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Rearing while loading in trailer.

11298 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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Work her on giving to pressure, away from the trailer, so throwing her head, pulling back,in essence, moving into pressure is fixed.
Have you trailered her before, without issues,and is this a new behavior, or, did she trailer for someone else, with perhaps not full disclosure?
Have you hauled her in this trailer? Did she have a trailer wreak?
Other then that, a problem loading a horse, trailering a horse , is a leading problem, a problem with respect or trust,a horse not 100% on giving to pressure.
if ahorse truly gives to pressure, has that respect and trust, he does not question as to where he will or will not lead or go, when asked
Whether you send a horse into a trailer, or lead him in, depends on type of trailer
Stacy is sending her horse into a two horse straight load, which is logical
My trailer is a three horse angle haul, googeneck, no dividers.
I lead my horses in, because they are tied, with safely quick release set up, so it makes zero sense to send them in.
I would forget about loading this horse at the moment. I would spend time having her just stand tied, time getting 100% respect on giving to pressure.
|The obstacle is not the obstacle'
Personally, I have no use for ramps. Horses can step up into trailers just fine
Right now, she has been allowed to develop a phobia with getting into a trailer,so working her away from the trailer, filling holes, makes sense to me
It si surprising as to how,many people think a horse is solid at leading, and they are, as long as you don't ask them to lead where they rather would not
I think I related this story before. We got two mare in to be bred, and one we had bred two years before. They were said to 'just love people',. Well, they did, walking all over them when led, trying to charge ahead,w hen they were going in a direction they wanted to go in.
When it was time for them to go home, the mother had sent her son to pick them up, as he had an interview at the local college.
As I was making supper, I watched out the window as he tried to load those old gals, trying first one, and then the other.
They would lead up tot he trailer, then instead of loading, dragged that young man away.
Finally, I could not stand watching any longer. They obviously had been trailered to our place, and the older mare had been trailered to our place more then once
I went out, took mare number one away from the trailer, ran a stud shank under her chin, and gave her a lesson in leading with respect.
I then attached an ordinary lead shank back on, and she loaded without missing a beat. Ditto for mare number 2
I am not saying this is the right technique all the time, as you have to know the horse, but it does show where a hrose can act like it is afraid to load, learning it can refuse, and then it just snow balls from there, with that trailer then having a bad association, for no real reason beyond the horse recalls some negative association with it
That is why I continue to believe , that you fix the true problem away from the trailer
In over 30 years of raising horses, we never taught horses to load. First time many of those hroses were trailered, was when they went to their first show, trail ride, or were sold. All loaded just fine because they truly led with respect, gave to pressure 100%
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waresbear, that video is not the OPs trailer. She states hers is a three horse slant load, very open
I would suggest that if it has dividers, take them ouT!
iT sounds like the horse rears, then runs out backwards, thus putting weight on the rear .
If the hrose is being hauled to shows, clinics ect, I just assume that there is no soundness issues
Still have not heard from the OP as to whether she hauled her before, and with that trailer,or, the horse was just hauled to her place, with seller perhaps having had trouble loading her
"has trailered before', is kinda nebulous to me. Those two mares I posted about, also had trailered before,LOl
perhaps if the OP gives better details, concerning her past trailer experience, it will be easier perhaps give advise, knowing if her blow ups are new, whether she trailered,loaded well before, and if so, same trailer. Does this trailer have dividers in it?
Some horses really get freaked, needing to turn into those 'stalls', and once in, feel trapped
I respectfully disagree. My horses load in by sending, regardless the type of trailer. If it is a straight load, the lead rope goes over their back and the door closes behind them. If it is a slant load, I expect them to load in their slant spot, and wait for me to close the divider, or follow them in and clip them, depending on the horse. If it is the last spot in a slant trailer, same thing, the lead rope goes over their back and the door closes behind them.

If this horse is rearing, you couldn't pay me to get in an enclosed place with it. Again, I am probably one of the few on the forum that believe that sending into a trailer is the best method to have. Don't get me wrong, I can walk every single one of my horses into trailers too, but why limit my tools to just that?
Well, you see, my horses are first well mannered, respectful, so why would I send a horse into a trailer, when I then must step up and fasten that horse with the quick release, then step out, send second horse in, get back in to clip that horse in place. Sorry, makes zero sense to me
I also don't have deviders in my three horse angle haul, and see no need for them, ever since I no longer haul stallions with other horses.
Besides hauling down highways, I haul on mountain roads, where horses need all the advantage they can have to balance
I also used to haul mares with foals, either to breed to an outside stud, or to avet. The mare would be led in and tied, and the foal would then be encouraged to follow her, left loose.

I am also not suggesting leading this mare in, until her problems are fixed,AWAY from the trailer
Agree not to try pulling a horse into a trailer, that is not solid on giving to pressure. A horse solid to giving to pressure,does not rear, back out of a trailer unasked, ect
Therefore, my advise to fix holes away from trailer first.
I also agree neither method is right or wrong, but that for me, it makes sense to lead my horses that have learned to trailer and load correctly from day one,as My trailer is an angle haul, no dividers, so I lead number one horse in, tie tot he quick release, then lead horse number two in,and tie to the quick release, next to that of horse number one
I tie my horses, and only haul cattle loose LOL. I don't need two or three horses tap dancing in the trailer, esp hauling on mountain roads
Only horses I leave loose, are foals or any other young horse not truly halter broke
When I get to where i am going, I also don't need several hroses waiting at the door to get out.
They wait, as I un load them each at a time, either asking them to back out t o turn a round and come out foreward. I then tie that horse to the trailer, while the other horse(S) wait their turn to be un loaded.Trailer door is left open
I also take turn, hauling with a friend, or sometime with my son,and those horses are also tied.No one would be impressed if I told them I wanted to leave my horse loose!
I won't trailer in a straight load two horse-been there done that one, and horses are much much happier being hauled in an angle haul,without dividers
Not saying anything wrong if you want those options, I just have no practical reason to send ahorse, unless it is a foal, not halter broke.
I do teach them to both back out,and go out forward.
Just the clanging of dividers, driving on rough mountain roads, would drive not only the horses , but me nuts, and I don't want horses to learn to balance by leaning on a divider.
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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
Not all trailers come with dividers, far an angle haul, and goose neck stock trailers out here, certainly don't
Some horses become scramblers, when they learn to lean, being hauled\Since everyone i know, except strictly show people, haul without dividers, haul on very rough roads, all have horses that have zero problems ever loading or being trailered, that actually are eager to get into the trailer after along ride,something must be right!
Of course those straight load two horse trailers, need butt bars.
If you wish to avoid leg fatigue on along ride, put something like soft ride hoof boots on, as leaning against a divider will not do anything, far as dampening that vibration
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Slightly off topic but in the UK it is illegal to travel horses without a partition/divider of some sorts unless it is a mare and foal or, feral ponies.

Yet I saw trailers being hauled by vehicles in Germany, that would be strictly illegal here, for safety reasons
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?

On straight load trailers, no, but I am talking of angle haul trailers, like I have, stock trailers and, a trailer I assume that the oP has.
I think ramps on horse trailers are a hazzard. Horses have no problem stepping up into a trailer, even a high one, nor backing out of one
One of the worst wreaks I had, was backing a young horse out a trailer, with a ramp, and where there was ice on the ground, with the back legs then slippiing, and the horse sliding under the ramp part way, not able to get up
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