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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all!
I’ve recently gotten two new horses. They both load awesomely, but I have gotten so nervous myself with trailer loading. My old gelding used to rear and paw in the trailer, The problems he’s engraved into me has caused me to fear trailer loading and loathe it.
My new gelding is a little young, just turned 4. He has issues with setting back, which has also created more anxt in thinking about hauling him.
Individually, i’m alright with hauling. Now we’re considering taking them both out on a trail, about 15 mins away and I’m already nervous about hauling two horses. How do y’all handle this? I’ve been so ruined i’m afraid of anything happening in the trailer.
What are y’alls tips? We have a two horse slant load. I’m nervous myself about my younger boy freaking out in the trailer although he hasn’t really shown any signs of it. Since he sets back, i’ve begun using a blocker tie ring. Should I use this in the trailer, or should I just snap him in?
Any tips on how y’all make trailering easier will be awesome. It just makes me anxious, which I’m sure transitions to the horse.
 

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How are the horses with loading and trailering? Is it just you who is worried about "what ifs"?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The horses are fine the bit we’ve hauled them. They don’t have the same issues my old one has. It’s just me at the point, worrying if any of their ‘small’ issues will cause a problem in the trailer. But I’ve dealt with speed loading for 7 years to avoid an impatient horse pawing and rearing, and it makes me nervous just thinking about loading two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
But now that I think a bit, my young boy steps on his own feet in the trailer. I noticed skids on his hind hooves/legs after short trailer trips. But it doesn’t seem to make him weary of the trailer.
 

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A lot of things we don't think are related are. Multiple "small" issues can add up or a "small" issue can get bigger. If it is something dangerous or something you don't like, don't ignore it and "wait and see."

I know there are some horses that absolutely will not tie, but generally, it is good to fix tying issues before trailering.
Why does he set back?
The most common reasons are: (1) they haven't learned to give to pressure; (2) they pulled, got away, and learned a bad lesson; (3) claustrophobia; (4) bad associations with being tied.
For now, don't tie in the trailer until the cause of puling back has been determined and, if possible, fixed. That a ticket to a bad experience if they pull back and something else happens.

If you are worried about the "what ifs", then work on it. "Restart" them; treat them as if they've never seen or been in a trailer before.

I also know some horses don't like dawdling - a "just get it done" types of horses, but the more you "speed trailer", the less they get used to the trailer, which equates to less patience inside. Gradually increase the time they are in there.
Make the trailer a (relatively) nice place. Don't hype them up and teach them to anticipate; instead, teach them that every time they go into the trailer, you aren't going trap them or go somewhere.
Lead on in and give them some food but don't tie or close the door. Perhaps even brush them while they are eating? If they leave, just bring them back. I don't like to force and fight a horse to stay in a trailer because that teaches them to fight then they feel trapped.

ETA:
Although it is agreed that most horse's don't like trailers and trailing, if a horse rears, kicks, or paws, then that is usually a problem with training and/or the handler, not the horse. If you teach a horse to trailer well, then that stuff shouldn't really be happening.
 

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"Skids" and stepping on themself while riding in a trailer is often from taking turns to fast, to sharp and starts and stops to abrupt.
Horses, all horses stand on four spindly legs in comparison to the mass of their body.
They need to be able to keep up with the ever-changing g-forces against that body when we are moving them in a trailer.
Bell boots will prevent some of the damages you see on the hooves and will protect the coronet band from a slice or bad brusing.
As for one who is slightly impatient and unpredictable...
I have one myself...
If I'm hauling him he is actually my first one on, then I put my rock-steady seasoned veteran next to him that is not taking his nonsense and is a steadying influence on good behavior.
When I load multiple horses, each rider is holding their horse...
I load, tie off and turn to get the next one...never leaving the trailer.
Once the final horse is loaded and secured, you have 2 minutes and we are moving...
If you're not ready...tuff!!
Stay home or find another way to the ride location but the horses do not stand longer than necessary in a un-moving trailer.
Once we reach our destination, I open and go in while someone holds the door closed till I have released the first horses shank...open the door and back the horse off, I never unload going forward, ever.
Once the first horse is off the next goes off to available hands same way...
I take the least experienced and unsettled horse as I am most experienced to protect all.
We give the horses a minute to walk around, see and settle then tie to trailer side and start tacking to ride.
If we arrive saddles on, we still go to the trailer side and there bridle our horses...
Then when all are ready we mount up and go enjoy...no one is left behind, no one is separated and if I end up with a riderless horse cause you missed the truck dawdling...I pony that horse out and ride him home ponying my horse back...

Your nerves though will unsettle a horse as they smell anxiety and scared scents we shed off our body..
You need to control you first...
This is a different horse, give him the chance to show you how great he can be or what he still needs some supportive work on.
Don't peg him as a problem though as the last horse was...he is good till he is bad! :cool:
:runninghorse2:...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The problem with my last one was; There wasn't, until we took him on a trail ride with other horses. He had been used to lengthy trail rides by himself, but any time he'd come across another horse, he'd feel the need to ABSOLUTELY Follow them. I did make him continue on past other horses, but his loneliness was evident. He was overly upset when leaving from the ride with other horses, and that's when it began. I didn't understand how to correct it at the time being, and it escalated from there. He had been used to being trailered and hauled, never had any issues until we took him home. However, that was due to him being alone. He didn't want to leave them, because he didn't want to be alone. That's when his buddy sour issues began, as well. He was just too much for me. At 14, he acted like he was 2. No matter the work put into him, he would never calm down. He had gotten away with too much in his life to want to change, and I sold him to a lady who has changed him. However, she's put months of trail rides (Much longer than I do) Into him and she's been able to work on his issues. He still has his ground manner issues, etc. But he's better in a home where she can understand him better than I.

Now, my young horse only sets back when he decides to freak out over an object. Whether it be a caterpillar by his feet, or a bucket being pushed toward him. He's getting ALOT Better with it now that he realizes he can get away(IE tie ring) But he doesn't run off. He freaks out from the claustrophobia that comes with his tying, and his unfamiliarity with certain objects (Yet only when they are moving). I've helped him get over the fear of unrolled polo wraps, and I've been working on teaching him there's nothing to be afraid of when a bucket scoots toward him.
He doesn't set back to purposely get away. The moments he does, and he breaks free of the tie ring, he steps right back up and lets me put it back. The moment he realizes he can move away from the bucket if he needed to, he is okay with it. He's now letting me scoot buckets/mounting blocks closer to him, and he's standing still with that.
I don't blame him at all. I forget what having a horse who spooks is like, lol.
It's taken me a bit to realize, he's willing. He wants to work. He wants to please. He's different in all aspects of the hot headed demon I use to own. He isn't aggressive, he doesn't bite, only looks for my leadership. That is what's making the change already, I just have to overcome my fear of problems in the trailer. I've not had a single issue yet with him loading or unloading, just my own fear of something going wrong.
 

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I can't offere specific advise on trailer training. I jsut want to say that I know your pain. My limited experience trailering horses has been with 3 horses who ALL had problems either getting them IN, or keeping them in. So, I'm like you; gunshy and worried ANY time we load a hrose into a trailer. I think it's going to take many trouble free experiences to outweigh the dozen or so negative ones I've had (nothing awful, just difficulties).

So, what I'm saying is, you are not alone there.
 
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