Without some strong handling. Friend is visibly traumatized by handling (ie: thumping on belly w/leadrope knot, dressage whip on @$$ when he backs into humans, etc.)
Takes typically 45 minutes or more to get this critter on. And stay on. Backs off FAST and doesn't care who's there. Hence dressage whip.
Tell me.. Would you ever ship him again for her? I feel like a horsebeater because last time poor friend cried once we got him on. I felt awful. On the one hand I know she needs him shipped occasionally, but on the other I feel that she is upset because of the handling this horse requires to get on. And she's too sweet to say, but I'm suspecting she resents the handling required. And she *will not* discipline him. So either we dont' ship, or I have to get firm.
WWYD? I'm tempted to tell her now before the need arises again, that I'm uncomfortable shipping her horse. This is complicated by the fact that she pays me WAY too much to do this (I refused the cash but found it in my console when I got home last night). So if I try to be proactive, I don't want to appear unappreciative of the cash. But I'd rather she kept her money and avoided any hard feelings... feelings which I have yet to hear her express. It's just my intuition gnawing at me, and I know her philosophies.
Minutia, I know. but I appreciate any input. Or diplomatic ways to extricate myself from this. I love this friend and hate feeling torn like I am.
Can you park your trailer at her place a few weeks before the haul date, and tell her to practice daily? Tell her you'll haul him, gladly, if he loads easily, but otherwise it's not worth it to you to potentially damage your friendship over a few dollars. You don't like to traumatize her, you don't like to whale on her horse, and you don't like the frustration it all brings you.
I would guess her leaving you "too much" money is her way of acknowledging that her horse is a PITA. She would probably appreciate the opportunity to fix that.
It sounds like you don't mind hauling horse, but you feel bad for friend.
What friend has are three issues:
1) she's dependent on others for rides
2) she has a horse who doesn't load well (probably because he doesn't get much practice)
3) she doesn't have the stomach for tactics to get horse on trailer.
Were I in your shoes and this were a good friend, I'd just talk to her....like you did here. "Friend, I am totally happy to haul your horse....but I feel like a monster when I'm the one who has to load him. Why don't we schedule a day or two a month and I'll come out and we'll work on loading so it's not such a big deal?"
And then do that...when you're not in a rush to get somewhere. Shouldn't be that hard. And a dressage whip hardly constitutes crying. Goodness.
Sounds like poopsy is spoiled.
A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.
I would have a talk with ehr and suggest that she spend some money NOW and have a good trainer get this horse loaing properly and without a fuss. It can be done, i do it all the time. Remind her that the horse is a danger to others as well as what if she HAD to move the horse SUDDENLY and RIGHT NOW, i.e. a hurricance, flood or he was ill, what would she do? Tell her to be PROACTIVE and solve the problem now. And then step away.
Tell her exactly what you said in your post, that you're uncomfortable shipping her horse. Not to mention the wear and tear on your trailer and truck to do so. I hauled a horse for a friend of mine who is a known bad loader and I had just a smaller two horse straight. Fortunately, he must prefer those to roomy 4 horse slants because he stepped right in no problem. However, I digress. I really didn't want to haul him because of his loading issues and said I just didn't think it would work but agreed anyway. I know this doesn't help you but if you're honest up front, that is the best policy.
Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert
Yup, I've been through that. With one, it wasn't so much that owner was upset, more that owner understood that the handling was necessary but was happy to have me do it rather than do it herself. I told her "next time, you load the horse." She has not asked for a ride since. If you are truly uncomfortable loading her horse, not because of what is happening to the horse but because of the way she reacts, just tell her you don't mind hauling the horse, but are uncomfortable loading the horse.
I'm really straight forward and never sugar coat anything. (which is sometimes NOT a good thing! giggle)
If it were my friend I would seriously say, "Dude. It's not my job to teach your horse to load and today was a waste of my time. Teach him to load saftely and quietly before you ask agian."
And then I would say, "Next time, I'm charging per parked hour. So make sure you've done your homework."
And honestly, that should not shock her. She should already know deep down that she's got some homework.
BS like that ticks me off if it is on my time.
I suppose I'm terrible, but I refuse to haul anyone else's horses, then it gets me out of situations like that. So, I agree with the others say what you just said, and recommend that he needs a good professional to teach him to load, and the day to do that is not the day he has to go some where!!!
We used to bqard together. She's used my trailer exactly as suggested before to 'train' him. I believe now, she only practiced getting him on the ramp, never closing him in.
Also have discussed the 'what if an emergency' situation. She doesn't get it.
I wont' be rude to her and simply say 'no'. She deserves more of an explanation than that. I do believe she will get a gift cert to Smartpak for the amount she paid me. She cared for my dogs while DH was in the hospital, so my shipping her horse was my chance to repay her kindness. I certainly was not expecting to be paid to ship her guy, regardless of his PIA status.
Good call to whomever reminded me he may hurt himself, or me, or my rig. As it is, took 3 of us to get him on: She stood at hay net with treats, BM led him on, hung on his face when he tried to back, and I shoved the ramp up sans butt bars the nanosecond he was in place. !@#$% tried to back out with the ramp half up, but I wasnt' having it. So, yeah.. I guess we were lucky no harm came to anyone/ thing.
She did ask if she could borrow my trailer, but I'm just not comfortable with that due to insurance issues (Trailer's only covered by MY shippng vehicle). Plus I'd hate it if she inadvertently damaged it... Her DH is a bit of an equine ignoramus, but not above pointing fingers to others when his lack of knowledge gets him in trouble.
Rambling now. If anyone else has more contributions, please share. Like the exact phrasing I should employ to tell her this is the last time I'm shipping her guy.
I like Buddyroos comment, with the addition that you dont like to haul him when hes such a PIA to load. Teach the friggin horse to load (not you but friend) and then haul all you want. You dont wanna get hurt, you dont wanna get Dobbin hurt. End of story.
I watched someone trying to force load a horse that woudlnt load. Both horse and handler did backflips on asfalt. At the same time. Both landed on their backs BTW. It wasnt pretty and neither we re walking very well the next week.
Drugs are your friend.
“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker
I'm sure she would have felt worse had the beast managed to flatten you with the ramp.
You've repaid the favor.
Now you need to have a discussion with your friend--not when you're in the middle of trying to load the horse--and explain the issues--you and others helping could get hurt, the horse could get hurt, and the rig could get damaged.
And the point about "what if it were an emergency" is well taken.
"It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay
For a good friend, yes I'd haul it again. But I would warn her in advance that I'm going to do whatever it takes to get the damn horse on the trailer in a minimum amount of time... and I don't want to see any tears about it.
Horses should know that loading is not optional, and your friend needs to learn this too. I have no problems cracking a whip on a stubborn horse's backside. Babies, inexperienced, and scared horses require a different approach, of course. We had a hard loader (spoiled horse) at the beginning of show season this past spring. After about 5-6 times of getting loaded the hard way, she now walks right on any of the trailers!
Send her the $ back in the form of the Gift cert. you suggested.
include a note that basically says 'I love you dearly as a friend, Susie Q, but I must admit I don't relish hauling Poopsie. I'm afraid one of us will get hurt. Please take this as notice that I will not be available to haul him in the future. I'm sure you can understand my concerns. I'm hopeful you'll locate a good commercial shipper or trainer to assist you in remedying the situation.'
No one ever said that owning a trailer meant you OWED anyone a ride...,much less a rotten critter that just needs trained, owned by the shy sort that won't hire it done or get it done. Friends don't ask friends to haul their jackasses
I lost a friend last year over a similar situation (guess she wasn't a very good friend). Ex-friend was a novice owner with a herd of racing TB's that she kept at home. Last October when the fires were raging one broke out close enough to her that she felt the need to evacuate. She couldn't drive her trailer, so she called me to help. Long story short, it was midnight, in a dark canyon, attempting to load her rearing 2yr old stud colt when I had enough, and told her she would have to find someone else to help with the others. So that I don't sound heartless, there had been no evacuation orders, and there never were any issued for her area, the fire was a decent distance away. I called her the next day to check on her remaining horses, over a year later I am still waiting to hear from her. The only danger we were in was the danger of her rearing, out of control horses.
To the OP, yes, it would be nice to be able to help your friend teach her horse to load, but you don't need to get hurt doing it or get your expensive trailer banged up in the process.
This may sound like grade school, but I have to say it anyway. PLEASE make sure if you are putting the ramp up that you do not stand behind it to put it up. I had a friend who was helping someone with their horse and next thing that happened was the guy out of the blue stood behind the ramp. The horse came back out and the ramp came down on the guys head. Knocked all his front teeth out and gave him head injuries. If you take one side and stand there it will not happen. Lecture over!!!!!