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eqrider1234
Mar. 28, 2009, 08:41 PM
Today I did probably the dumbest thing I have ever done, Like really my mind must have been turned off.

Okay so we get to the small schooling show this morning, just me and my dad.... my trainer wasnt coming till later so he goes up to the office which is normally my moms job and leaves me alone with my horse and trailer... so I decide oh what the heck I can unload her myself.

So I undo the butt bar and she doesnt move at all and I walk around to untie her, well as soon as I start messing with the knot (I normally do a quick release but it was dark when we loaded and I was being lazy and not thinking) she starts to back up before I could finish undoing it and I know im in trouble, so im trying to pull her foward cause I know once she pulls it tight enough and theres no give theres no way ill be able to undo the knot and I know that shell panic if she doesnt have any give in the rope and then ill be in deep trouble so I try to pull her foward and calm her and say Whoa, but its useless she flys off the ramp and swings around so shes parellel to the side of the trailer (picture a two horse sundowner trailer with me standing in the door) shes trying to rear but she cant so shes literally on her haunches, it happened so fast, I felt SO helpless so I jump out from the door and try to push her butt foward so shes not pulling against the rope and I or someone can get it undone (there were a bunch of people around) but it was to tight since she was pulling so hard and she was just fighting herself and it felt like forever even though it was probably no more than 30 seconds from that point till the leather halter finally gave and she was free however I didnt have a halter obviously :lol: so I just grabbed her around the neck I swear she looked at me like WTH mom seriously, and it was then that I just broke down, it all hit me like a ton of bricks that doing something so stupid could have really injured my horse

thankfully someone let me borrow their halter untill I could buy a new one, and she was fine except for a few scratches under her face where she was cut up by her halter breaking, I was so relieved that her legs werent hurt thanks to me being a freak about wrapping.

Moral(s) of the story

always use a quick release knot or the trailer ties with the saftey clip and velcro (my next purchase).

always wrap your horses legs, no matter how short the trip is, if I hadnt (it was only a 30 minute drive) she really could have injured them.

always use a leather halter, because a nylon would not have broken how the leather did.

and the big one: Never try to do a two man job by yourself!!!!

okay my explanation of my stupidity is over :)

Brown Horse
Mar. 28, 2009, 08:50 PM
That's great you at least learned something from it. I'm sure you won't be making those mistakes again. I'm very glad your horse and you are both okay - could have turned out a lot worse, but I'm sure you know that :).

spmoonie
Mar. 28, 2009, 08:52 PM
I had a similar incident once. I had a horse tied to the front of his stall while I was cleaning it. Being stupid I had the rope too long and he was able to get his head down to the ground. Well when he went to lift his head the rope got wrapped around his neck and he just came unglued! He went into panic( with good reason). Then he stopped for a moment and I went to try to loosen the rope.....that scared him even more. So now he had me pinned to the wall trying to climb over me and get loose. finally I was able to slip his halter off and turn him loose before he tore down the whole stall front. Luckily he wasnt hurt, however by the end of the night my feet were purple and bloody from him climbing on them. They healed though, just a few scars.

Glad you and your horse are okay! :)

MelantheLLC
Mar. 28, 2009, 08:53 PM
I do know a lot of experienced people carry pocket knives too. Though I don't think myself I'd be able to get one out fast enough to saw a rope.

hrsgirl07
Mar. 28, 2009, 08:56 PM
i am glad that everything turn out ok, but here is one more tip for if you ever have to load/ unload by yourself:

ALWAYS DO THE BUTT BAR BEFORE TYING UP THE HORSE

AND

ALWAYS UNTIE BEFORE TAKING DOWN THE BUTT BAR

there have been many times when i have had to load/ unload by myself and these are very important things to remember.

mroades
Mar. 28, 2009, 08:59 PM
Yeah, you forgot the two big ones

NEVER TAKE THE BUTTBAR DOWN BEFORE UNTYING THE HORSE

NEVER TIE THE HORSE BEFORE THE BUTTBAR IS SECURELY FASTENED

joiedevie99
Mar. 28, 2009, 08:59 PM
Glad everyone is ok. If you are ever in a situation where you have to unload off a two horse on your own (and hopefully you won't be), unclip the head and throw the lead over the neck. Then close the escape door, walk around back, and drop the butt bar. As the horse comes back, grab for the lead rope.

If there is only one horse on the trailer, you can hold the leadrope with one hand from the other side of the trailer as you drop the butt bar with the other hand- then there is no risk of missing the lead rope when the horse comes back.

bhrunner06
Mar. 28, 2009, 09:01 PM
amen hrsgirl!

i never ever even open the back of the trailer before i untie the horse! even when i use the 4 horse with 4 horses...every horse gets untied, and leadrope over the neck before i start unloading!

same with loading...i load, do the butt bar, then tie!

if you do it that way, you CAN load and unload alone!

Sithly
Mar. 28, 2009, 09:07 PM
i am glad that everything turn out ok, but here is one more tip for if you ever have to load/ unload by yourself:

ALWAYS DO THE BUTT BAR BEFORE TYING UP THE HORSE

AND

ALWAYS UNTIE BEFORE TAKING DOWN THE BUTT BAR

there have been many times when i have had to load/ unload by myself and these are very important things to remember.

Seconded! A few days ago there was a thread about loading: whether you should tie the horse before closing the divider -- well, you shouldn't. This is why.

OP, glad your horse was okay. Sounds like your lesson was learned with a minimum of damage. And don't worry, ALL of us make stupid mistakes from time to time. :) It's not the end of the world.

You might consider The Clip (http://theclip.info/) for future use. When you use it in the trailer, you don't tie a knot in the rope. Then the horse can pull the rope free if necessary. It works sorta like the Blocker Tie Ring, but it's cheaper and more convenient.

mvp
Mar. 28, 2009, 09:09 PM
But you did learn... a lot!

So the other posters are right about the missing moral of the story.

I taught my horse something that might help you-- to wait, even after the butt bar is down-- to unload.

I also lead him into the trailer and he waits while I put up the butt bar. Then he gets tied.

Having a horse who loads well with one person is great because he or she will never invite people to try their special techniques for loading.

So glad the halter was all that broke. Consider this a cheap and important lesson (and everybody has 'em!).

Couture TB
Mar. 28, 2009, 09:11 PM
Yeah, you forgot the two big ones

NEVER TAKE THE BUTTBAR DOWN BEFORE UNTYING THE HORSE

NEVER TIE THE HORSE BEFORE THE BUTTBAR IS SECURELY FASTENED

Agree! I know of 2 seperate people that broke those rules and their horse broke their neck.

lauraware
Mar. 28, 2009, 09:23 PM
yikes. i'm glad you and your horse are okay. definitely, like everyone else has said, ALWAYS untie their heads before you even touch the butt bar. honestly, it peeves me that your trainer has never told you this. someone at my barn got very seriously hurt loading her horse the incorrect way (she tied the head before fastening the butt bar). so, i guess as you have already discovered (but it never hurts to say it again), BE CAREFUL WHEN TRAILERING!! haha sometimes i think actually riding the horse is safer than handling it!

Cindyg
Mar. 28, 2009, 09:28 PM
Another couple of lessons:

* Keep a spare halter and leadrope in the trailer.
* Keep a pocket knife in the trailer (in case you need to cut the leadrope or halter)

I'm sorry this happened, and I'm glad you are OK.

Foxtrot's
Mar. 28, 2009, 09:42 PM
Yes - the spare halter thing - in case you find loose horse trotting down the road like we did once.

Also, those bungy ties they make - in this instance would have stretched until it may have broken and then it would have sproinged into her face and possibly her eye and definitely caused even more of a wreck. (climbing off my soapbox now. I bought one years ago but never used it after somebody told me how dangerous they are. Can't think why they are still sold.)

Windswept Stable
Mar. 28, 2009, 09:54 PM
Yeah, you forgot the two big ones

NEVER TAKE THE BUTTBAR DOWN BEFORE UNTYING THE HORSE

NEVER TIE THE HORSE BEFORE THE BUTTBAR IS SECURELY FASTENED

Ditto... 2 golden rules.. many of us have to unload alone... and these rules are of utmost importance.

seeuatx
Mar. 28, 2009, 09:59 PM
Trailering does not have to be a two person job, but it does take some planning. Pony club rule of trailering number 1: Never ever take the butt bar down before un-tying the horse and vice versa. I've seen a horse break the rope and flip backwards out of the trailer... it's not pretty, and it almost never ends well for the horse.

Now, to do it on your own... teach horse to self load with lead rope over the shoulder (ask Melissa.Hare.Jones... her horses are fabulous at it), fasten butt bar, close back door, walk around and tie horse. Failing that (my horse never got the idea of going on by himself) teach horse to ground tie. Walk onto trailer, ground tie with stay command, walk around trailer, put up bar and ramp, walk back around and tie horse. Second method takes longer, but it is still a safer method... if horse decides to back off, at least it was not dangerous, and just put them back on.

With unloading, untie horse, walk around, put down ramp and bar, stand to the side and then horse backs off. Catch the lead as their head comes past the door. Works best if you can teach horse to wait until you give an unload command.

That's my little soap box, and I'm stepping off of it now. I'm very glad that you and your horse are ok, and that you are willing to learn some important lessons from this incident. P.S. As soon as you feel up to it, have some nice, easy loading/unloading sessions with your horse so she doesn't have any fear left from the issue :yes:.

hr
Mar. 28, 2009, 10:19 PM
Just wanted to add, that the golden rule above, applies to EVERY HORSE, no matter how good a loader they are. My horse would walk up anyone's ramp if he had the chance (ie walking by one on a loose lead). One day a professional tried to unload him without me, and put down the butt bar before untying his head, and, you guessed it, he pulled back and broke his halter and got loose. When I asked her didn't she know better than to do that, she said she thought it would be okay with that horse since he was so good about the trailer.

lonewolf
Mar. 28, 2009, 10:29 PM
Scary. I find that trailering is one of the things we do with horses that has a lot of potential for things to go wrong. I'm glad that nothing did.

We always learn a few lessons the hard way.

I still remember the time I learned the lesson of "always close the paddock gate behind you before you release the horse." You know, in case said horse decides to run out the gate, down the road, back to the barn, at top speed.

Serah
Mar. 29, 2009, 03:04 AM
BALING TWINE (sp?)

I use it on all my crossties, in trailers, at home, at shows, EVERYWHERE... nothing gets tied to a wall, theres always a loop of twine between the eyehook/whatever and the actual tie/lead rope/etc...

Very cheap safety fix...

Sansena
Mar. 29, 2009, 06:35 AM
No need to beat yourself up, OP: You will Never Ever EVER make this mistake again. I promise.

Acertainsmile
Mar. 29, 2009, 09:14 AM
Glad your horse was okay!

You may want to school her at home before your next road trip, practice making her stand after you release the butt bar and to load by herself. It will be very helpful in the future if your alone again!

Eventer13
Mar. 29, 2009, 09:18 AM
i am glad that everything turn out ok, but here is one more tip for if you ever have to load/ unload by yourself:

ALWAYS DO THE BUTT BAR BEFORE TYING UP THE HORSE

AND

ALWAYS UNTIE BEFORE TAKING DOWN THE BUTT BAR

there have been many times when i have had to load/ unload by myself and these are very important things to remember.

:yes: Just what I was going to say.

MintHillFarm
Mar. 29, 2009, 09:54 AM
Glad all turned out well. Did your horse load ok at the end of the day??

Always use a leather halter too, I have seen people ship in nylon halters and that is a sure fire way to NOT have a happy ending.
I also agree about the baling string on crossties (I do in the barn) I had an accident in the trailer where the brakes locked and I was sent skidding and bouncing off the road into a freshly plowed field where the deep going finally stopped the trailer. My horse ended up down on the floor of the trailer (all 17.1 of him) wedged between the divider and the wall. The quick release snaps DID NOT let go! He was hung up and it took a bit to get those snaps to undo. His leather halter didn't break either which surprised me as well. It ended up ok, but was food for thought on those snaps. I think baleing string would be smart to use at the top of them, just in case...

ddashaq
Mar. 29, 2009, 10:02 AM
Also, those bungy ties they make - in this instance would have stretched until it may have broken and then it would have sproinged into her face and possibly her eye and definitely caused even more of a wreck. (climbing off my soapbox now. I bought one years ago but never used it after somebody told me how dangerous they are. Can't think why they are still sold.)

Agreed. I saw one snap and nail a young horse in the knee. She required surgery it went in so deep and it was quite a while before she was sound again. I can only imagine the damage one of those could cause to an eye.

Glad the OP and her horse are OK.

Ajierene
Mar. 29, 2009, 10:08 AM
Bungees can also hurt the horse's neck because of the bungee wants to go back to the original shape and if the horse steps forward again, the bungee will still be taut, to a point.

I had a minor trailering incident when I first trailered my horse after a long break. I apparently opened the people door in my stock trailer and did not close it properly. I did not notice until I made a wrong turn and was turning around. When I made a tight circle with my truck and trailer, the door swung open and there was my horse staring at me like 'what in heavens name, mom!'

I freaked out, jumped out and shut the door. I now check everything three times before heading out.

Couture TB
Mar. 29, 2009, 10:08 AM
BALING TWINE (sp?)

I use it on all my crossties, in trailers, at home, at shows, EVERYWHERE... nothing gets tied to a wall, theres always a loop of twine between the eyehook/whatever and the actual tie/lead rope/etc...

Very cheap safety fix...


Same here. I will not even cross tie a youngster or tie him in his stall if there is no binder twine. One stable I was at thought it looked bad so wouldn't do it, so I just put it on the outside of my halter through the rings. In the aisle one day another boarder's horse freaked out and fell in the cross ties thrashing about and they couldn't get them off till his halter broke. My horse was in the cross ties also, got scared at the other horse and the only thing that broke was my twine. Next day all the cross ties had twine at the tops!

gottagrey
Mar. 29, 2009, 10:14 AM
Yes -
Also, those bungy ties they make - in this instance would have stretched until it may have broken and then it would have sproinged into her face and possibly her eye and definitely caused even more of a wreck. (climbing off my soapbox now. I bought one years ago but never used it after somebody told me how dangerous they are. Can't think why they are still sold.)

Ha those bungy things I was unloading a horse once owner lover her bungy lead; so when horse bolted off trailer I catapulted off trailer - pretty funny at the time... because it was me who got launched. needless to say no more bungy ropes:lol:

these situations is another example why when some people ask my opinion on what kind of trailer they should get.. If I know they are going to do a lot of trailering alone - I often suggest a stock trailer...

glad this was a wake-up call about saftey and that no one was hurt

cssutton
Mar. 29, 2009, 10:37 AM
Once my horses are tie broke, I put them in crossties consisting of two truck innertubes.

Chain the tubes to the walls of the aisle. Tie the ropes with snaps to the tubes. Snap to halter.

What will happen is that the horse will pull back. Nothing happens except he gets tired of pulling and nothing breaks. So he will back up a little further and that is no fun. So he gives up and walks the two or three steps back to where he should be.

It is amazing how much those tubes will stretch. A horse can not break them. No way.

My last horse was a 17h TB that if you tied to something solid would break the halter in a blink of the eye. My present is a young guy that will make 17h. Point being those tubes are strong enough to hold any horse.

I have never had a broke horse break a halter while crosstied in the tubes.

I don't have a lot of horses now, but I have had in past years and over the years so I feel pretty good about this method.

You do not want to break a baby using tubes because they can end up doing a back flip and ending up on their back. I made that mistake once.

As for tying in the trailer, there is one never to be broken rule. Do not drop that butt bar until the horse is untied.

I pull my horse several thousand miles a year, almost all of it by myself. When we are by ourselves, I fasten all of the partitions in my 4 horse slant so he has a big box stall similar to a stock trailer. I hang the hay next to the back door. He rides backwards and loves it. Loose. Untied.

CSSJR

eqrider1234
Mar. 29, 2009, 10:55 AM
http://www.stoneycreektack.com/Tie-Safe-Trailer-Ties-Panic-Snap-p/th-55550.htm

This is the trailer tie I want not the bungee I dont want any eyes poked out :eek:

yes I deffinatly wont do that again I mean looking back idk what I was thinking :confused: but it happens, and I wanted to post to make sure no one else pulled a stupid move like me.

About the two person job what I meant is that me and my dad always do it the same way we have been trailering ourselves for at least 3 or 4 years, so we have it down to an art, what messed us up is that my dad had to go to the office to get a key for the stall and I was trying to rush so that I could warm up before the ring closed, I ended up not warming up cause I was pretty shook up!

Thanks for the replys guys, I dont feel as bad now :)

cssutton
Mar. 29, 2009, 01:39 PM
You learned a little here but you contributed a lot in return.

Thanks for the info on the velcro tie.

I have not seen that but I plan to buy several this week.

CSSJR

Parker_Rider
Mar. 29, 2009, 01:51 PM
The velcro ties are a godsend, I don't use anything else in my 2 horse now. I, too, did some stupid things (and well, continue to do stupid things...) when I first got my trailer: gee, I think I'll tie the horse before putting the butt bar up! and with the velcro things, if my horses pulled back, well the velcro just came undone, no creepy bungee backlash, just broke off and I realized how dumb that was. Nothing got hurt (except my pride..) and we did it all again. It was also good when hauling my mare and foal this summer and a tire trailer blew. My mare got so startled that when she jerked her head to spook, the only thing that broke was the velcro and when I got off the highway, she was standing there, with the velcro tie in half (looking quite like the "What? I wasn't scared" postergirl...). If she had jerked and met with resistance, I don't know what she would have done.
Good for you for learning your lesson, and you'll be safer for it!

HunterJumperGin
Mar. 29, 2009, 03:23 PM
Oh my word, that happened to me too this weekend! My dad (standing on the ramp) Thought he heard me say "OKAY" to undo the buttbar. Green 17h TB goes flying backwards still attached to the wall (and my hand). I managed to get the lead off, and thankfully his halter broke. SO scary though.

CurlyLindsay
Mar. 29, 2009, 04:21 PM
People create this problem (pulling back as soon as the bar is down) by never varying their unloading routine. Do you gallop back to the barn at the end of every ride, too, and then wonder why your horse pulls towards the barn when he's tired or frustrated? ;)

Make a habit of dropping, and then reattaching the butt bar without asking - or allowing- your horse to move. More often than not when I had my two horse straight load I had to load and unload horses with no help. Several times I practiced with my gelding by loosely looping his lead rope through the tie at his head, then dropping the butt bar and standing behind and to the side with a dressage whip. :winkgrin: Just a bit of practice made him very careful to wait for permission before backing out. :)

Of course following correct procedure is most important but the fact is things happen, people make mistakes, and it's worth the few minutes to work with your horse on it.

prudence
Mar. 29, 2009, 04:27 PM
So many good reminders - thanks!

Just a note - when we had a straight load trailer, our horses were trained to wait until a tug on the tail said it was ok to deplane.

iridehorses
Mar. 29, 2009, 06:07 PM
i am glad that everything turn out ok, but here is one more tip for if you ever have to load/ unload by yourself:

ALWAYS DO THE BUTT BAR BEFORE TYING UP THE HORSE

AND

ALWAYS UNTIE BEFORE TAKING DOWN THE BUTT BAR

there have been many times when i have had to load/ unload by myself and these are very important things to remember.

yess, i always do this...ALWAYS. it is so unsafe to do it any other way because circumstances like that occur. this is a lifelong rule.

at least you have learned what youve done wrong & now know how to fix it! im sorry you had to learn the hard way though:(

blueeyepaint
Mar. 29, 2009, 07:57 PM
Remember you can always use your own belt around the neck as a temporary halter.

Monetary Unit
Mar. 29, 2009, 08:28 PM
This happened to my Dad one day. We had gotten back from a lesson and he was in a hurry and didn't wait for me to get out of the truck and untie my mare before he opened the back of the trailer. Needless to say, she panicked, broke a nice leather halter and ran around our neighbor's (hilly and rocky) property in the dark for a good 10 minutes. Thankfully she was all right when we eventually did catch her, but my Dad was banned from unloading for a while after that.

Glad to hear your horses didn't have any serious injuries, and now you'll definitely know your lesson.

Nikki17
Mar. 29, 2009, 08:44 PM
i am glad that everything turn out ok, but here is one more tip for if you ever have to load/ unload by yourself:

ALWAYS DO THE BUTT BAR BEFORE TYING UP THE HORSE

AND

ALWAYS UNTIE BEFORE TAKING DOWN THE BUTT BAR

there have been many times when i have had to load/ unload by myself and these are very important things to remember.

Yes, this is the true moral of the story

IrishWillow
Mar. 30, 2009, 01:35 AM
I often haul/show alone and therefore have to unload alone. First of all, I work on loading/unloading a LOT at home. Second of all, I ALWAYS clip and lead on and untie/unclip the horse before I undue the butt bar. I untie, then go around and take the butt bar out. Then the horse backs out, no problem. Just a suggestion.

Carrera
Mar. 30, 2009, 08:54 AM
and the big one: Never try to do a two man job by yourself!!!!


this is the most important part!!!

But in truth, most people have done something like this

drawreins
Mar. 30, 2009, 05:27 PM
The most important thing is that no one was seriously injured and that you learned from your mistake. A lot of people make the mistake in thinking that they can undo the butt bar and then untie the horse and all will be fine.

TSWJB
Mar. 30, 2009, 07:17 PM
Yeah, you forgot the two big ones

NEVER TAKE THE BUTTBAR DOWN BEFORE UNTYING THE HORSE

NEVER TIE THE HORSE BEFORE THE BUTTBAR IS SECURELY FASTENED
2 things that i am so careful about. i will double check that i untied my horse even though i know he is untied. i use the trailer ties with the safety release catches on them.
i load and unload myself always. i walk the horse on and leave the rope around his neck. then i run around the back to put the butt bar up. then i go and tie him.
when i unload. i put the ramp down. then go release the safety catches so my horse is free, wrap the lead line loosely around his neck and run to the back of the trailer and put the bar down and let the horse unload himself as i stand on the ramp.

Gwendolyn
Mar. 31, 2009, 10:35 AM
Lesson #3: ALWAYS CLOSE THE ESCAPE DOOR WHEN YOU LEAVE YOUR HORSE UNATTENDED ON THE TRAILER!!

I was loading to go to a show one day, and I had almost everything loaded on the trailer, had put my mare on, and was finishing closing up the barn, closing tackroom on trailer, etc. It was hot out, so I left the escape door open (there was a chest bar, she was the front horse in a 2 horse slant) so it wouldn't get to warm before we started moving.

I like to tie my horses loose enough so that they can lower their heads slightly to cough if need be. Well, Dora lowered her head, and stepped out of the trailer, onto the step just outside of the escape door. I was standing right there. She lifted her head (under the chest bar), and was now stuck, with her head, most of her neck, and both front feet outside the trailer wedged between the step and the chest bar. There was not a thing I could do. No quick release on the chest bar, nothing. So we just stood there for a minute, her looking at me like "mom, why can't I move?" and me trying not to panic. I didn't want to push her back because I thought she would try to lift her head more and really panic.

Thank GOD (and I did), she calmly lowered her head and stepped back into the trailer. It could've been a broken neck and a dead horse if she panicked. I will NEVER, EVER, EVER do that again.

Foxtrot's
Mar. 31, 2009, 03:54 PM
While we are at it - just thought of another "safety" - lift ramp from side because I know someone who got kicked in the face by her really nice, gentle mare as she bent to lift the ramp, and has the false teeth and scars to prove it.

midkniggit
Mar. 31, 2009, 04:20 PM
I second not using bungie ties! I've seen some nasty pics of a horse (dead) who pulled back and ended up with the end of the bungie through his face.

The Tie-Safe trailer ties are great. Held together with velcro, won't just pop apart, but will separate if the horse pulls hard, and it leaves a short lead attached to the horse's halter. I went to using them because I haul 2 horses in an undivided stock trailer, and if the 2nd one freaks out as I'm removing the first, I don't want it to become a huge mess.

Sithly
Mar. 31, 2009, 05:38 PM
She lifted her head (under the chest bar), and was now stuck, with her head, most of her neck, and both front feet outside the trailer wedged between the step and the chest bar. There was not a thing I could do. No quick release on the chest bar, nothing.

You know, I have always wondered about quick-releases on chest and butt bars. I haven't seen too many systems that would release under pressure (i.e., the weight of a horse). I wonder if something like this would work?

http://www.marinepartdepot.com/newststtashw2.html

Czar
Mar. 31, 2009, 06:11 PM
Not trailer related but I had a young horse freak out in the crossties today and the baler twine did NOT break.

She did the same last week & snapped the eye screw in half that was holding the crosstie & baler twine in the wall.

I thought it was an isolated incident so did not expect her to go catapulting backwards today. The instant I clipped up the crosstie she went back, yanking the beam that the crosstie was tied to (WITH baler twine) right out of the aisleway.

Unfortunately, there was another horse in the crossties beside her which meant she was attached to the beam as well. Luckily, it snapped in half - I quickly jumped over the part that the young horse was dragging down the aisle to unclip the horse that now had half a beam dangling from her halter.

It wasn't pretty though miraculously, neither of the two were hurt. I have two ginormous bruises across the tops of my knees where I must have collided with the beam but all in all, it was a pretty lucky escape.

I'm having serious doubts about the validity of binder twine right now though :lol:

Foxtrot's
Mar. 31, 2009, 07:48 PM
Agree - The nylon binder twine is tough as hell. The string I use is two loops of butcher twine - it's not very strong at all, but stronger than I could break, being feeble and not very heavy. One side of my x-ties is very old, somewhat frayed, sisal binder twine, and I'm sure it would let go should there be a potential wreck.

Gwendolyn
Mar. 31, 2009, 10:36 PM
Sithly - After my incident, I agree that there should be some sort of quick release on chest and butt bars. EVERYTHING else we use with horses is designed to be safe and have some sort of quick release (panic snaps, breakaway halters, velcro ties, etc.). Why not chest and butt bars? Please forgive me, but I can't figure out how that snap you posted would attach or work for a chest/butt bar. Would you mind explaining it? :lol:


Instead of baling twine - use zip ties! (aka wire ties) You know, the plastic strips that have a sqaure part at the the end that allows the other end to slide in, but not out. They ALWAYS break easily.

Of course, there IS the school of thought that if you tie a horse to something that breaks all the time they will always test it instead of learning to stand tied properly. But that is a discussion for another thread. ;)

Sithly
Apr. 1, 2009, 12:44 AM
Sithly - After my incident, I agree that there should be some sort of quick release on chest and butt bars. EVERYTHING else we use with horses is designed to be safe and have some sort of quick release (panic snaps, breakaway halters, velcro ties, etc.). Why not chest and butt bars? Please forgive me, but I can't figure out how that snap you posted would attach or work for a chest/butt bar. Would you mind explaining it? :lol:

I'm just brainstorming here, but I'll try to make some sense.


Some trailers have butt bars that fasten with a snap -- those would be easy to replace with a quick-release shackle.

Problem is, I've never actually used one of the quick-release shackles. If they take more than three seconds to fasten, I wouldn't want to use them in that capacity. I want to be able to put the butt bar up quickly and easily. So, if they are hard to fasten, my thought was to use them on the side you don't fasten and unfasten every time you load the horse.

Most of the butt bars I've seen have a ring or a chain at one end that allows them to swing down out of the way (like this (http://www.hawktrailers.com/images/HorseInteriorWindows.jpg)). I think you could probably replace that ring with a quick-release shackle. It might add too much length, but that is easily solved. You could cut a couple inches off the butt bar, weld a new ring onto it, and put the quick-release shackle between the new ring and the ring on the trailer wall (essentially adding a link).

Of course, this would need some testing. I'm tempted to buy one of those shackles just to abuse it -- I mean, try it out. :D

Sithly
Apr. 1, 2009, 01:50 AM
Just wanted to add that I HATE the pin-style butt bar latches with a passion. They are impossible to remove (quickly) when there's weight on them. When my horse was younger, I nearly killed him in the trailer, thanks to a pin latch.

If I buy a straight load, those will be the first thing to go.

Gwendolyn
Apr. 1, 2009, 08:42 AM
So funny you wrote that second post. As I was reading your first post, I thought, "I've RARELY seen butt bars that snap." :lol: I have mostly used the pin style butt bars (unfortunately I don't have my own trailer yet :cry: ).

I would be VERY interested in a type of quick release system for a butt/chest bar. I would even pay big $$$$ to have that as an option on a new trailer, or have an older trailer updated. Kind of like the helmet thread....it may be be bucks, but it's WAY better than having a horse with a broken leg or neck.

Sithly
Apr. 1, 2009, 10:16 AM
So funny you wrote that second post. As I was reading your first post, I thought, "I've RARELY seen butt bars that snap." :lol: I have mostly used the pin style butt bars (unfortunately I don't have my own trailer yet :cry: ).

The butt bars I've seen with snaps have all been in really old trailers. :lol:

I do wonder, though, what would happen to the pin latch if you had a quick-release on the other side. I imagine the system wouldn't work very well, since the pin would tend to hold the butt bar at the same height even after the snap released. It would probably deform or break under the weight of the horse, and the results of that could be unpredictable.



I would be VERY interested in a type of quick release system for a butt/chest bar. I would even pay big $$$$ to have that as an option on a new trailer, or have an older trailer updated. Kind of like the helmet thread....it may be be bucks, but it's WAY better than having a horse with a broken leg or neck.

Once burned, twice shy. I totally agree with you.

My horse got his head wedged in the divider of a two-horse straight load. I will never forget how it felt to watch my horse asphyxiate, while I struggled with all of my might against that effing butt bar and made absolutely. no. progress.

Everything turned out okay, but I'd rather not do that ever again! :lol:

Those quick-release shackles are pricey (I've seen them for as much as $70 each), but they're the only snaps I've seen that look like they would hold up to the forces exerted by a horse in the trailer. And (apparently), they can be released under a load.

Gwendolyn
Apr. 1, 2009, 10:42 AM
Maybe a plain old panic snap on the other side from the pin?

http://www.doversaddlery.com/product.asp?pn=X1-2746&ids=287493191

IIRC, the opposite side from the pin has a link that goes through a link on the trailer wall. Maybe you could cut the link, insert the fixed end of the panic snap, and re-weld it? Then the panic snap would be a link b/t the link on the butt bar and the link on the trailer wall. It would stay at the same height b/c of the pin, but at least it would be able to be released and swing out of the way.

ETA: I still don't understand how the quick release mechanism works on the shackle. ???

texang73
Apr. 1, 2009, 10:45 AM
i am glad that everything turn out ok, but here is one more tip for if you ever have to load/ unload by yourself:

ALWAYS DO THE BUTT BAR BEFORE TYING UP THE HORSE

AND

ALWAYS UNTIE BEFORE TAKING DOWN THE BUTT BAR

there have been many times when i have had to load/ unload by myself and these are very important things to remember.

DITTO! Can't stress that enough.

Instant Karma
Apr. 1, 2009, 11:20 AM
Someone's probably said this already, but the BIGGEST moral of that story is that the butt bar should never come down before the horse has been unclipped from the trailer.

Glad she is ok. We all have brain farts sometimes!

Sithly
Apr. 1, 2009, 11:49 AM
Maybe a plain old panic snap on the other side from the pin?

http://www.doversaddlery.com/product.asp?pn=X1-2746&ids=287493191

The problem with the panic snaps is that they're only rated for like 30 pounds. They're very easy to break (I've broken them before by accident).

The quick-release shackles are rated for several thousand. They seem like they'd be more likely to hold up to a horse leaning on them, especially in the event of a sudden start or stop, or, god forbid, an accident. The downside is they're more expensive.


IIRC, the opposite side from the pin has a link that goes through a link on the trailer wall. Maybe you could cut the link, insert the fixed end of the panic snap, and re-weld it? Then the panic snap would be a link b/t the link on the butt bar and the link on the trailer wall. It would stay at the same height b/c of the pin, but at least it would be able to be released and swing out of the way.

ETA: I still don't understand how the quick release mechanism works on the shackle. ???

I think we're on the same page about how to attach the snap to the trailer. :)

This ebay auction (http://cgi.ebay.com/PAIR-STAINLESS-QUICK-RELEASE-HARNESS-SAFETY-SHACKLES-s_W0QQitemZ370121893578QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Eques trian_Driving?hash=item370121893578&_trksid=p3286.m63.l1177) has some good pictures of the quick-release shackle, both open and closed. As I understand it, there is a spring-loaded pin that holds the snap closed. To open it, you pull back on the ring to release the pin. (You could probably loop a piece of cord through the ring to make it easier to pull.)


I ordered a couple of snaps from a different ebay auction. They should get here in a week or two, so I'll let you know how well they work. I'm especially interested in how easily (or not) they release under a load. Can't wait to try them out. I can think of several other applications where they'd be useful.

Gwendolyn
Apr. 1, 2009, 03:16 PM
I think I understand what you're talking about!

Your ebay link didn't work :(

I would love to know how they work under pressure....keep us updated!

Sithly
Apr. 1, 2009, 08:47 PM
I think I understand what you're talking about!

Your ebay link didn't work :(

I would love to know how they work under pressure....keep us updated!

Whoops, sorry! I typed in the "URL" code and forgot to add the actual URL. :lol: Should be fixed now. If not, here it is again:

http://cgi.ebay.com/PAIR-STAINLESS-QUICK-RELEASE-HARNESS-SAFETY-SHACKLES-s_W0QQitemZ370121893578QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Eques trian_Driving?hash=item370121893578&_trksid=p3286.m63.l1177