Terrible horsebox loading experience :'( - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 61 Old 06-16-2014, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Isle of Man, UK
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Terrible horsebox loading experience :'(

So I went to pick up my horse the other day (just bought him :))
He is 5 years old - never travelled and only practised trailer loading a couple times.

I arranged for a local horse transport company to load him (horsebox - more stable for his size) and take to his new yard - we had a TERRIBLE experience!!

Methods used:
Flicking/splashing water on behind
scaring forward by wafting rugs behind him
pressure halter
worst one! Using a chain running along top of gum in mouth

Safe to say I was in tears and he never loaded and is currently chilling out and practising more trailer loading at current yard. Oh did I mention that he constantly reared (never done before!) and hit his face on the metal roofing and fell on his bum :( :(

Please tell me I'm not the only one that thinks that these are NOT acceptable methods to use!! I firmly believe the horse should practise loading and go into the box on his own accord and feel safe/comfortable!
I'm shocked and unfortunately wished I could have stopped it all happening.
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post #2 of 61 Old 06-16-2014, 10:01 AM
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well, you didn't pay them to train the horse to trailer...they are paid to transport a horse. they did what they needed to transport the animal. he should have been trained before moving.
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post #3 of 61 Old 06-16-2014, 10:15 AM
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Time is money. You are paying them to transport. Many around here would have charged you for the attempt. Those are methods that work. Are they acceptable? That depends on the person employing them, the horse (and horse's response) and your goal. The horse should have had more training. That is not their responsibility. As the new owner it is yours. Are their other means to entice a horse into a trailer? Sure. Could they have been used? Yes and it is your responsibility if you are there to ask to try those first if your horse balks and you do not want another method used. As those methods did not work chances are you will have future issues and really need to spend time practicing. Consider talking to the vet and sedating the horse for the first move if necessary.
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post #4 of 61 Old 06-16-2014, 03:26 PM
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Although I do not approve of harsh measures there are times when a horse that is just saying "NO!" needs to be shown that it cannot get away with things.

Did you tell the transporter that this horse may take time to load? I bet you didn't.

Nothing that was done to this horse will have lasting effect on him. Had you not been there then you would not have known.
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post #5 of 61 Old 06-16-2014, 03:37 PM
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Why didn't you tell them to stop?!
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post #6 of 61 Old 06-16-2014, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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I didn't write this to get attacked for what I didn't or did do. I obviously didn't explain everything well and am upset still after what happened.

I would have paid any amount to take a while - money was not a problem. I left it in the hands of the professionals! Something I thought was OK. Also it was the responsibility of the seller to train him to load NOT me in this situation
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post #7 of 61 Old 06-16-2014, 03:52 PM
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We had to whack the crap out of my horse's bum to get him into the trailer before we could get him in reliably. He was just being stubborn and got plenty of chances to go in with no pressure, light pressure, and then finally firm pressure. If Sock was not MADE to get in that trailer he would not have of his own accord. Ever. He would run himself into the ground on a line before he would even stick his nose in there. Sometimes you really do have to use force to get an animal to do something, and as much as I hated it the first time, he will now get in and out hassle free every time. (ETA, he will get in and out STRESS free as well)

Now the stud chain I would be pretty upset about, but as stated above, they were making an attempt at doing their jobs to the best of their ability in a timely manner. Sometimes that means a hard to load horse needs to be loaded in any way possible. If the horse isn't trained to load already I certainly couldn't blame them for any of the other methods.

ETA: Nope, your horse now, your responsibility now. If the previous owner said that the horse was trained to load and he wasn't, well at this point then that sucks but there's not a whole lot that you can do about it except deal with it. I was told that my horse loaded reasonably well sometimes and did not expect him to be as awful as he was with it but what else was I to do? Call them up and tell them to train MY horse to do what they said? I'm not trying to attack you here, just giving an example. It's unfortunate and I know it sucks watching your baby get scared or having to get firm with them sometimes but if we didn't we'd have a lot more dangerous animals running around. Just hang in there. He isn't ruined by any means, and it sounds like you may be able to get a trainer to help from here on out. If that's the case, then I bet everything will turn out okay.

Last edited by 2BigReds; 06-16-2014 at 03:59 PM.
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post #8 of 61 Old 06-16-2014, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by BlondeRider25 View Post
So I went to pick up my horse the other day (just bought him :))
He is 5 years old - never travelled and only practised trailer loading a couple times.
By the way I read your post, it sounds like you knew ahead of time that your new horse had never traveled and had only actually been on a trailer two times.

I guess I'm just confused on how you expected the trailer loading to go any different than it did?

You may have said you expected the seller to train the horse to load, but did you actually make sure that it happened?

What's done is done. Just work on retraining your horse.

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post #9 of 61 Old 06-16-2014, 05:50 PM
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Sorry but I'm with the others. You left your horse to professionals? They are not professional "gentle method" trainers, they are people who are paid to get the horse in the trailer.

I understand that maybe you were to shocked to intervene, but you should have stepped in and said "Ok guys, I appreciate your efforts but this isn't how I want my horse handled. May we go slower/try another day? I'll pay for your time of course"
You didn't say that, so they felt they could keep doing what they were doing, hey you were there, you were paying them, to them they had your approval.
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post #10 of 61 Old 06-16-2014, 06:13 PM
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Yep, I'm with the others. They're on a schedule, they need to load up and go. They're not there to train your horse to trailer gently - they need to be on time. You seemed to know ahead of time that the horse doesn't trailer well, so I'm not sure what you were expecting... Regardless, now that the horse is home you can start to work on it how you want to. If you want the horse loaded a certain way that is likely to take a lot of coaxing and time, you'll have to do it yourself.
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