The Horse Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an 8 year old TB mare hat I purchased the end of February. I have her a couple of weeks to settle in them started our training. She loaded right up in the trailer alone and with other horses. In a two horse and I have a four horse. Three weeks ago she just flat out refused to load. I tried every method I know - pressure from a whip with a bag ( not hitting her but moving it at her hind quarters), ropes, work the round one then try to loaf,two guys holding hands behind her like loading into the gate at the track, food, loading with another horse. She just shut down. I put the trailer in the paddock and fed her in there for a week. She would follow me right in and I could get her to load with the halter. Gave her a week off and just did some ground work. Tried loading her yesterday and she just stops. I can put one foot up for her and then she just decides to come in. She is not scared, she shuts down with pressure. Any advice here?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
14,704 Posts
Welcome to the Forum!!


Take the pressure off...
You are pressuring her to get in, she senses and feels that and reacts against it.
This is also a time of her testing your leadership abilities.
So she may have loaded into a trailer...
Was it this exact trailer?
If not, cause a 4 horse doesn't mean she trusts it...
Is it clean and if just cleaned what product did you use?
Is it bright and open looking?
Is it wide enough or are you asking her to enter through a narrow alley {slant with tack in back}?
Is it high enough?
Did you have a sick horse in it or transport one euthanized in it or a dead body of any species?
When she went in a trailer last time was she exposed to a really nice ride or was it bumpy, and fast hard braking...???
It can be many things to look for and try to figure out...for me, this is where I start.
I bet anything something happened to her that she has a triggering of and is looking for strong leadership and trust to go further when she is made to do something like trailer load.
To her, when you lead her she also knows next stop she either works or something unpleasant like a vet is waiting...
Food is a great enticement, to me though what changes is she follows you with food...when you trailer load she is being led.
Have you tried not being in front of her but sending her from behind to self-load as she may have been taught?
So many things to try different approaches to but keeping frustration out of it is not simple when you know they did and now won't....:evil:
Good luck.
:runninghorse2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49,419 Posts
Take care if you have an unhitched trailer in the pasture, for her to freely load into. Either keep it hitched to a truck, or very solidly block out all the wheels. There is a danger if horse moves way to one side that the trailer could flip over on a side.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,175 Posts
Take care if you have an unhitched trailer in the pasture, for her to freely load into. Either keep it hitched to a truck, or very solidly block out all the wheels. There is a danger if horse moves way to one side that the trailer could flip over on a side.
^^
This, the wheels blocked and also some blocks under the front and back to keep it from tipping back as the horse steps in. This happens more if a ramp load,
Best is to have the trailer hooked to the truck for stability.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,897 Posts
I sus she just decided to test you a few weeks back - decided to see whether saying 'no' would work for her. And it did. Further, with all the different things you 'tried' but didn't work, you may well have made her nervous.

So... for a horse that goes on well & reliably & then one day does not, assuming there's nothing wrong - with trailer or horse, I would have got 'stronger' with her. I wouldn't mess around flapping a bag on a stick near her - that could well upset her, but sounds like she just learned it's best ignored & you aren't effective with it. I'd use a stick, tail of the rope, whatever, and actually hit her with it, rythemically, whenever she was resisting me. Not enough to hurt really, more to be unpleasant, give her cause to want to move forward to stop the irritation.

The *instant* she even takes the smallest step forward, you quit all pressure - that is what should 'work' for her, so you need to ensure it does. That is also the time, if you want to use it, to give her a food treat. Then just rinse & repeat. After a number of repetitions, she will quit resisting. BUT you need to ensure THAT works for her too. If there are now bad associations with the trailer, just making her get on doesn't work for her. So reward those 'baby steps' along the way, such as feet on the ramp/head in the door, whatever. And when you do get what you want, reward her & take her out again straight away. Ensure THAT works for her too.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top