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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know quite a few horses have a complex about trailering, and mine is one of them. It's especially annoying because we like to take her to ride in an arena every week, which involves her getting on the trailer. She was so bad at one point that one week we spent an hour outside, in the dark with a rope around her *** trying to get her onto the trailer. Since then, I've worked with her a LOT and now she'll get on...sometimes. See, 95% of the time she walks on no problem, but some days, when something bothers her, or when she knows we're going to riding, she refuses and won't budge. All the internet sites I've looked on focus on getting a stubborn or frightened horse to load, and I'm kind of lost seeing as my horse isn't really frightened-just **** stubborn and too smart for her own good. So yeah, I would appreciate some advice on how to handle her erratic behaviour.
 

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Don't feed her in the trailer. Load her every day several times and don't go anywhere. Just load her calmly and then back her out, let her stand then load her again. Quit putting a rope on her butt and have some patience. There are better ways to load a "problem" horse but you don't seem to have one of those. I would step up in the trailer and pull the rope snug so that her head is a little stretched out. Hold it untill she takes a step and then rub her a little. Repeat untill she is on the trailer then back her off.
 

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My mare used to have a problem loading, and it was extremely frustrating. It used to take like 5 people to get her onto a trailer. I got the Monty Roberts dually trailering halter.

Tack and Training

It worked really well with my mare, and it also worked with any other horse I had to trailer. You could probably do the same thing with a chain around the nose though. It's basically apply steady pressure until the horse steps forward, and then instantly release. The horse learns to give to the pressure and will follow you right into the trailer. Then you practice going in and out of the trailer without actually going anywhere.

The Monty Roberts halter came with a video that explained it all more in detail. I know I sound like an ad for the thing, but I loooooooved that halter. After using it to train my mare, my dad, who had zero horse experience, could load up my mare for me.
 

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I cut 4 wooden blocks the right height or close and then shimmed so I could block the trailer up in the middle of a field without bothering to hook up a vehicle and then like Kevin said I loaded him 2 or 3 times every single night until it became so boring he just headed on the trailer to get it over with. Blocked properly it doesn't move and saves the problem of continually hooking up.
I don't like the feeding idea either since it is a crutch. I like a buggy whip and make them move forward.
I have also picked up alot of newly bought horses for others and problem loaders were the norm. I would back the trail alongside a building and close enough so no horse could slip between the wall and the trailer and then using 2 long whips drive the horse up into the trailer.. They decided right off it was safer in the trailer then outside with this nut:lol::lol:
Loaded many a horse that way after the owner tried their ways.
Sometimes I would drive 3 hours for a pickup and then get there and the horse wouldn't load. So when they gave up I parked the trailer in a certain way and on went the horse.

to really get a solid loader I find you need a horse that rebels a few times, and then is forced to load anyway. A good loader you just walk to the back of the trailer , throw the lead rope over his back and he loads himself.
To me teaching a horse to unload properly is even more difficult.
Good luck and do like Kevin suggested
 

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My mare used to have a problem loading, and it was extremely frustrating. It used to take like 5 people to get her onto a trailer. I got the Monty Roberts dually trailering halter.

Tack and Training

It worked really well with my mare, and it also worked with any other horse I had to trailer. You could probably do the same thing with a chain around the nose though. It's basically apply steady pressure until the horse steps forward, and then instantly release. The horse learns to give to the pressure and will follow you right into the trailer. Then you practice going in and out of the trailer without actually going anywhere.

Well I used my Monty Roberts halter and the butt rope and it still took us an hour to load Hunter to go for training. He usually loads really well but boy he did not want to go. I am going to take my trailer out to trainers next weekend and see how he loads. EEK once he is broke I need him to be able to load.

The Monty Roberts halter came with a video that explained it all more in detail. I know I sound like an ad for the thing, but I loooooooved that halter. After using it to train my mare, my dad, who had zero horse experience, could load up my mare for me.
Well I used my Monty Roberts halter and the butt rope and it still took us an hour to load Hunter to go for training. He usually loads really well but boy he did not want to go. I am going to take my trailer out to trainers next weekend and see how he loads. EEK once he is broke I need him to be able to load.

BTW I LOVE my Dually
 

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For a stubborn (not scared) horse, I've yet to see one not go right in with a swift swat on the butt from a straw broom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everyone for replying, and as I'm reading through it all, I pretty much have tried almost everything suggested here-the rope around her head, her nose, buggy whip tapping on her, etc etc. Pretty much the only thing I haven't done is RiosDad's idea of driving the trailer up alongside the building, but I don't think I have the experience for that and would probably just make it worse and scare her or something....It's just weird why she loads perfectly most days and then refuses to even lift her foot up others.
 

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My horse used to be very much like yours. Having been in and out of many trailers, she would decide she just didn't feel like it and put up a good bloody fight about going in. Brooms, chains, rope halters, lunge whips behind her butt all failed. If you hit her with a whip or increased the pressure on her face with a chain, she'd just escalate the fight by rearing and spinning around the side of the trailer. A professional hauler who was taking her from Massachusetts to Colorado once hit her on the butt with a broom, which worked the once as she was so surprised. But then she wised up and would fight/ignore a broom as readily as she would fight/ignore the more familiar lunge whip. What worked consistently and pretty much sorted the problem was Riosdad's solution. I put the trailer or lorry against the side of a barn, or any structure that blocks her escaping to the side of the trailer, and on she goes. No rows, no histrionics, no bother. As soon as she feels she has no choice, she just loads.

You don't even need a handy building to do this. One time I was at a place that didn't have a good barn to use, so we took some jump poles and standards and set them up like railings coming out from the sides of the trailer. Worked perfectly.

I know someone who once spent six hours trying to load their horse coming home from a show. Six hours. In the pouring rain. Yeck.
 

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We use a rope as the barrier on the side - We tie it to the side fo the trailer, bring it around their but just above the hocks, and have a person holding it on the other side so it blocks escape routes. Never had it fail.
 

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Sounds to me like "I don't WANNA." She is choosing not to get in. Best if you change the fight to something you can win like move your feet until I say stop. You can't stop em from making choices but you can "Help" them to make the right ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
The wall idea seems satisfactory, since it's worked for quite a few of you guys. Yes, I do praise her PROFUSELY when she finally gets on, and it's exactly like "I don't wanna". She's young, and she's stubborn, and thinks her way is the right way all the time. The moving the feet idea seems reasonable as well. I'll suggest the blocking her escape route plan to all my helpers next time she puts up a fight, which right now seems ridiculous as she got right in the trailer without a handler tonight numerous times. :p
 

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Another good way to make sure your horse has trouble loading is to approach it like you need 5 helpers to get her loaded. I might have one person tap a horse on the rump a little but for the most part I load every horse myself. That way they don't think that a whole pack of people are trying to force it into a scary dark place so they can eat him.

There's an old saying that if you try to load a horse like you have 5 minutes it will take 2 hours and if you load it like you have 2 hours it will take 5 minutes.
 

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The more often you practicing loading, the easier it will get.

My instructor's arena has been snowy, icy, muddy or otherwise unusable since Dec. so she trailers her horses out to a public arena for lessons. She doesn't even have to point at the trailer anymore, just unties them and they head on in. Her new horse had never been trailered and after a couple weeks of being trailered 4-5x per week, she slightly hesitated at the door tonight and then headed on in.
 

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All of these ideas are only tempory solutions. and half of them rely on being near buildings or watever to use as a chute. When your loading your horse, i assume she gets to a certain point then stops and either stands there or pulls back, if she is doing this as soon as she pulls back get in her face and push her back and keep making her back-up until she wants to stop and then back her up a bit more, you'll find after all that backing up, which is quite hard for horses, she will be far more willing to go forwards, you might have to do this a few times but so long as your firm and make her back up a good way this is a fail safe way to get your horse to load, easy too. :)
 

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^ We use the rope on any problem loader we have, and it has never failed. All my horses self load or are led on, without any form of barrier or persuasion. We have only had to use the rope maybe 3/4 times total on any one horse.
 

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just thought i should add, you can't let the horse pussy foot around, it is NOT ok to say 'oh its alright sweetie take your time' the horse has to go where you want when you want, and that the floating experiance has to be enjoyable, if your driving like a mad man (not saying you are) and bumping the poor horse around she's not going to want to get back on the float. :D
 
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