Help me with trailering - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 45 Old 02-17-2019, 06:27 PM
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So if it were me -- and I've only been trailering for about 3 years now myself -- I'd take them to a few places before this dude ranch thing. Short trips. Get used to it yourself, and get them well accustomed to a moving trailer. Figure out the kinks before you go book an entire vacation off-property. I learned a lot through trial and error. But I'm glad most of that trial and error was just short hauling to a lesson. Our Arab was initially good with trailering, then decided he wasn't going to do it anymore (possibly as a result of sliding under a butt bar once in a borrowed trailer configured for a bigger horse). It took a while to get him over that, but now he's good with it again.

I think what you're planning sounds like great fun, but I'd trailer the horses to a nearby destination a couple of times first, just as practice runs if you can.
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post #22 of 45 Old 02-17-2019, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you @mslady254 and @loosie for this great discussion. The trailer I want to use is a straight load two-horse trailer. I'm not sure what it looks like inside, though.
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post #23 of 45 Old 02-17-2019, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acadianartist View Post
I think what you're planning sounds like great fun, but I'd trailer the horses to a nearby destination a couple of times first, just as practice runs if you can.
I actually couldn't sleep last night because I kept having dreams where my horses got injured horrifically in the trailer, so I am thinking I might postpone this trip a little until I can make at least one trial run with them. The problem is, having neither truck nor trailer, it's hard to get to the trial run. But I'm thinking next time our barn goes to a show I will ask if I can tag along.

Having said that, I am still eagerly reading everyone's advice.
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post #24 of 45 Old 02-17-2019, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mslady254 View Post
@loosie , I was describing what I believe to be the safest option for my 2 horse straight load, ... In my trailer, there's no way he can turn around to try to come out when loose before I go to the manger window and tie him. In some trailers, such as mine, there's no way TO tie them before shutting the door
Yep, and I was saying that IME it is far safer to tie first, rather than having them back out or rear up & turn around(I've seen a horse do this... albeit with difficulty, in a single horse float, because it was terrified to back out! So yes, in a regular sized float, horses can turn around - unless perhaps there are stalls which are very narrow & high - but they can certainly back out at speed anyway, if they're panicked... or just determined.

Yeah, most people have straight loads here, and we tend to have tailgate ramps rather than barn doors, which is my main experience. I'd definitely tie first in that situation. I'm surprised you have a trailer without a door at the front, so you can't lead the horse on & you go out the front. I like to train horses to enter this way anyway, but especially if you CAN'T lead them on, I'd use a long rope, through a tie ring at the front, and when you drive the horse onto the float, bring up the slack in the rope.

As well as saying my own view re safety was opposite to yours on this, my point which may not have got thru was essentially that a horse likely to panic in a trailer shouldn't be 'trapped' - by rope or door - at all, but it should first be taught that standing calmly in the trailer is nothing to worry about, whether tied or not. Regardless how you do it, I think there are always great dangers if you've got a panicked horse in a trailer.

Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #25 of 45 Old 02-17-2019, 06:55 PM
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@mslady254 ..... I haul the same way, I have a slant load and load my horses and close the dividers get them all settled and then tie the heads. And reverse it, when I get to where I'm going, I haul long distances sometimes so when they get to where we are going I always feel they are ready to get out, though they probably aren't. Don't want them to start backing and then have a panic, not that mine have ever have, they know to stand when asked. Mine are VERY quiet horses so I might not do that with a horse I don't know. Actually I usually won't haul a horse I don't know.... to many ifs. Tried it once only to find the horse wouldn't back out so it was a pain to get them out, woulda been nice to know before I put the horse in my trailer. Mine are hauled a lot so I wouldn't be the best person to ask about the first time hauling.

I did get a yearling and took it on one of my long hauls with my other two thinking it would help..... two hours into the 8+ ride I did a check... he was covered with sweat... another hour he was munching hay when I got there he was just like the other two... waiting for the next thing.
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post #26 of 45 Old 02-18-2019, 10:52 PM
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Since you're not the one driving, I don't think a little sedation will hurt you.
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post #27 of 45 Old 02-19-2019, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACinATX View Post
I actually couldn't sleep last night because I kept having dreams where my horses got injured horrifically in the trailer, so I am thinking I might postpone this trip a little until I can make at least one trial run with them. The problem is, having neither truck nor trailer, it's hard to get to the trial run. But I'm thinking next time our barn goes to a show I will ask if I can tag along.

Having said that, I am still eagerly reading everyone's advice.
I'm new to hauling myself. Figured out real quick the best way to cure my horses of being barn-soured is to give them no barn to run back to. So we haul them somewhere to ride.

Hubs got tired of doing the grunt work (hooking on to the trailer, driving, etc. He's meh about trail riding, would rather go along to be the camp cook), so I decided to learn to do it myself rather than badger him into it and have to rely on him.

I compulsively check my mirrors - I don't have nightmares about it, but I've heard of horses falling through the trailer floor and being dragged to death. It's gut churning to hear about. My trailer has a very nice, very solid floor, so does our stock trailer - it's crazy unlikely the floor will magically give away, but I still worry.

The FIRST TIME I hauled alone was a trip that was an hour and a half one way. At the time, my slant was new to me, I'd literally had it for 24 hours before leaving out. I had a 3/4 ton Ford with a flatbed. On the trip home, it starts squawking at me and the letters huge and almost NEON they were so bright in the dash popped up: TRAILER BRAKE DISCONNECTED.

I HAD A HEART ATTACK... Looked in the mirrors and was scared to death - I was afraid I'd somehow lost the entire trailer on the highway. NOPE. Trailer brake wiring decided to have a short in it, so I had NO TRAILER BRAKES going home. Thank goodness I always pay attention when Hubs is hauling horses or cows or anything else behind us... just let it slow down on it's own, well ahead of time, pump the brakes gently to shut 'er down. BUT THAT ALARM THOUGH. It scared the bejesus out of me. We have a Dodge 1 ton diesel now, and it has no trailer brakes at all - but my trailer doesn't push it like it would that Ford. Still... sheesh. It's... an adventure every time we leave the house.

My trail riding barrel racing friend, T (tired of typing all that out so I'll use the first initial of her first name) was going to a race by Weatherford Tx, driving rain, she's 6 miles from the arena and feels all hell break loose in the trailer. There's no shoulder, no where to pull over safely. Scoots into the arena parking lot, bails out, her horse is still nutting out... she flings the door open - the saddle pad rack that hangs from the ceiling on the 'butt' side of her slant had given way from the ceiling, had swung around, and poked poor Peso in the face - he almost lost an eye over it!

The saddle pad rack did not get replaced. She does something different now. She doesn't want to risk it coming loose again and causing a real catastrophic injury.

I guess... the only thing I can really say is - 'stuff happens' when horses and trailers are involved. I compulsively worry, but I've had to weigh the risk of injury with the reward of enjoying time away from home with my horses.

To me, it's worth the risk.

(But I still compulsively check the mirrors)

So. Here's to hoping your trip is fun. It honestly sounds like it would be, and kudos to you for wanting to adventure forth and try something new with your ponies! To me, THIS is what owning a horse is all about - the adventure and the bonding/relationship with your horse that develops when you go places together.

ENJOY!
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post #28 of 45 Old 02-19-2019, 04:09 PM
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I say don't let fear limit you!

Same as @AtokaGhosthorse my perfect endurance pony is a raging nightMare if I try to ride her at home. The last 2 times I tried to ride her at home she's either bolted down the road (losing a shoe in the process) or bucked me off after a tree branch hit my helmet (something that happens at least 1500 times on a 25 mile ride away from her which doesn't even result in an eye blink).

We have 2 trailers, a stock bumper pull and a 4 horse gooseneck with a weekender. I have driven the 4 horse but I usually leave that up to DH but I regularly take Stitch out in the stock trailer. I even drove her all by myself 6+ hours to go to a ride in Wisconsin last year. All of my horses now load into the trailer without a thought so I wouldn't worry too much about it. Jake took a little convincing when he first started going places but he's happy as a clam now. I personally am not a huge fan of straight loads and have seen people have the most trouble with loading into them. My horses all love the slant load (even though the rear tack makes the entry small) and don't mind the stock trailer.

My only advice.... Make sure they go slow unloading. Mine like to barrel out and have tripped/squished me in the process before. We have lots of lessons on unloading manners. Oh and don't worry about them peeing, definitely not a stress response. My mare poops as soon as she's on a trailer (in my opinion just to make me mad...) so it's a totally normal response.

GO! HAVE FUN! It'll be an amazing experience!
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post #29 of 45 Old 02-19-2019, 04:14 PM
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Hahah. Yep. Trailering a horse is a good way to help a horse colic btw! They ALL pee or poop in the trailer. Mine, immediately. Thanks guys... I washed it out last weekend... and yer poopin' it up!

I'd plan on getting a manure rake - very helpful for shoveling poo out of the trailer.


AC - do yours back out of the trailer or no? I've been dragged out and smooshed and flattened/knocked out and onto the ground by a nervous horse going out headfirst. Manners are important with trailering. But... I feel like PEOPLE need to have manners too! All of mine back out now, except our new mare and we're working on her. I've noticed if I give Trigger a moment to stop, right at the edge of the trailer, let him look over his shoulder at the edge, tell him: okay, y'ready?, let him have a second to comport himself, then ease him into taking that first step off the trailer, backwards, he's so much more calm about the entire thing. I'm consistent with it, I do it each and every time. It seems like good manners for the humans to do so, and each of our horses seems to appreciate that very brief, small moment to process that their next step will be That Step Off The Trailer.

"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us."

Last edited by AtokaGhosthorse; 02-19-2019 at 04:23 PM.
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post #30 of 45 Old 02-19-2019, 04:43 PM
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ACK that should say Help a horse WITH colic! Sorry!

"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us."
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