PDA

View Full Version : Most Frustrating Horse on the PLANET!



Cameraine
Jul. 14, 2012, 09:44 AM
Okay I am just so freaking angry and frustrated. For over a year my mare had a loading issue. But we had it pretty much solved since last December. She is 99.9% at getting in the trailer at first presentation at home. And until yesterday she had been 80% at getting in within 20 minutes away from home.

Yesterday I took the mare-beast to a baby schooling trial put on by our local pony club. It went fairly well, broke our streak of 40 somethings in dressage for a 37 in with our not so pretty canter transitions. She refused once in sj, and we had two stops on xc, one of which was totally my fault, the other was just a really scary fence.

Then I went to put her back in the trailer. Nope, not going to happen. I argued with her for over 30 minutes before I gave up, my DH packed up the truck and trailer then followed us home as I walked the mare-beast the two miles home in the dark.

So, advice and hopefully other stories of woa?

kcmel
Jul. 14, 2012, 10:26 AM
I feel your pain. My guy didn't want to get on the trailer after taking him hound walking on Thursday. I think he felt there were still too many interesting things to look at. Fortunately I had 4 friends there to help me, and a backup trailer if necessary (he does better loading into my friend's slant). But it only took us about 10 min. Back to basics for us....

SnicklefritzG
Jul. 14, 2012, 10:36 AM
How are you trying to get her on the trailer? When she refuses to get on how are you dealing with it?

Here's what I do with my mare:
1) walk up to the ramp acting like she is going to get on. If she gets on, great ! If not, then:
2) back her up at a good clip. If she ignores me, tap her on the chest with a crop until she does back up.
3) stop, then proceed forward
4) walk back to the trailer and up the ramp. If she starts to get on but hesitates then wait for her to go forward. Sometimes at this point she will load herself. If she backs off the ramp then go back to 2) and repeat.

The idea is to make it uncomfortable when she out and out refuses to get on, so she will make the choice to eventually go forward and on the trailer of her own accord. This seems to work with my mare on the standard trailers. On a stock trailer she usually hops right on.

A friend of mine who has a very large (17hh) and stubborn gelding tried longing him immediately after he refused to load. He learned quickly that it was less work to just get on the trailer.

Cameraine
Jul. 14, 2012, 10:45 AM
How are you trying to get her on the trailer? When she refuses to get on how are you dealing with it?

Here's what I do with my mare:
1) walk up to the ramp acting like she is going to get on. If she gets on, great ! If not, then:
2) back her up at a good clip. If she ignores me, tap her on the chest with a crop until she does back up.
3) stop, then proceed forward
4) walk back to the trailer and up the ramp. If she starts to get on but hesitates then wait for her to go forward. Sometimes at this point she will load herself. If she backs off the ramp then go back to 2) and repeat.



At home if she doesn't get on at first presentation(it's been a really long while since she's refused at home, at least six months) She gets a hard yank on the chain over her nose, and if she gives me any resistance after that I hold the presssure on her nose until she comes forward. Usually she only refuses once then goes forward hops on like the trailer is the best place to be.

If we're away it takes a few more episodes of this to convince her, except for yesterday. I don't know what was going on in her head, but nothing good.

I'll give your tactics a try and see how it works. May load her and go to a friends to try this out as at home she's fine. But I'm willing to try anything that will cure this "I don wanna go home itis)

WW_Queen
Jul. 14, 2012, 11:03 AM
There are tons and tons of local NH people that deal with stuff like getting the horses to self-loading. (I am not into NH however some of the older guys seem to really know their stuff when it comes to loading.)

Maybe she just needs someone to look at the problem with a second set of eyes to help?

Also, my mom had a mare that was awful to load, esp. coming back from a show. Once we had to leave her there overnight. (And she was a track horse!) Turns out she was freaked out by 2-horse trailers. Get a roomy 4-horse and she would load herself every. single. time.

We sold our trailer and just hired pro trailer companies or got a ride with a big group.

Bogie
Jul. 14, 2012, 11:05 AM
Try the backing up routine. It's always worked for me.

Never lose your temper. This is very, very important.

Just back up (more than just a few steps) and then try again.

This is a groundwork issue. Your horse is not listening to you on the ground so you need to work on it every time you lead your horse.

Does your horse march along at your shoulder when you lead? Does she stop immediately when you do? If I were you, I'd be spending part of every session with your horse getting her to listen to you on the ground. Stop, back, turn, every time you give a command you should get a crisp, polite response.

CANTEREOIN
Jul. 14, 2012, 11:23 AM
What Bogie and Snickerfritz said... It's a simple and amazing technique... Works every time...

rabicon
Jul. 14, 2012, 11:26 AM
My guy I never yanked that just scared him more and made him back up and keep refusing. I always walked him him and let him look if he didn't get on then I'd turn him away not forcing him and re walk to the trailer he would get on doing this within 3 or 4 tries. At first when he wasn't going to load and put up a horrible fight I mad him work. I'd lunge in in a small circle when he refused for a minute or two at the trot so he finally realized it was easier just to get on and stand there then trot in a small circle. It always worked. Good luck

classicsporthorses
Jul. 14, 2012, 11:40 AM
WHOA OP! You are setting yourself UP for a fight every time. I don't know where you are located but if you are close to me I'd be more than happy to come over and help.

I have loaded tons of horses and horses with issues and horses who have had past trailer accidents. I never ever force.

First LOSE THE CHAIN! Get a good fitting halter with the lead rope and start from there.

When I have a tough loader I always get the mind set that I have all the time in the world.

We walk up to the trailer, no matter which trailer and give the horse time to relax about what it being asked. I actually turn my back to the horse and use small amounts of pressure on the lead and say "step up".

Praise praise for movement forward.

Repeat and encourage the horse to follow, not force it will just make it worse. PM for more details if interested.

eventer_mi
Jul. 14, 2012, 11:40 AM
If your horse doesn't load each and every time you present to a trailer, then your horse isn't trained to load (or lead, for that matter). What are you going to do in a real emergency, when you need to get that horse home PRONTO? I suggest you put everything else on hold until you can guarantee everybody that your horse will load every. single. time. It always amazes me how many hours people will spend on getting canter transitions, jumps, etc., but don't do the same with trailer loading (not picking on you - just an observation and a pet peeve of mine). I've taught many horses how to load (and one of them was blind - ask KarenC!) and even though I'm definitely not the "natural horsemanship" type of person, I've found that John Lyon's method works the best for me. If you get/got the latest issue of Practical Horsemanship, it details the method pretty well. Better yet, get JL's Leading and Loading DVD/tape. I had to watch it many, many times until I was 100% sure of what I was doing. I don't like the backing method mentioned here because it can cause a horse to go up on its hind legs, which is never something that I like to teach, purposefully or inadvertently. HTH and good luck!

Btw, I agree with classicsporthorses - there is no point in setting up for a fight. I agree with losing the chain. If you have a horse that will tear away from you with a simple halter and long lead rope, use a rope halter. I have one with little knots tied in the nose part for the confirmed pullers/bullies. Usually, the pressure of the rope halter will keep them from ripping the lead out of your hands and leaving you with a nasty rope burn (I'd use a long, soft nylon or cotton lead, and WEAR GLOVES). And be prepared to take all day. Don't do this on a day where you have to get that horse somewhere, or you have to be somewhere. Have a poop scooper and a bucket ready, because they'll make a mess if they're truly nervous about the trailer.

Equibrit
Jul. 14, 2012, 11:52 AM
All you have to do is teach a horse to obey your voice, This usually starts shortly after a horse is born, but you no longer have that option. So start away from the trailer and reward when she complies. Make her "walk on" through ditches, water, over things, through things, etc. Then add more complex tasks. (bakup, over,turn etc)When she is really snappy and correct with her responses, THEN move to the trailer. It's good to have a voice command associated with the horse entering her regular stall. ("In your stall" or similar). That way you use it for the trailer.

Most importantly don't get mad with a horse for your failure.

Cameraine
Jul. 14, 2012, 12:11 PM
Let me give you guys a little background. Mare-beast is an OTTB and before 2yrs ago she was a confirmed no problem loader. Then there was about a year when for various reasons she didn't go anywhere or get loaded. (her injury, my deployment)

When I started trying to load her again after I got back, no go. Not in any trailer of any kind, under any cirumstance, with any technique. I tried every technique for over year, including ditching my old 2hrs straight load and getting an extra tall 3hrs slant. It was better with the 3hrs but she still wasn't consistent.

After getting a ground work/respect technique advice from an OTTB expert(in the racehorse/OTTB training/riding business for 30yrs at least) I found what worked which made her consistent at home. Chain over the nose, take her for a walk, make her walk(at whatever pace I set) stop when I ask, ect. Repeat as necessary. This works 99.9% at home and she's stopped resisting most of the time. Every once in awhile she'll get a wild hair.

Every time I ride or groom she gets tied to the trailer and after we work/groom she gets loaded and spends some time hanging out in the trailer. In fact for the week leading up to the HT I loaded her every day and the day before she sat in the trailer for over 30 minutes while I got her bath ready and did a couple of other things.

Yesterday was the first time since December that she just would not load. Usually at shows I load her by myself and shoo away any happy helpers who offer assistance. Yesterday I didn't and I think that might have been part of the issue including the respect issue. Too many people fussing with her just made her shut down. I also think she is in heat, which I don't think had any bearing on her loading issue, but who knows what goes on in the heads of mares.

So just looking to see who has tried what and what worked.

dbolte
Jul. 14, 2012, 12:13 PM
I'll second (or is it third at this point?) the backing technique- it worked wonders for my OTTB who wouldn't load when I got him- he self loads now, every time. The trick is to keep backing them until they don't want to back anymore, and then bring them forward again. Also making sure she is paying attention to you on the ground to begin with- that was the trick with a mare I worked with. She would be stubborn about loading unless you took just two minutes to do some walk-halt transitions on the lead, making her stop when I did and walk off immediately, and then she would load immediately, since we had already re-established the forward response on the ground and away from the trailer.

Yanking on the chain and keeping steady pressure on it are not going to help- you're just encouraging resistance.

Also, patience is a virtue. I worked with a pony once who had a bad experience his first time in a trailer (coming to my place), and was in no way going to load. We picked a day where we had all the time in the world and then took him out to load. We spent a few minutes with the backing, etc. until he knew he was supposed to get on the trailer but just didn't want to, and then we stood there. He had to stay facing the trailer, he was not allowed to graze, turn away, or move unless it was forward. It took an hour, but he finally walked up the ramp of his own accord. Lots of treats, praise, etc., backed him off and repeated. After that I could take him out and load him easily.

rabicon
Jul. 14, 2012, 12:24 PM
IMO I wouldn't leave a horse that hates the trailer in the trailer for no reason. I believe they are very smart. They know there is no reason to be standing in this box and makes them resistant to get back in because they dont know if they are going somewhere or going to be locked in there for no reason. Horses that don't mind or care about the trailer is one thing but a horse that hates it I wouldn't do it. Again like others said drop the chain it is not a good start causing pain and fear. She is not doing anything that bad to get her nose yanked off with a stud chain. Patience even though that can be tough to have with this but it is a virtue. It will happen. Make the trailer a good experience. When she gets is reward her with a treat or maybe have some special alfalfa in there or some carrots something. Teach her that it's harder outside the trailer because she will be asked to work than inside where she gets good food or treats

rabicon
Jul. 14, 2012, 12:26 PM
I've got a pony that was in a trailer accident before we got him. Trailer flipped and a lot of horses died. He loves the trailer now. I pull it up for the other horses he wants to jump in. Lol. He wants those treats

pheasantknoll
Jul. 14, 2012, 12:27 PM
OP, you do not have a trailer loading problem, you have a RESPECT problem. Your mare is telling you that she will do what she wants when she wants to do it. I recommend a good (John Lyons is very good) groundwork course with her. I think you are headed for more problems if you do not. The other thing I recommend is getting very particular with her. When you groom her, don't tie her. Teach her to stand still in the spot where you put her (NOT MOVING A SINGLE HOOF) without being tied. When you put her in her stall, teach her to stay in there with the door open until you kiss to her to come out. You can PM me if you want more recommendations, but basically, she needs a short course in who is in charge.

PKN

MorganJumper848
Jul. 14, 2012, 12:28 PM
My horse would not load. He would back off well but he didn't get on right away. I have a straight load step up because he plays with the ramp. I also hate that when you are on uneven ground it is not flat... My horse would approach the trailer. Then he would put two feet on. Then he would try to back up really fast and run off. This was his escape plan every time. I tried the backing up and im sorry but my horse has excellent ground manners. He just didn't want to go on the trailer. So my farrier(40 years of western training) suggested that i put a chain under his nose and teach him some respect. Well, it worked. My horse now might step up on the trailer and sniff for a little while until he gets on but he never tries running off to avoid getting on. When I put the chain on what I did was take a lounge line and lounge him around the back of the trailer for 15 minutes. Then I had him walk and halt and back up with the chain. Then if he tried to refuse getting on the trailer, we would go through the same respect process of lunging etc. He doesn't like being alone in small spaces where he can't see other horses. Thats most likely why he doesn't like being in there. Every time he got in and backed off on command I would give him a carrot or something to reward his behavior. I know I will get flamed for that but its really no different than giving your dog a treat in obedience! My horse now gets on and off within 5 minutes.

judybigredpony
Jul. 14, 2012, 01:29 PM
First LOSE THE CHAIN! Get a good fitting halter with the lead rope and start from there.
NOT

Put it over her gums 1 time and she may well decided to load...

Next time trot her a** all the way home and ask her to get back on trailer...ship her butt the 2 miles back to venue...hack for 10 minutes and see if she has the where with all to decide to ride home!!!!!!!!!!!!

I watched 2 gals one day not long ago go thru the same thing and they did all of the above suggestions, I politely asked after 40 minutes if they would be offended if I helped.
They said have at it.
I gave them 2 lunge whips and put the chain over horses gums (it was on his nose) told them NOT to hit him but let him know they were armed..Yes, he took 1 look felt pressure and walked on calm as could be. They left with plans to practice again there the next day...........his history by the way was almost identical to OP's.

Donkey
Jul. 14, 2012, 01:45 PM
If she's not getting on the trailer for the ride home it could be that the ride over was unpleasant for her. I've seen a few owners who are terrible trailer drivers (and completely clueless about it) struggle to get there horses loaded for the trip home consistently. Make sure you are giving her the smoothest kindest driving experience on the way to your destination, if you aren't sure get someone to follow you when you haul her to get a second opinion. Also consider that she might not like your trailer, some horses prefer slants, other prefer straight loads, a lot don't care but some have preferences. Not saying any of this is your problem just giving you something else to think about.

JP60
Jul. 14, 2012, 01:46 PM
Put it over her gums 1 time and she may well decided to load...

Or remember for along long time.

I am of the camp tha says take your time. Lead up, stanbd wait, praise a foot forward, don't accept a step back. Yes, if need be back the horse, but always forward with.

That fact that you use the term mare-beast means she's already in your head. She is a mare, she is scared to load and treat that with some respect.

Some lady used the chain over the gums to get my mare on a trailer when she was going to her new home. Horrible experience in my book (and hers). It took 20 minutes to load, with help from my trainer, but we did it one step at a time. Now she loads with just a "walk on" and cluck.

Watch Clinton Anderson or Buck on how to work a horse though their fear and please don't use chain on a gum.

rabicon
Jul. 14, 2012, 01:51 PM
Oh goodness I wouldn't do chain on the gums. There is a time and place for everything but fear of trailer loading is not the place IMO to make her more afraid

belleellis
Jul. 14, 2012, 02:06 PM
1. clicker train her
2. if the method you have has been working keep at it but clicker train her
3. once she is on give her her favorite treat in the world

Mine loads in literally anything, the first time every time and he was a feral little *astard when I got him.

smay
Jul. 14, 2012, 02:27 PM
I also agree that fighting with their head is NOT going to get them going forward into the trailer. Chains over noses, under chins, on their gums...none of that will encourage the horse to lead, which is what your horse won't do. Please don't yank on the horse, chain or no chain. If they start going up on you, someone will get hurt or the horse will brain themselves on the trailer frame. Just practice the self-loading techniques described above. Fighting with a TB is a recipe for disaster.

abbbalonian twist
Jul. 14, 2012, 02:39 PM
OP, I have no advice that hasn't alreay been given, but I feel your pain. My mare, gets right on the trailer, every time no fail, but has claustrophic issues about being shut in that we are currently having to work on. Good Luck :)

englishcowgirl
Jul. 14, 2012, 03:05 PM
What kind of trailer? Is it big enough? Is the ramp steady? Are you or whoever drives the truck a good driver? Was there a issue when she was in the trailer last (short stop, swerve ect)? The horse is being called "bad" a lot here when it seems you have not looked at the humans that handle the horse as the possible cause of the problem. Please understand I am not trying to accuse or point fingers, but saying it is 100% the fault of an animal is not fair. You probably know that horses react to stimulus and not just to spite their humans. You just need to find the cause. If this was a wonder horse otherwise I would say sure she could just be a crazy witch but this is a horse who seems to not do well as far as dressage goes (assuming that she is a nice mover its her listening skills that are the problem.) most of the time and refuses jumps a lot. Perhaps work with her with a trainer and/or get a vet to look at her to see if pain may be causing the horse some problems. 95% of the time with my own horse I find that her issues are caused by me, not her.
If you choose to listen to none of the other advice, please please please listen to me on this point. Rapping the chain around the gums and yanking is going to create a rearing problem more often than not and head shy issues at the best, a horse can never be forced. Those who use this method often do so in the interest of saving time and often are "professionals" who can dump a horse if it develops issues or never has to see it again to deal with the issues (ex. shippers, horse brokers, low life "trainers") A chain on the nose to keep the head in control is fine.

bornfreenowexpensive
Jul. 14, 2012, 03:48 PM
Oh goodness I wouldn't do chain on the gums. There is a time and place for everything but fear of trailer loading is not the place IMO to make her more afraid

Chain over the gum wouldn't cause fear of loading or fear of anything. It really isn't any more severe than the chain over the nose but more effective. It just prevents a horse from pulling away but will not get them on the trailer. But it isn't the chain over anywhere that will get her on the trailer. You have to get her leading better, and respect you.

Honestly....I do different things depending on the horse. Most of my horses self load...now;) Non did initially and I had to train them. My current OTTB mare now easily loads as long as I walk on with her--I will get her to self load at some point but for now, I'm fine with this. With her, I used grain but she wasn't very hard and can be extremely tough if you get into a head to head fight with her. She's an easy loader, and I can load her with no grain but I still give her a bit as a reward. She does get nervous so until that goes away, I'm not working on self loading. Other horses, I worked by keeping their legs moving, if they didn't walk on--they worked hard on a small circle and then I tried again. Never found standing pulling or beating to work. And never get emotional about it....I also would not have given in...if it took 2 hours....I would have taken 2 hours.

I would also take a good look at your trailer....as some are just not that inviting, dark, close etc or very loud when moving (so they don't want to get back on).

enjoytheride
Jul. 14, 2012, 05:46 PM
Ah, my specialty. I walked my gelding 4 miles to his new barn through the middle of the city because he didn't load.

After that we had some CTJ sessions and he loads fine now.

First, I have no issues with a good fitting chain and halter. You want the chain to loosen when you loosen.

Second, I would never expect a bad loader who eventually became a good loader at home to be a good loader the first time away from home.

I think the new and exciting place along with being cranky and tired makes every so so loader test the waters the first time. I also firmly believe that getting away with stops on course directly leads to testing the other things they don't have to do. I always have more problems loading a horse if I let them stop at a fence at a show.

My mare once bucked me off in the warmup where I broke a rib then was a total cow on course. She was a very good loader but that day on the way home she would not get on. I went into the tackroom, got a whip, nailed the snot out of her, backed her halfway to Canada, told her to get the heck on the trailer or I'd chop her into pieces and toss her on. She trotted onto the trailer from 30 feet away. COW.

Every bad loader I have ever worked with has hit their head on the trailer being a big fat jerk about it and it was the first and last time. Horses know exactly where the roof of the trailer is and how to avoid it, and if they want to rear up and conk themselves then go for it. They will only do it once. If you're worried put a headbumper on.

The KEY is that you MUST release pressure and praise the second she goes forward even an inch and turn on the heat the second she goes backward. It is a very difficult thing to teach because it involves a lot of feel.

rabicon
Jul. 14, 2012, 06:59 PM
I disagree putting a chain over their gums is painful. Try putting one over yours and let someone yank the crap out of you. Yes eventually you may go with them but your probably not going to be happy about it. Chain under chin and over noses aren't bad just IMO I don't think it's going to help her get over the fear of wanting to load. Chains on the gums I'd only use for a stud that is crazy and can't be controlled another way or crazy horse in general that's a danger. Not to force something on a horse that doesn't want to do something because of who knows what reason. But hey everyone has an opinion that's just mine

grayarabpony
Jul. 14, 2012, 07:05 PM
Obviously you've never used a chain over the gums -- you never yank on it. But keep emoting if it makes you feel better. :)

rabicon
Jul. 14, 2012, 07:11 PM
Yes I will thanks isn't this board about everyones opinion. I have seen many many Duma** people yanking the crap out of horses with a chain over the gums. It's not pretty. In uneducated hands it's a nasty device.

grayarabpony
Jul. 14, 2012, 07:16 PM
Alrighty then -- keep emoting while not knowing what you're talking about.

leahandpie
Jul. 14, 2012, 08:49 PM
1. clicker train her
2. if the method you have has been working keep at it but clicker train her
3. once she is on give her her favorite treat in the world

Mine loads in literally anything, the first time every time and he was a feral little *astard when I got him.

Seriously. This works. !!
My friends horse that was taking 1.5 hours to get on and off the trailer... using all the methods listed above...including rapid backing, every NH 'trick', with a lip chain, etc. etc. was hopping on and off easily after we did THREE clicker training sessions.

Really. THREE SESSIONS, about 10 minutes each.

Session 1: Learn clicker.
Session 2: Re-inforce proper leading.
Session 3: Get on Trailer.

The mare didn't even offer to refuse to get on the trailer.
Positive reinforcement works much better than force for an animal that chooses 'fight' instead of 'flight', because a measly human ain't got nuthin' on an angry 1400 lb red mare :lol:

Win1
Jul. 14, 2012, 10:54 PM
You know your horse best, so I'm not going to suggest changing anything you're doing. However, I've used the 'run 'em backwards' method and it has worked most times.

If it makes you feel better, I have a pony who will self load. Super calm, laid back, sensible, likes to please (most of the time). BUT, if it's raining, snowing, or sleeting...he takes his sweet time! He's not afraid of anything, I'm convinced he finds it amusing to see me either covered in snow or sopping wet:)

bornfreenowexpensive
Jul. 14, 2012, 11:04 PM
Obviously you've never used a chain over the gums -- you never yank on it. But keep emoting if it makes you feel better. :)

exactly...not painful unless you yank. And yanking with a chain over their nose is also painful. The point is not to yank.


I would however NOT use a chain over the gums if you don't know what you are doing....and the majority of people having issues getting their horses to load are not people who should be using a chain at all.

rabicon
Jul. 14, 2012, 11:23 PM
exactly...not painful unless you yank. And yanking with a chain over their nose is also painful. The point is not to yank.


I would however NOT use a chain over the gums if you don't know what you are doing....and the majority of people having issues getting their horses to load are not people who should be using a chain at all.

This!

alto
Jul. 15, 2012, 02:48 AM
:confused:
why do you suppose a chain over the gum works if it's not painful ...

bornfreenowexpensive
Jul. 15, 2012, 09:09 AM
:confused:
why do you suppose a chain over the gum works if it's not painful ...

It releases endorphins similar to a twitch and is a bit more distracting than over the nose. But it is painful if you yank. But so is yanking with a chain over their nose but over the gums you do have more control from the get go. Again, should only be used by very experienced hand but IMO is no worse than over the nose which people use and yank on with no second thought.

Over the nose or gums, the chain is NOT what gets the horse on the trailer. It is what keeps the horse from pulling away and running away from the handler. Pulling them doesn't work either. It is a moving forward issue, trusting the handler issue and submission (as in the handler is top dog) issue. I've not needed a chain at all for the vast majority of horses as getting into a head on fight is rarely needed if you introduce loading correctly and with time. Leaving it until you have to get somewhere on a time frame is usually what leads to issues.

up-at-5
Jul. 15, 2012, 10:46 AM
WHOA OP! You are setting yourself UP for a fight every time. I don't know where you are located but if you are close to me I'd be more than happy to come over and help.

I have loaded tons of horses and horses with issues and horses who have had past trailer accidents. I never ever force.

First LOSE THE CHAIN! Get a good fitting halter with the lead rope and start from there.

When I have a tough loader I always get the mind set that I have all the time in the world.

We walk up to the trailer, no matter which trailer and give the horse time to relax about what it being asked. I actually turn my back to the horse and use small amounts of pressure on the lead and say "step up".

Praise praise for movement forward.

Repeat and encourage the horse to follow, not force it will just make it worse. PM for more details if interested.

Agree! I've had some problem loaders in the past, and the chain technique never works. Also, patience, tough to come by after a long day, but loading with the air of "we have ALL the time in the world to get this done" really does work! What I do is the pressure and release technique. Horse takes a step up, no pressure, he pulls back, apply pressure and do not release until any give forward is offered, then immediate release of pressure. May take a few minutes, but it works every time.
That said, with my OTTB's, I find all it takes is a good vocal "get up" and they launch themselves onto the trailer!
Editing to add: although well meaning folks will come by to help, I have always found that less is better when it comes to onlookers and helpers. The crowd always seems to upset the horse, so no, we can do it ourselves, appreciate the offer of help, but no.

Hilary
Jul. 15, 2012, 10:50 AM
It releases endorphins similar to a twitch and is a bit more distracting than over the nose. But it is painful if you yank. But so is yanking with a chain over their nose but over the gums you do have more control from the get go. Again, should only be used by very experienced hand but IMO is no worse than over the nose which people use and yank on with no second thought.

Over the nose or gums, the chain is NOT what gets the horse on the trailer. It is what keeps the horse from pulling away and running away from the handler. Pulling them doesn't work either. It is a moving forward issue, trusting the handler issue and submission (as in the handler is top dog) issue. I've not needed a chain at all for the vast majority of horses as getting into a head on fight is rarely needed if you introduce loading correctly and with time. Leaving it until you have to get somewhere on a time frame is usually what leads to issues.


I have to agree that there is a time for a gum chain and sometimes loading is it. My willful mare went through a few "I don't feel like loading" phases and it was all about dominance and obedience. I used a gum chain (correctly) and she realized she couldn't run over me and it only took one session and she gave in. But not 100%. She would self load if a chain shank was attached to her halter (not used, sometimes not even over the nose, just clipped). She would be a pill if I used a plain lead. She absolutely knew when she could be a barge and get away with it and when she couldn't. Eventually she stopped needing the presence of a chain, and reliably self-load.

Other than the gum chain moments, I used the John Lyons tecnique. Your mare sounds like she knows when she's got the upper hand.

Linda
Jul. 15, 2012, 04:52 PM
I recently had to reschool my horse to get in the trailer. He would have none of it. I had someone behind him with a long lead and when he put a foot on the trailer, then shot back out, she nailed him with the lead rope. Boy was he surprised!
So we got him going in - but just as quickly bolting out.

So I parked the trailer (with truck attached) in his field. Put breakfast lunch and dinner in a hay net in the trailer and left it open. The first night, he didnt get in to have dinner until the wee hours of the morning. When I would peek out the window late at night, he would be wandering around looking at his dinner inside, or standing by the trailer just looking at it.

Gave me some guilt but I got over it.

The next day was better. After a couple of days, he was going in and out effortlessly on his own.

A few weeks later, we needed to load him for a trip to the vet. Put the halter and lead on, had the friend behind with the long lead line and he just cruised in AND he stayed in. Sure was glad we had worked out the loading before the vet appt or we would never have gotten him in. We dont do a lot of hauling, so I'll have to park the trailer out there occasionally so he remembers his lesson about loading.

rabicon
Jul. 15, 2012, 05:17 PM
Alrighty then -- keep emoting while not knowing what you're talking about.

Ok but if you don't realize that a chain on the gums or even over the nose used incorrectly is painful then I can't help you.
But I guess I don't know what I'm talking about though. Learn something new everyday :rolleyes:

NSRider
Jul. 15, 2012, 05:26 PM
I feel your frustration, although I may have a little help/different view to give. My new guy has been fine to trailer, a little reluctant to get into the slightly shorter and thinner 2h slant I have versus my barn owner's 3-horse slant. He'll hop in and out of the 3-h no problem, will slowly get into the 2-h. This past Friday we went to a friend's place to school, taking both trailers. When we got there, he was covered in dust (darn stock combos!!). That evening he would only go half in, along with constantly stepping up and down without any pressure on the line to continually get in. (I'm of the camp where you ask for a little, reward forward movement with a release of pressure, wait, and repeat). You could tell he was trying but would shut down once he was half way in.
Both of the trailers were parked side-by-side so we started going from one to the other. He'd hop right onto the taller trailer no problem, only half-way on the shorter one. My conclusion - along with the size, the air quality while riding in the smaller trailer made the ride extremely uncomfortable for him that he'd never experienced in the BO's trailer. What I'm doing - trading in stock combo trailer for full-on horse trailer that is at least 7' tall interior. Doesn't hurt that I had started to look even before now :)

Not sure if this helps, but it may give a little insight perhaps.

runNjump86
Jul. 15, 2012, 06:20 PM
Chains are beautiful things when used properly. If mare-beast is being downright belligerent and disrespectful I second the chain on the gums. If she's being fearful, put it under the chin. I've found a chain on the nose works better for going backwards, but under the chin works best for going forward.

I agree that too many people was probably a big factor in her not loading. The backing up/lunging/working her ass off when she refuses to get in is a good technique. However, depending on your mare, it could just amp her up even more. That's how my gelding was. My old trailers was a 2H straightload with mangers (NEVER again) with an escape door on the right. I always loaded my show horse on the left because he would basically self load, and if he was being a goon I could just walk on his right and lead him in. When I went to load my gelding, at 2yro, for the first time, his buddy was in there for moral support.

I was armed with a dressage whip, lunge line, and grain. I tried walking in with him, then running the lunge line thru the window so I could tap-tap with the whip and still pull on his face. He was also in a rope halter. However, he would. not. get. in. Lunging/backing/working got him more and more anxious and he wouldn't get near the trailer after an hour. We took a break, let Moral Support out, and left them loose in the arena/TO area with the trailer in with them. I fed them near it. After a break (I think I went and did stalls), Moral Support was loaded again while 2yo was tied to trailer, waiting. He would get close, but not in.

Cowboy Friend shows up and offers help. This man had a wealth of knowledge, so I readily accepted. He went and got a lariat, a good stiff one. He put the laso around his hind end, ran the rest of the rope thru his halter, and walked him around like that (basically like he was teaching a baby to lead for the first time). He turned and marched into the trailer, and when my gelding stopped he put all his weight into one big pull, and up hopped my horse. We loaded him twice more the same way, third time he self-loaded with the lunge line thru the window and getting tapped with the whip. Now he hops into any trailer. Even if you don't have a lariat, a lunge line could work the same way.

We moved my lease horse last week, first time he'd been trailered in over a year. Amazingly he walked right onto the trailer. However, the road we had to travel was VERY windy, uphill and downhill, and he was pretty shaken up by it, even though we went as slowly as possible. I was sure he wouldn't get back on after that. So two days after he arrived, when I got back from a show with my other horse, I left the trailer hooked up and loaded him. It took ten minutes, but I never let him turn away, and praised/fed him treats whenever he put a foot inside. The only time I turned him away was when he was crooked, but *I* made him turn away and in a circle, not *him* making the decision to do so.

Making her stand in front of the trailer while you have tasty snacks just out of reach can work too. Stand there until she gets bored. You'll definitely be bored, so bring a book! :D Don't let her turn away. As soon as she thinks about going forward, praise. She puts a foot inside? Treat. Patience is the only way to overcome this, and believe me its hard. Patience is not my strong suit! Best of luck!

Hilary
Jul. 15, 2012, 06:36 PM
And boy do they know when you have a timetable. One day when that mare in my previous post was having one of her "I don't feel like it" days, I was supposed to be riding with a friend on a specific timetable. After 15 minutes f her not getting on the trailer I call my friend and say "sorry, we have to spend our day re-learning to load".

Now in my head, I have the rest of the day to deal with loading. Mare walks right on. Damned if MY attitude didn't have a huge effect on her. if I was in a hurry she was going to take all day, if I had all day, well, what's the big deal, I know how to load.

I wanted to kill her!

ACMEeventing
Jul. 15, 2012, 07:04 PM
I think the OP has left the building.

Cameraine
Jul. 16, 2012, 01:28 PM
Not left the building *G* I had to work most of the day Saturday and run errands on Sunday plus farm chores so no time to get on the computer.

Saturday when I had time I went out to load the mare. The first presentation took about 2 minutes, the second and third less than a minute but she still stalled in front of the trailer. The fourth she leaped on like she usually does at home. Rub, rub each time she gets in.

Mare is not big on treats if she's in a high anxiety state, so I usually don't treat in the trailer. The trailer is an extra tall 3hrs slant. The drive to the farm was less than ten minutes on flat back roads, DH was driving and he's careful.

OTTB expert friend says that its a behavior problem related to leadership and respect just like a lot of you have also said. She says that the mare is just being subtle about her tries for dominance but all the little tries add up to the not loading.

So we're going to trailer over to a friend's farm this week where if I have to I can leave her over night and practice over there.

As to the chain. I am not going to use a lip chain, have never used one, or seen it done, and not confident I wouldn't hurt the mare accidentally. The chain over the nose. This actually, and I know this sounds weird, but it seems like a safety blanket for her. When I put it on she gets less tense, more relaxed and while putting it on if the chain slips off her nose she will flip her nose down to put it back. I only use it to load her, and take it off when she's tied in the trailer. I generally don't even unload her with it on unless she seems really agitated and I would have to worry about her trying to take off making it a safety issue.

She is however keenly aware of when it isn't on and I have tried loading her without it. It doesn't work. I have also for over a year tried all those NH tricks, and lunging. The lunging doesn't work either, just gets her more tense and upset.

I am going to look in to the clicker training, but she's not hugely food motivated unlike her pasture mate who will dive on to the trailer if even thinks there MIGHT be a crumb in the trailer.

And I will give the article in this month's PH a try, though I've gone that route before. I'll let you guys know how it goes.

bornfreenowexpensive
Jul. 16, 2012, 01:37 PM
I've had a couple hate slant loads. But since changing trailers isn't something easy...and it is a 3 horse slant...can you take out a divider and give her two stalls?

Cameraine
Jul. 16, 2012, 01:45 PM
I've had a couple hate slant loads. But since changing trailers isn't something easy...and it is a 3 horse slant...can you take out a divider and give her two stalls?

It's not the trailer. We bought this one when she wouldn't get in the 2hrs straight we had. She's comfortable in it. And no the divider doesn't come out. But in the beginning last year I would rig the divider so that the first stall divider was open but attached to the second stall divider and gave her a bigger space. This was because she would freak or refuse to move over enough to close the first divider. We worked on that issue and now she's okay with me closing her in to the first stall. She will happily stand in the trailer, no kicking, screaming or anything on three legs, hip cocked. And on occasion I've had her in the second stall that has a drop down window as the first stall only has a bus window. She's okay in either.

bornfreenowexpensive
Jul. 16, 2012, 02:02 PM
It's not the trailer. We bought this one when she wouldn't get in the 2hrs straight we had. She's comfortable in it. And no the divider doesn't come out. But in the beginning last year I would rig the divider so that the first stall divider was open but attached to the second stall divider and gave her a bigger space. This was because she would freak or refuse to move over enough to close the first divider. We worked on that issue and now she's okay with me closing her in to the first stall. She will happily stand in the trailer, no kicking, screaming or anything on three legs, hip cocked. And on occasion I've had her in the second stall that has a drop down window as the first stall only has a bus window. She's okay in either.


too bad...it was just a thought for an easy fix. Just keep working on it when you do not have stress about a show or going somewhere. It can take some time to get them really consistent.

runNjump86
Jul. 16, 2012, 08:15 PM
Since it's linked to dominance issues, I'd definitely try the rope around her ass to make her realize that you not only can pull on her face, but also from behind while you're still in front of her face. Definitely works wonders on the mind!

ACMEeventing
Jul. 16, 2012, 08:42 PM
Sounds like you're trying all the right things. It might be that she'll never WANT to load, but through proper training she'll behave respectfully and step up when told.

Best of luck to you!

mkevent
Jul. 16, 2012, 08:47 PM
My OTTB isn't the easiest loader either. Every horse I've had I've been able to teach to self load, but this guy is a bit trickier. I have a two horse straight load with a ramp and I have to teach them by myself, which makes it a bit more difficult.

Lately I've been feeding him lunch and dinner in the trailer. I feed everyone else in the barn first, so he's anticipating the food and then load him in the trailer and let him eat his grain. So far, I've been doing it for almost a week and he's just started to self load. I know you said your mare isn't food oriented, but would this method help? It serves to associate good things with the trailer.

chism
Jul. 17, 2012, 12:10 AM
How are you trying to get her on the trailer? When she refuses to get on how are you dealing with it?

Here's what I do with my mare:
1) walk up to the ramp acting like she is going to get on. If she gets on, great ! If not, then:
2) back her up at a good clip. If she ignores me, tap her on the chest with a crop until she does back up.
3) stop, then proceed forward
4) walk back to the trailer and up the ramp. If she starts to get on but hesitates then wait for her to go forward. Sometimes at this point she will load herself. If she backs off the ramp then go back to 2) and repeat.

The idea is to make it uncomfortable when she out and out refuses to get on, so she will make the choice to eventually go forward and on the trailer of her own accord. This seems to work with my mare on the standard trailers. On a stock trailer she usually hops right on.

A friend of mine who has a very large (17hh) and stubborn gelding tried longing him immediately after he refused to load. He learned quickly that it was less work to just get on the trailer.

LOL..My horse never got that memo.. backing up is the worse thing I can do. The further he is AWAY from the trailer, the happier he is..gives him more room to plant, and plant......and...plant. God help us both if I take out a whip. I can get him on the trailer, eventually, but backing up and whip tapping simply do not work for him.
OP - I feel your pain, a poor loader has to be one of the most frustrating things on the planet, the only thing worse is when people want to "help" you load.

Xanthoria
Jul. 17, 2012, 12:46 AM
my DH packed up the truck and trailer then followed us home as I walked the mare-beast the two miles home in the dark.

You trailered 2 miles to an event? Just hack there next time!

I know: Not what you were looking for. But a too-fresh horse can be a PITA to load...

As a generalization all the suggestions here combine pressure and release. You know the mare best. Find the pressure that works best for her (rope halter to gum chain) and the time every day to do this (no short cuts, no losing your rag) and make it your new habit to work on daily.

If mare has been taught to step forward to pressure, and you know where to find "patience" in the dictionary, you have all the tools you need to teach her to get on a trailer. Believe me. Just pick one method and stick with it until she's in the trailer.

If things get sweaty and sweary, you're forcing the issue and it's a bad experience for the mare. Patience. Patience. Patience.

Jealoushe
Jul. 17, 2012, 09:38 AM
A trick that works really well, especially with OTTBs.

Take a lunge line and get a helper to hold it straight from the back of the trailer. Better if you have one on each side. Walk the horse through the "shoot". The handlers with the line start crossing behind the horse (you don't have to touch them) and usually the visual of ropes behind them makes them help themselves onto the trailer. This has worked for so many bad loading horses. Once they learn, usually just clipping the line to the side of the trailer does the trick.

Dramapony_misty
Jul. 17, 2012, 10:06 AM
I recently started having issues with my gelding (who was pretty much a self-loader). He has become my main mount so now he's realizing that when he gets loaded he is going somewhere to work...not too keen.

What worked for us is to have 2 people + his favorite treats and grain in a pan at the front of the trailer. We coax him as close as we can (1 handler and 1 person behind sort of "shooing") and give him a treat and let him relax. Then we try to get a step up...treat-relax, then take another step...lather rinse repeat. Once he got on the trailer (with a little exaggerated "shooing"), he got sweet feed and treats. Unload and pat "good boy" and then try it again. It took only about 30 minutes one day to get him pretty reliable to load again. Not quite where he was, but not bad.

Also, OP, you said you hacked home in the dark...do you have a light in your trailer? I know many horses that are afraid to get into a dark metal box. We have a light with a switch that we installed in our trailer. Made a world of difference.

grayarabpony
Jul. 17, 2012, 09:48 PM
Ok but if you don't realize that a chain on the gums or even over the nose used incorrectly is painful then I can't help you.
But I guess I don't know what I'm talking about though. Learn something new everyday :rolleyes:

Why are you ASSuming that people are recommending that the chain be used incorrectly? :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes: That makes no sense at all.

If someone can learn to ride they can learn to load a horse or even gasp!!! use a lip chain. Learning to use a lip chain takes no time. All that is required is a following hand. The only reason to use a lip chain is to keep the horse from pulling away from the handler and running all over creation.

Good luck OP. Perhaps just pretend your horse has never loaded before and watch the John Lyons video regarding loading. Break the lesson up into short sessions over a few days. No lip chain required! ;)

annikak
Jul. 17, 2012, 11:11 PM
I have to say this, and I think I am a nice horse person. But a lot is in the loader. the WHO gets the horse on usually has that "feeling" to the horse of...."Yup, this is what you're doing."

Lip chains work wonders for a horse that is...um...a reluctant loader. YOU don't pull, THEY pull. That's the key. and you cannot begin to get (or at least show) anger. Just sit there.... No pressure when they are where YOU want them to be. Obviously you have to work upto that, but it will work. I promise. And it becomes a one person job, which in my world, is essential.

I had a horrid loader. All I had to do at the end was show him the chain and wow- a rapid fire attitude adjustment. I want a horse to self load- important for many reasons. All my horses self load. It's almost dangerous to leave my ramp down, because they want IN...good things happen when you go some place...carrots, apples, lots of scratches.

And drive CAREFULLY! Get in the back, listen to the noises. Have someone drive you around. You will see pretty quickly that it's not a great place to be. Brake slowly, don't leave clanking chains, reduce dust, no smells, no wasps (seriously! check for them!) They are caught in there, and horses get scared if they can't get away. So don't scare them if you can help it.

Good Luck. I know (truly!) how frustrating it is. The poster that said commented about the need to load for their safety is right on. A ER trip for colic surgery should not be negotiable. Good Luck!

showhorsegallery
Jul. 18, 2012, 12:27 AM
I recently had to reschool my horse to get in the trailer. He would have none of it. I had someone behind him with a long lead and when he put a foot on the trailer, then shot back out, she nailed him with the lead rope. Boy was he surprised!
So we got him going in - but just as quickly bolting out.

So I parked the trailer (with truck attached) in his field. Put breakfast lunch and dinner in a hay net in the trailer and left it open. The first night, he didnt get in to have dinner until the wee hours of the morning. When I would peek out the window late at night, he would be wandering around looking at his dinner inside, or standing by the trailer just looking at it.

Gave me some guilt but I got over it.

The next day was better. After a couple of days, he was going in and out effortlessly on his own.

A few weeks later, we needed to load him for a trip to the vet. Put the halter and lead on, had the friend behind with the long lead line and he just cruised in AND he stayed in. Sure was glad we had worked out the loading before the vet appt or we would never have gotten him in. We dont do a lot of hauling, so I'll have to park the trailer out there occasionally so he remembers his lesson about loading.

I was going to recommend this. Try feeding your horse in the trailer for a few days. Make the trailer a happy place. I bet it would do wonders.

I've also found that if I know my horse is going to load without issue she will. If I have a concern in my head about it than she won't. Confidence matters.

Cameraine
Jul. 18, 2012, 02:12 PM
Feeding my mare in the trailer never really did alot to help with the issue. For example: Last summer I had my older trailer that we use only for hauling non-living things around parked in the main pasture. Both horses would hang out inside the trailer during the worst parts of the day for heat rather than in the run-in shed. And they would hop on the trailer to eat.

So its not a matter of her being comfortable in the trailer. After we got the new trailer(The old one was a 2hrs straight with mangers. As one other poster said WORST CONFIGURATION EVER! And I will never own another like it) she walked on with little fuss after working with her on it for a day or two. Veruses the other trailer that she only ever loaded on once the entire year I had it.

As to the poster who said just hack her to the schooling trial. Its not that safe to ride on the road I was leading her on. Only did it because A. it was already 9pm and needed to get her home, and B. my husband trailed us in the rig with the lights on and flashing. And I led her, didn't ride, safer that way. Plus it doesn't solve the problem for when I take her to venues further away. Thank the Gods she didn't try this crap in Lexington, VA last spring as its 5hrs from home.

As to the poster(s) that were talking about the rope behind her butt. Tried that, she either plants and refuses to move, or breaks away. I've learned that the more of that kind of physical pressure I put on her the more she just mentally tunes out. The only thing she really responds to in that kind of pressure and release is the chain over the nose. Eventually she gets tired of it dragging on her head and she walks forward/on the trailer.

I've narrowed it down to the mare doesn't think she has to listen to me and she's extremely subtle about her tries for dominance and I wasn't looking for the little tries which added up eventually to the non-loading. Now I'm watching for them. And I need to park the trailer in different places on my property. I usually have it parked in one place and that's where she was always loaded from. She was happy and comfortable there, but when I took her somewhere else and tried to load her she was upset because it wasn't where she usually gets loaded so she figured she didn't have to load.

As for the poster who asked about the trailer lights. Yes my trailer has interior lights but they weren't working that night. In between the last time I trailered my horse and this time my DH took the trailer on a 4wheeling trip and hauled two 4wheelers in it. On that trip the wiring got damaged for the interior lights(something DH *GLARE* did not mention until I was trying to load up that evening,) Something he is SOOO going to fix this weekend.

On the flip side of that issue I have loaded my mare in to the trailer without the lights on before as prep for just this occurance and she didn't give me any problems. But again this was with the trailer parked in its usual spot.

I am going to change up its parking for a few days, load, unload, then move it again, do the same and then take her down to a friends and do loading over there. I have another schooling trial at the same venue next week at the same time so I'll let you guys know how it goes. I did do loading practice with her on Monday and she gave me crap the first time or two, taking about a minute to decide to get on, but she leaped on the last two times. I've also started backing her off the trailer vices letting her turn around and walk off. That gives me more of a dominance over her as she moving away from me rather coming towards me. I didn't do this previously because she got really worked up and upset about backing off and would just fly backwards off the trailer. I wanted her more relaxed so I let her turn around. I made her back off the last time I did practice and she was easier about it. So we'll see what we see next Tuesday.

Neigh-Neigh
Jul. 23, 2012, 03:46 AM
NOT

Put it over her gums 1 time and she may well decided to load...

Next time trot her a** all the way home and ask her to get back on trailer...ship her butt the 2 miles back to venue...hack for 10 minutes and see if she has the where with all to decide to ride home!!!!!!!!!!!!

I watched 2 gals one day not long ago go thru the same thing and they did all of the above suggestions, I politely asked after 40 minutes if they would be offended if I helped.
They said have at it.
I gave them 2 lunge whips and put the chain over horses gums (it was on his nose) told them NOT to hit him but let him know they were armed..Yes, he took 1 look felt pressure and walked on calm as could be. They left with plans to practice again there the next day...........his history by the way was almost identical to OP's.

Damn. I've always loved and respected everything you've said, but I'm telling you now; I had an appy (foster horse) that would have killed all 3 of you, if you'd done this to him. He was a saint, until he decided he wasnt going to do something. I only saw his bad side once, and it was at the trailer. Me, thinking he'd be at least curious and willing (as he was about everyting), confidently led him to the trailer. I was in the ER 10 minutes later. Lol.

Cameraine
Jul. 23, 2012, 09:09 AM
Neigh-Neigh, as to your post. Yeah my mare generally if you start pushing too hard she'll just shut down mentally. She'll plant her body, refuse to move an inch and pretty much tune everything and anything out, and if you push past that she starts refusing in a violent fashion. We once got her 3/4's of the way on to the old trailer, my husband leading, me tapping her with a lung whip. She planted, refused to move and then she'd had it. She pulled back, hit the end of the lead and slammed her head against the security bars on the inside and broke the trailer window behind the bars. So we don't do the lunge whip anymore.

Update: Before parking the trailer where I usually park it I did loading practice with Her Highness. She would get on every time asked after a few seconds of stalling at the trailer door. But she got on the trailer in a relaxed, non-anxious, not upset way and backed off the same way each time.

Then I moved the trailer to it's usual parking spot. She walked on right behind me no fuss, no stalling. Ooookay now I see where our disconnect is. She's perfectly happy to get in if the trailer is parked in it's routine spot. But if it's moved she see's this as an afront to her well ordered routine. Her: OMG! That flower wasn't there before, and that weed is out of place. Nope not getting on. So solution? I am going to park the trailer in different places in the pasture and make her load in those different places. Plus if the weather isn't horrible tomorrow the local Pony Club is doing another evening schooling trial. So we will go extra early and use it as a trailer loading training day unless she is super good and then we'll do the show as well. Wish us luck!

gabby.gator
Jul. 23, 2012, 09:46 AM
good luck to you!!

I read this entire thread, and have certainly learned alot :-)........ I have an OTTB who loaded just fine to come home from the track, 3hrs slant w/ramp, then a few months later we took him to hang out @ a show, 2hrs straight w/ramp.

few months after that we TRIED to load him on the same 2hrs straight, he would.not.get.on ~ ~ would. not!! so we had to cancel the farrier appt we were trucking him to.

we worked for days and days after that and tried many of the suggestions here, got to the point of him getting on and eating the bucket of grain, but we never did actually hook it up and take him anywhere, so I'm betting we're going to be back at the beginning when I have to try again, LOL

guess I better borrow a trailer and get started ~ ~ thanks for starting this thread OP :-)

Texarkana
Jul. 23, 2012, 10:00 AM
Can you create a set up so you can feed the mare on the trailer at home? That's been the #1 most effective way I've found to get a horse over loading issues.

Securely park trailer in paddock so it can't roll, turn horse out in paddock, put horse's dinner in trailer. Rinse, repeat until horse sorts out fears of trailer on their own.

Just make sure you have feed in the trailer for a reward the first few times you ask the horse to load on your accord.