Horse rocks trailer on way home - The Horse Forum
  • 4 Post By horselovinguy
  • 2 Post By jaydee
  • 1 Post By falling
  • 1 Post By AnitaAnne
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post #1 of 8 Old 06-22-2019, 02:09 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 276
• Horses: 2
Horse rocks trailer on way home

Hi all,

My gelding has begun to develop a really annoying habit. He travels well, doesnt sweat, loads well. He perhaps is still a little nervous but he's getting much better. On the way to wherever we are going he travels fantastically: walks up, stands quietly in float while I do bum bar, stands happy in the float waiting for me to go. Doesn't move excessively, unloads happy as.

On the way home, loads great, stands great, then as we get going he starts doing something that causes the trailer to start swinging. Theres a little window at the front and I can see it's not his whole body moving because his head is mostly stationary. He does occasionally fling his head around on the way home but it's not what is causing the swaying. Its rhythmatic: if I was to guess I'd say hes rocking from one foot to the other. Does it from about the first ten minutes to the whole way home- our trips are usually about thirty minutes but do vary in direction. He seems to know exactly when he is about fifteen minutes from home and starts getting impatient.

On longer trips he doesnt do this.

I have tried: giving him hay, keeping his head tied, keeping his head untied, travelling him with a buddy, wrapping his legs, unwrapping his legs. Nothing makes a difference! Hasnt injured himself really, has taken a bit of hair off his face from head flinging but nothing on his legs etc.

Any suggestions? It's a bit disconcerting to look behind ya and see the trailer going from side to side. Not dangerous (stays within the lines) but also doesnt feel safe and I'd like to stop it.
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-22-2019, 07:17 AM
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Have you given enough time from when you untack to loading the horse that he has a chance to urinate?
My horse gets antsy on the trailer when he needs to go and he will not go on the trailer, so moves around and once we stop...
Gotta go, gotta go, gotta go...get out of my way, going to run you over gotta go..

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #3 of 8 Old 06-22-2019, 09:06 AM
Join Date: May 2012
Location: CT USA an English transplant
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I’m with the ‘needs to urinate’
A lot of horses won’t do it when out on the trails or at a show ground and then when all of that stops and they relax they feel the need but don’t want to do it in the trailer either
Maybe walk him around a bit and let him relax and graze before you load?
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Just winging it is not a plan
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-23-2019, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 276
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Huh. Hadn't even thought about that!!! Now that you mention it when he gets home he let's it all hang loose and goes for a wander round the corner... likely to pee!! I will give that a shot.
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-04-2019, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 276
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Nope 😞 Not peeing. Had a bigger float trip (just over an hour) he was super settled for the first 45 mins and then when we got to the usual spot, starting being an idiot. It must just be that he knows he is going home. Last float trip, I drove extremely slowly and pulled over several times and got in the back with him. He is mostly just shifting his weight and moving a lot, but also head flinging, some kicking and pawing.

I have been advised to sedate him lightly on the way home to get him out of the habit. Thoughts?
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post #6 of 8 Old 07-04-2019, 11:51 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
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I'm not a fan of unnecessary sedation. There are risks, possible cumulative effects, and side effects.

Since it isn't the urination, I think you are right about him being eager to get home.

I would lightly tap the brakes to get his attention. It's a bad, or at least annoying, habit.

If your trailer is a bumper pull, you might consider stabilizer bars.
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post #7 of 8 Old 07-04-2019, 11:51 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
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I would not sedate a horse traveling in a trailer. That's the sort of thing that usually causes more problems, not less.
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post #8 of 8 Old 07-05-2019, 05:23 PM
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Canada
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I wouldn't sedate him for the trailer ride home either.

I have a mare who sort of does that - but her hang up is she HATES going over gravel roads. Unfortunately that is unavoidable where i live. I try to go slowly, but it doesn't matter. Her thing is that she paws & paws in the trailer and shifts her weight around a ton.

I know it wasn't b/c she had to pee as she has no problem peeing in the trailer and will also usually pee on trails or after our lesson. I've decided it's bumpy roads she hates.

I've tried a few different things to distract her, but honestly I've just decided that as long as I can still manage, and she isn't hurting herself....there isn't much else I can do.

I did end up buying a bigger trailer. And although she still paws in there, I think it is better as the trailer rides better and it is quite a bit more stable than my old trailer.

This is annoying, but might be something you just have to live with unfortunately.
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