bad trailering experience? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 07-24-2015, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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bad trailering experience?

My horse is great for the trailer. He auto loads eats his hay and is at ease in the trailer. And then... bad experience. he had to go to a university for lameness issues and the offload was bad. He had to have his temp checked while he was in the trailer. Horses and scary carts whizzing by the trailer... no good. and as soon as he got off the was poked and prodded and stuffed in a stall for 4 days. When I came to pick him up (I couldn't see him as he had had a bone scan that makes him radioactive) he would not get in the trailer. When I got him on with some sweet feed and got him settled as soon as we started moving he freaked and started kicking and spazzing out. The vet had to give him a bit of ace so we could take him home. This is a horse who I have trailered time and time again and had no problems what so ever. I don't blame him at all, for all I know he thought he was coming back to the vet to get stuck more. What exercises can I do to get him comfortable with the trailer again? his freak outs come when we start moving
thanks!
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-24-2015, 12:34 AM
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My horse had a bad experience, tried to climb out the window and was stuck in the manger with his legs curled/folded under him.

Luckily, he has no trouble loading or unloading since, but I was worried he would.

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post #3 of 8 Old 07-24-2015, 09:24 AM
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Just go back to the beginning, assuming you were the one to teach him how to load well. Pressure and release, reward every try. If your horse is food motivated (mine is, helped trailer anxiety a LOT!) create possitive experiences by and in the trailer.

Most of all do not allow yourself or your horse to be prejudiced by his previous bad experience.
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post #4 of 8 Old 07-24-2015, 01:40 PM
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I would say much the same as greenhaven says. just start the training over again.
I guess I was lucky with one horse I had as she had to go to the Vet Collage for an emergency. When we went to get her and she saw the trailer, you wouldn't have been able to stop her from getting on that trailer. She just said "shut the door and lets get out of here"
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-24-2015, 02:28 PM
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Haha, had a similar exp with a the first horse my daughter leased, later sold to a friend at the same barn. He was very familiar with my trailer as we took both girls and horses to many 4-H and open shows, but otherwise was a bad loader.

The new owner (after a couple of years) took him to a rodeo in a different trailer to barrel race. He would not get in the trailer to come home.

Desperate they called me very, very late. I took our trailer and he about jumped on. Guess to him it looked like 'home'.
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post #6 of 8 Old 07-30-2015, 12:39 AM
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What a bummer! Agree with 'starting again'. I wouldn't ask him to stay in the trailer - or even go all the way in, until he is comfortable just going in & out. I wouldn't tie him in & shut the tailgate until he was comfortable going in & standing there for a time. I wouldn't start the engine until he was fine with the rest & I wouldn't start driving until he was fine with everything.

I'm all for positive reinforcement, especially in changing emotional associations, but do be careful that if you do give him a treat to 'encourage' him, that it's not when he's actively nervous, or he may just associate that treat with Worries.
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post #7 of 8 Old 08-01-2015, 04:58 PM
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If you think your horse relates the trip to the vets with the trailer then equally you could say he would want out of there as fast as possible and would have galloped into the trailer!

As said, just go back to the beginning and start him over. Make sure he is uncertain rather than saying 'I won't.'
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post #8 of 8 Old 08-01-2015, 06:54 PM
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I can't help but wonder how Op handled it when the horse was acting up with all the external influences. Lots of petting and soothing voice could have made him think he was being rewarded for his behavior.



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