Loading into trailer - DIFFERENT problem
Problem with loading into trailer... I know it was raised here number of times, but it's little different this time. :)
She loads OK. The problem is she walks in (either with me or when I send her standing outside) turns inside really fast and jumps out the trailer (I have small stock trailer). She REALLY panics that the door will be closed and afraid to turn her butt to it. Trying to stand there with her and pat doesn't help much as she turns right away. She's also fine to half load and in this case she stands quietly. Any ideas on what to do? She leads and all fine in ring and by the trailer. But looks like she's completely loosing her mind from fear to be locked. Also she's fine being locked in stall, going between barrels, going between close sheds and all that...
So, she bolts out even if you stand in there with her? Humm . .
I personally don't like using food to keep a horse in the trailer, but have you tried that? I had a trailer question too, and that is what some people recommended to show the horse that it is good to be in the trailer.
Has she trailered in the past or is she new to it?
Maybe since it's not just the trailer she could be scared of closed spaces... kinda like some people are. I also like the idea that FledgeOfNarnia had, it sounds like that might work.
Just a random suggestion.......
Set up some barrels and/ or poles in a square with an opening at one end imitating the trailer. Teach your horse to load into that the same way you have in the normal tralier ( unless you have already). but incorpirate teaching her to halt and stay on your command, as well as coming back to you. Basicly like teaching a dog to stay were it is on command. Once the horse will stay in the square, and is happy to stay there untill you ask him to come to you, practice the same thing but for a short period close the square up, open it , keep him in stay position then ask him to come. So hes calm the whole time, and can see that you will be there to let him out again so there is no need to panic.
and yea do that untill you progress to the trailer. Maby just using some rope or wooden pole across the back of the trailer first then progress to shutting the whole back of the trailer.
:D lol yea kinda a random suggestion, but i think it may just work.
Hmmm thats a tough one. Do you let her out when she dashes for the door? I think I'd spend a few hours letting her go in and back out just so she gets over the trapped feeling. When she stays in for more than a few min. praise and love on her.
She has trailered before right? Makes you kinda wonder what happened that got her nervous.
If all else fails feed her in there for a week. Then do some short trips of a mile or so and let her out.
If she is that nervous I would hate to have you take her on a long trip and have her kick your trailer apart.
Here's some steps to try:
Load her half on, half off. See how long she can stand there.
After you do that, ask her to load 3/4s on--three feet in and one back foot out! If she can stand calmly for that, move on. If she doesn't like that idea, as SOON as she goes to put that third foot in, calmly ask her to back out. A lot of advance/retreat business, here!
Once she's loaded 3/4 in, ask for the last leg--and as soon as she goes to get fully in the trailer, ask her to come out. Do this several times! Then move on to asking her to go one step forward into the trailer, then ask her to back out. If you are always asking her to do something, and never something hard, she shouldn't have the chance to whirl around and run out the door. The trick is to ask for just a LITTLE more then what she wants to give (getting three feet in the trailer instead of all four) and then immediately 'retreating', aka backing her out of the trailer. Thing is, YOU are always asking her to get out... not her deciding to jump out!
Once she can get all the way on, and all the way off, go all the way out and ask her to stand for just one second, maybe two. She should be able to stand still on her own for a good 30 seconds before you start playing with the door... when you move to the door, its just like loading--close it a little bit... then open and back her out. Close it just an inch more... then open and back her out.
It's long and boring and will take several sessions... but there's no reason why this won't work.
Folks, I CANNOT back her out the trailer, because it's stock trailer, not straight load. She has enough room to turn and as long as she's in completely she PANICS(!!!) so badly she forgets EVERYTHING she does perfectly on ground and just turns. She may stand after that facing the back door, but I can see how nervous she is. I practice walking in and out half-way, full way, lunging next to trailer and so on for 2-3 months already and IT'S NOT GETTING BETTER as long as she's fully in. I also asked some trainers, but what they suggested doesn't work, because she's not becoming calm inside.
Yesterday we had accident with her on trailer (with OPEN back door). I open the emergency door on side and half-way slipped out. PANICS wasn't even right word. She tried to slip after me and cut her head on door badly. I'm just SO frustrated........ :(
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