now I want to bring my horse. My pony (rosie) though is terrified of the trailer. (common problem I know :-)) So the first time she walked in no problem we put her in the trailer drove there and when we came out she was sweating buckets and shaking.

I assumed by how well she walked in she would be fine, but I had never seen her so scared. Obviously we didn't ride that lesson. So when it was time to go I walked her to the trailer...Ears forward, feet ready to bolt, tail up, muscles tense, and head high...delightful.

So I stood next to her stroked her talked to her trying to calm her so then I took a step forward and she took about 5 backwards. I went with her to releases the tension. So then I went in front of her trying to get her to come and finally she did! So my trainer said to attach the bungee cord so I did and she actually ripped the bungee cord in half!!!!! my little pony broke the bungee cord! (I was shocked at the strength)

After ages of this basically we got her in and tied her lead rope to binder twine. I felt so bad for her but we got home and she was sweaty and shaky again. I have been working with her and now she will walk in the trailer no problem stand in there for a minute look around, stomp on the ground, but the SECOND she thinks she is stuck in there its full speed backwards. We are getting a new trailer because ours is too small for one of our horses now, but I will attach a link to a pic of the current one just for size) 2 Horse Trailer

My pony is 12.3 so she is really little, but does that trailer look scary from her point of view do you think? As in should I just wait til we get the new trailer to try and take her to lessons? If not should I just continue what I am doing? Any suggestions? I don't understand because she walks in fine and she will stand in there for ages, but I am obviously not going to tie her quick run out and trap her in I just don't quite understand. It bugs me when I don't understand my horse lol. :-)

Thanks

riccil0ve 10-10-2010 02:54 PM

I would fix her trailer issue before taking her to a lesson.

My mare also doesn't like trailers. What works for her is to lunge her near the trailer, with part of the circle coming at the trailer like she is going to go in. Once she quits ducking in away from it and stays at the end of the line, I break her closer. When she is relaxed and focused on me, I stop lunging and march into the trailer. I don't look at her, I don't coo at her, just march on in. If she stops or back-pedals, I follow her back out, making sure there is no tension on the line, and then start from the beginning. It takes her awhile, but it's the least stressful way to deal with it.

Good luck!
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Cobalt 10-10-2010 05:22 PM

If she walked right on, but then acted that way when you got her out, I would hazard a guess that she wasn't given a good ride by whoever was driving the truck. Good loading/riding horses are *easily* soured by bad rides. If you are too quick on the brakes, take turns to quickly, etc. you will pitch the horse around and make it really hard for them to ride in a trailer. A pony is at a disadvantage because they are small and don't have the supports as close to their bodies as a full size horse.

Work with her to get her back in the trailer, but that is only half the story here I think. She needs the person who drives to be extra, extra, extra cautious and stop REALLY slowly and turn REALLY slowly and carefully. Also make sure she has a good airflow and isn't getting too hot.

There may be something you can do for a small pony to make the trailer fit them better, but I don't know about that.

I really think this sounds like the issue here. And sometimes people think they are driving carefully but its not nearly enough. You almost have to drive to where you think you're being ridiculously careful.

MacabreMikolaj 10-10-2010 06:34 PM

As a note, horses HATE those trailers. Period. I'm not sure if it's because it's so dark and cramped, or if they can't balance properly, but every single one of our excellent loaders will give us issues in a trailer like that and every single time we're helping people at the showgrounds it's because of a trailer like that.

My Arab mare will practically drag me to jump into an open stock trailer because she loves trailer rides (she loves huffing wind). I reached a point where I had a vet slapping her hocks with a whip because she REFUSED to get back into my 2-horse trailer like yours after an appointment.

I am an extremely cautious and slow driver, and I cringe every single time I have to take a corner because I can hear them scrambling back there. I'm not sure why, but it's like it screws with their center of balance and they have NO warning for corners so even when I CRAWL them, they seem to waver a bit.

The fact that she keeps getting in and coming off a basket case tells me you aren't likely to solve this problem any time soon. This is the type of horse that is probably much better suited to a more open concept. I know it's not always possible, but sometimes it's just a claustophobic horse can't handle those tiny dark trailers.

Just food for thought!


wild_spot 10-10-2010 06:37 PM

Quote:

If she walked right on, but then acted that way when you got her out, I would hazard a guess that she wasn't given a good ride by whoever was driving the truck. Good loading/riding horses are *easily* soured by bad rides. If you are too quick on the brakes, take turns to quickly, etc. you will pitch the horse around and make it really hard for them to ride in a trailer. A pony is at a disadvantage because they are small and don't have the supports as close to their bodies as a full size horse.
This. Most bad floaters are made by bad drivers.

EmilyRosie 10-10-2010 06:51 PM

Okay thanks for everybody's opinion. I will just wait til we get the other trailer its gonna be more like this one : http://www.kegleypleasurehorses.com/...ailer_side.jpg not that exact one but more like that so you think she'll go into that one? Since the lesson debacle I haven't made her stay in I just go in and out with her

cakemom 10-10-2010 07:21 PM

I have a two horse straight load much like the grey one, and both of my horses jump right in....but I drive very cautiously when my babies are in tow.
I had one horse years ago who was a ba loader. We would walk him to the trailer, if he refused he worked, tried again, refuse, work....until he loaded and then we'd close the trailer after a while, and then let him out....then went to going for a short ride and unloading....till he became an easy loader.
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