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Rearing while loading in trailer.

11299 Views 35 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  Acadianartist
Hi all! Would love to hear some suggestions, as I've exhausted a lot of my knowledge and resources. ............ Problem: A horse who has trailered before, now once she's half on rears backward violently and hits her head on the top edge of the door. She's done it twice now severely, once requiring 12 stitches. I'm very worried about her doing further damage to herself, one because I love her, and two because I want to show her and obviously do not want her to have a mangled face..................... What I've tried: 1) Asking her to go in, if she refuses, I go work her away from the trailer for several minutes to show her the trailer is a rest. Can do this for hours and hours on end with no progress. 2) Working her around the trailer, then showing her inside is the rest. 3) Asking for only a step at a time and giving reward when she does so. This works until she's half in, then she explodes and hits herself or just narrowly avoids hitting herself if I'm lucky............... She will happily go half in, but as soon as she gets her hind feet about to go in, she very violently rears backward and hits herself. If she were just rushing backward I could work through that, but it's twice now she's hit her head badly, as she's throwing it up very high and hitting it as she almost falls over backward coming out. She hasn't seemed to 'learn' not to hit herself, either...................... The trailer is a nearly new, bright, open, 3 horse slant that is fully opened for her to go in. It is not a 'scary trailer'........... I want to be able to work through this issue, but it's so dangerous what she's doing that I can't allow this behaviour to keep happening or she's going to do something very serious/permanent to herself................. Would love to hear some suggestions! Sorry for bad formatting, not sure how to change it. I'm new. Cheers.
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I really can't help you work through this dangerous issue because it is far beyond my expertise (I'm still trying to coax a formerly easy-to-trailer horse into a horse trailer myself), but I would start by getting her one of these:

Cashel Horse Helmet | Adams Horse Supplies

Does she ever rear at any other time? This sounds like a very scary situation. Maybe time to bring in a trainer to help you before she kills herself. Unfortunately, that has happened.
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Wow, I didn't realize she was already wearing a cap and slicing her nose! I hope someone can help you out, but honestly, it sounds like this is a job for a professional trainer.
We are still waiting on the OP for the trailering history on this hrose, her own personal experience hauling this horse,if any, or if the trailer, which is an angle haul, has dividers
Horses really prefer no dividers. I loaned Smilie once to a friend, and when she brought Smilie back, as she was coming down our road, my son remarked, your horse is coming home, as he could hear her pawing in that trailer.
She never pawed in mine. My friend's trailer had dividers
I am not saying everyone should take dividers out, but that it might be a factor for this hrose, .
Of course, the horse might have been delivered to the OP,so obviously 'trailered\before, but how the seller got the horse loaded, how well she loaded in the past, is then an unknown
Don't mean to get too far off topic, but if you remove the dividers (I'm thinking about doing this), there is no butt bar. Now the trailer I'm using has a rear ramp, but it is solidly held shut on both sides, so there's no danger of Harley kicking it open until I unfasten it. But is it safe to haul a horse without a butt bar?
In my opinion....
Only if the trailer was designed to not have a butt bar
Only if the horse is a rock steady horse who stands perfectly still once the trailer rear is opened...
Otherwise... NO!
A horse who pulls back, tries to leave before you are ready for their departure is dangerous to open the rear door of a trailer without a butt bar or chain in place...period!
To many have been trampled by a sudden exiting horse...if caught a broken femur possibly sustained or worse and or a very loose horse running frantically around someplace they not know now.. :-(
That's what I was thinking... Harley does not rush out of a trailer, and always waits for us to tell him he can start backing out, but still... seems like a butt bar is an important safety feature! I'd like to remove the partition to see if he's happier that way, but then there's nothing to hang the butt bar on.
I have to say, I agree with the ramp comments. I hate them! Sadly, every trailer to which I currently have access has one. Harley loves acting like he will go up the ramp, then at the last minute, takes steps sideways to avoid it. Right on the edge of that $%# ramp! I'm so worried he will slice his leg open on the metal edge.

If I ever get around to buying my own, I want a step-up.
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