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Rearing while loading in trailer.

11302 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 feel like I am among the few on this forum that would suggest going to more "natural horsemanship" route, and begin teaching her to "send" places, and ultimately be able to send her into the trailer, like in this video:
. I am a strong believer in not having to enter the trailer while loading your horse, and after teaching all three of my horses to load like this, I have yet to have them refuse loading in any trailer. I grew up having slant load trailers available, so it was truly easy to walk in with my horse, but my friend got a straight load trailer without a way to physically walk the horse in - thus the sending method comes in handy. My horse was awful at trailering for months before I taught him how to send into a trailer, and it truly has been a lifesaver many times. If you aren't confident teaching this, get a trainer, you'll thank yourself in the long run.
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
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
Well, there is the difference - it is incredibly rare to have a trailer around me without dividers. I don't own my own trailer anymore, and haul with others, so there is always dividers. Two different ways to do things, neither is wrong.

Did OP ever post what kind of trailer she uses?

Whether there is dividers, no dividers, a straight load, whatever - sending is a good first step to keep herself out of danger. I've helped people load horses that rear, and as soon as the person stopped pulling to get them in, or being in their way, all of a sudden the rearing was fixed. My horse used to be a nightmare, taking sometimes over an hour to load...sending in changed that to under 30 seconds.

I also no longer tie while trailering, the lead just gets tossed over my horses back, unless the ride is a longer one, where I will tie in. Again, my horses load whether I walk them in or send - it's always nice to have options.
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