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  1. #1
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    Default Kicking and Pawing in the Trailer

    What are some safe ways to prevent a horse from kicking or pawing in the trailer?



  2. #2
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    Aug. 16, 2008
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    Depends. pawing doesn't bother me. I just let them. they can't do any damage in my trailer. I might make them stand in there for an extra long time LOL.

    Kicking while driving.... It's been awhile since I had a bad actor. Hitting the brakes when they act up is a good thing. I've had and heard of success with that. They have to spend time standing up and don't have time to kick.
    Is he just being a brat, or is he kicking at another horse?
    Haul him loose for awhile, if you have a large enough trailer. Same principal... he's got to stand. It's all safe, if you have a safe trailer, IMO.

    Kicking while standing... and he'd spend a lot of time on the trailer. Or maybe find a large enough area, parking area, field, lane, riding ring? and sit in the pickup with him back there with his hay and whatnot. If he starts kicking, start driving and hit the brakes.



  3. #3
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    Aug. 7, 2005
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    Had a large pony once who kicked, bucked, tried to rear, etc. in the trailer while it was moving. Just a couple of times of tapping the brakes when she'd act out cured her.
    If it's while the trailer is still I think the idea of sitting in the truck on ready sounds good.
    Every time you get a kick, jerk forward a foot and stop. Bet that'll do it.
    You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.



  4. #4
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    He had a bad trailer accident years ago before I bought him so he cannot haul in a normal narrow stall (he panics and scrambles and tries to lay down whenever we hit a bump or turn). I have a 3 horse slant and I have removed all dividers. He is tied at the front but has the whole trailer to himself. He stands with his butt against the door, his left leg up and just kicks, kicks, kicks. It's not HARD, he's not angry or fighting, I think it's just a bad habit and he just wants to get off LOL.

    He also paws, which normally I don't care, but he is striking the front wall of the trailer while doing it.

    And of course both the door and the front wall have no liner - it is just steel with no way to attach any kind of lining.

    He has hay and eats it. I guess he can multitask LOL.

    When hauled with a buddy, he gets two stalls and pretty much acts the same way. So having a friend doesn't stop the behavior.

    I'll have to try the stop/start. That might work. Although he's a savvy old campaigner and it wouldn't surprise me if he figured out a way to circumvent that LOL.



  5. #5
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    I have been eagerly awaiting responses to this. Grey kicks the trailer pretty hard. You can't really blame him, he's been trailered 5 times in his life and it's always been to somewhere new and unfamiliar. He's a little claustrophobic, and the experience is relatively new to him. So, we're trailer training in preparation for the show in August. I'm working up to being able to leave him standing shut in the trailer alone eating his lunch. But I digress... you can read about my issues elsewhere

    In your case, the starts and stops may work as long as they aren't abrupt. I've done that to campaigners who got grouchy and bouncy. In fact, I've braked pretty hard at times . But you have to know your horse.



  6. #6
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    Jun. 18, 2003
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    [QUOTE=Tiffani B;4204273]I have a 3 horse slant and I have removed all dividers. He is tied at the front but has the whole trailer to himself. He stands with his butt against the door, his left leg up and just kicks, kicks, kicks.

    Does depend on why, afraid / claustrophobic or ticked off & impatient - since you gutted the trailer try turning him and letting him ride backward - up to you maybe worth the try
    Risa



  7. #7
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    Jan. 14, 2002
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    Mr. "Bruce Lee" Blondie is a trailer-kicker.

    I tried kick chains. He didn't care.

    I tried breeding hobbles. He learned to stand with one foot forward so he could kick with the other.

    I tried jerking the trailer. Again, he didn't care.

    Finally, I built myself a kick-pad, and it goes in behind him after I fasten the butt bar, but before the ramp goes up.

    If he kicks, he's much less likely to hurt himself or the trailer.

    It's a little inconvenient, but not as inconvenient as pulled shoes, sore legs, and dented trailers.

    When we hunt in the "winter", I sometimes leave it flat on the ground by the trailer so I can jump down onto it rather than the hard ground when we're done
    Approved helmet: Every time; every ride.
    "When a sport gets to be predictable it ceases to be fun." - RAR's wise brother



  8. #8
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    Are kick chains and hobbles safe to haul in? I'm worried about him losing his balance. Is it not a big deal?



  9. #9
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    I wouldn't use them.
    I think the mat idea or letting him lose sounds like a good idea, as well as braking short when he does something wrong.



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiffani B View Post
    Are kick chains and hobbles safe to haul in? I'm worried about him losing his balance. Is it not a big deal?
    I wouldn't use those either.

    Please do understand those that are telling you to use your brakes for this problem don't mean to slam on brakes. You would barely tap the brake for a fraction of a second, it shouldn't even reduce your speed any. If it makes you nervous try it first without the horse.
    You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiffani B View Post
    Are kick chains and hobbles safe to haul in? I'm worried about him losing his balance. Is it not a big deal?
    I'd be wary of the chains and hobbles while moving. I like the kicking mat or something... also I like the idea of letting him loose in your 3 horse. If he's tied where he can't put his butt against something, he's hanging by his halter. I've heard and had horses prefer to haul standing backwards, just be careful about having a hay net if it's something he might turn and kick at. Do it without hay and later add some on the floor. Mats can be added. It just takes someone with the tools and know how and a few $$$, of course.



  12. #12
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    Sep. 25, 2008
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    Any other suggestions?? My guy starts kicking as soon as he is loaded and continues til we are moving. He does not nor is allowed to stand on the trailer for any length of time for fear of injury or destroying my trailer. Once we are moving he is great...no kicking. It is almost like his way of saying- are we there yet? But wow..how annoying and very embarassing.
    I have tried the quick hit of the brakes...no change. I do know his previous owner trailered him backwards in her slantload but I do not feel comfortable doing that. I guess he will figure it out in time.



  13. #13
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    Jan. 5, 2009
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    Hobble him in the trailer and leave him there until he realized he cant kick and stops throwing a fit (make sure you park the trailer in the shade). A couple times standing in the trailer and having to wait will teach him some manners.

    This is what we did with my guy.
    --Luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity--



  14. #14
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    I have an open stock and the first time I trailered Jay he almost destroyed it

    I had him tied to the front left tie and he shifted his butt toward the right rear of the trailer and just kicked and kicked and KICKED. There's no divider so he had plenty of room to swing those legs.

    He's gotten better with time but I've found not tying him helps. If we're going on a long haul I leave him loose and he usually rides backwards. If I go on short rides sometimes I tie him just so he knows he has too in case I haul 2.

    I've also tapped breaks and at my worse pulled over and had a "discussion" with the man.



  15. #15
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    I'm always nervous with a loose horse in the trailer. I guess my fear is they'll have their head down to eat hay and I'll have to slam on my brakes or something, no matter how carefully I drive you never know... I feel like, if their head is up, they can balance better. Am I just paranoid?

    I'm willing to try it. I'm also going to see about adding some kind of boards or mats to the front wall and inside of the door. I have to replace one of the sidewall mats from a DIFFERENT horse kicking through them (UGH!) and I was going to use 1/2" oak boards at "kicking level". Maybe I can figure out a way to add that. Hmmm....



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiffani B View Post
    He had a bad trailer accident years ago before I bought him so he cannot haul in a normal narrow stall (he panics and scrambles and tries to lay down whenever we hit a bump or turn). I have a 3 horse slant and I have removed all dividers. He is tied at the front but has the whole trailer to himself. He stands with his butt against the door, his left leg up and just kicks, kicks, kicks. It's not HARD, he's not angry or fighting, I think it's just a bad habit and he just wants to get off LOL.

    He also paws, which normally I don't care, but he is striking the front wall of the trailer while doing it.

    And of course both the door and the front wall have no liner - it is just steel with no way to attach any kind of lining.

    He has hay and eats it. I guess he can multitask LOL.

    When hauled with a buddy, he gets two stalls and pretty much acts the same way. So having a friend doesn't stop the behavior.

    I'll have to try the stop/start. That might work. Although he's a savvy old campaigner and it wouldn't surprise me if he figured out a way to circumvent that LOL.
    drive better--- sometimes it becuase people will drive trialers like cars
    so horse loses balance what you think is a kick probably isnt unless you have cctv in the back you dont know,, so go wider on corners and dont slam the breaks on at the last minute think when your driving a horse trailer



  17. #17
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    How do you know he's being bad or is claustrophobic or scared, etc? My big grey TB was a perfect NIGHTMARE in the trailer-I thought all of those things about him. I thought I'd train him to be good...I'd put him in, give him a carrot, take him out. Short spans of time in there, rewards, take him out. Weeks of this. Then I progressed to driving him around my barn yard with his escape door open, my head out the truck window, telling how very good he was being. Once around, give a carrot and let him out. More weeks of this. Then to the super market (2 miles) a carrot when we got there, home again. More weeks of this. (call me insaaaaane, I was truly losing my mind) He had gone thru 3 dividers. I had bought him a new airy trailer, I was ready to get him a ride in a stock trailer to see if he rode free if he'd be better. Tried the hobbles once at a friend's rec-that was a VERY VERY BAD IDEA. Long story short, the horse had EPSM and when he was in the small space of a trailer (or stall) his muscles cramped and he fought to get free. He could not help it. Once I changed his diet guess what, his trailer behavior went away. Unless I wanted him to stand on there while I walked a cross country course-then he needed out. My point is, please don't assume he's being bad.
    I saw a horse at an event last weekend who had a kick chain on 1 front leg because he's a paw-er. Funny thing tho, when his girl was away, he pawed with his other foot!
    One trick I pulled on an old pawer was to sit out of his sight with a long dressage whip. Each time he pawed I'd sting that leg with the whip. He learned the right answer in 2 short sessions and NEVER pawed again in his 24 year life.
    Oh, one more thing, I got some padding made for my trailer. This was fantastic-Kept him safe, protected my trailer and made the constant bashing quieter! Click on the link and scroll down to trailer padding. It is a wonderful company and a great, great product. I still have the pad on one side of my trailer stall and my new horse thinks it is just swell. The pad is now 8 years old and unscathed.
    http://www.dandyproducts.net/large.html



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by goeslikestink View Post
    drive better--- sometimes it becuase people will drive trialers like cars
    so horse loses balance what you think is a kick probably isnt unless you have cctv in the back you dont know,, so go wider on corners and dont slam the breaks on at the last minute think when your driving a horse trailer
    Um, no. I am one of the most careful drivers around. He is not losing his balance.

    He is KICKING. No question. He does it rhythmically, fairly constantly, and when we are on smooth pavement going in a straight line.



  19. #19
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    Dec. 14, 2008
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    Hi Tiffani-my guy also had a nasty accident as well in a straight load. He now only hauls in a stock trailer. He used to kick in the trailer when shipped in a straight/slant load but has not since being put in a stock trailer. I do haul him with a buddy, but if he were alone I would let him go loose. More than likely, he will ride backwards...

    And as someone once described to me, butt bars and chest bars do jack for balance. Horses want to spread there legs and lean away from the movement the trailer is making. And they come off a trailer less tense and stressed if they are the type that cannot handle confinement. The bottomline is, accidents happen everyday and I don't think hauling him loose is anymore dangerous. Maybe just the contrary....



  20. #20
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    Our dressage mule came to us with hobbles for trailering. He paws like mad. I did not use them for the first few years then finally tried them. He still paws but not nearly so bad. I only use them on occasion as I hate to hobble a horse in a trailer. But they do work (if your horse is used to them).
    HOWEVER...
    Last weekend we hauled the mule in our straightload. I pushed the divider over to make it a slant, it was a long haul. The mule was pawing and rocking around. He became quiet and rode along happily. I was suspicious and peered hard into my rearview mirror. HE HAD TURNED AROUND IN THE TRAILER AND WAS FACING OUT OVER THE BACK DOORS! Of course I nearly threw up as I was getting off the freeway. He popped his tie and was able to turn all the way around. I unloaded him in a parking lot and re-loaded him. He started pawing and rocking again. I learned this way that he trailers much better facing backward, confirmed by contacting the original owner! Now I need to buy a stock trailer or reverse slant!



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