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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 10, 2001
    Location
    nj
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    8,814

    Question when a normally well loading horse balks at loading.

    used friend's trailer today to go out to a park for a hack. her horse is not a good loader so the plan was that i load my mare (who loads every time) and then to swing by to pick up her mare.
    my mare took one look at that trailer and decided she's not getting on. granted it was v. different than our own trailer, however, she has been on straight loads and slant loads of various types in the past, so it's not like she only knows our trailer. she danced and danced, going up the ramp and backing off, coming off sideways, etc. i did finally get her on, and obviously got her on later after we finished riding, but the experience left me puzzled and concerned. i plan to load her into my trailer tomorrow to confirm she's okay with that and then i think i'll ask the friend whose trailer that was to let me borrow it for a few days to 'practice' loading my mare into it.

    but how crazy is that??? she wouldn't self load, she wouldn't follow me on. just a NO. any explanations?

    (btw, my mare normally self loads into our trailer and at worst with strange trailers i'd have to walk her on but she has ALWAYS followed me)
    http://www.eponashoe.com/
    TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 5, 2003
    Location
    New York/New Jersey
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    3,509

    Default

    Maybe something like a wasp's nest that you didn't notice? Sounds like she was spooking at SOMETHING in there!
    She wasn't running away with me, I just couldn't stop her!



  3. #3
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    Jun. 10, 2001
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    nj
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    Default buffyblue

    i admit when she was acting stupid i thought of all those threads on COTH where people tell how their horse wouldn't load and then it turned out there was a wasp nest or something wrong with the trailer. but no, there was no wasp nest. the floor of the trailer is in fine condition.

    it's a large straight load with a ramp. she's been on smaller ones without hesitation. she normally self loads into her own trailer! i was so puzzled (and upset) over her behavior
    http://www.eponashoe.com/
    TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 29, 2008
    Posts
    3,059

    Default

    Was it dark? The trailer itself, not was it dark outside.

    Is she used to ramps?

    Maybe it smelled funny. Maybe she wanted to sleep in an extra hour.

    Until you can try it again with that trailer, I'd chalk it up to a case of the "just didn't wanna's". If she does it again with that trailer, I'd try to find every little thing that's different about it. At this point, it could have been anything.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2003
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    Massachusetts, USA
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    Default

    I'd check that trailer over from stem to stern. Horses are very sensitive and 'knowing' critters ... and they don't change their behaviors on a whim.
    --Gwen <><
    "Treat others as you want to be treated and be the change you want to see in the world."
    http://www.thepenzancehorse.com



  6. #6
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    Jun. 10, 2001
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    nj
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    Default seven-up

    It was dark green on the inside. I thought about that contrast between outside and inside especially on a bright sunny day.

    Why a case of "I don't wannas' for the first time in 7 years??? This mare will normally follow me through anything...

    Im probably overthinking this. I will check if she loads onto our trailer today and the next time we take friend's trailer I will try loading her on it in advance and see what happens.
    http://www.eponashoe.com/
    TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2008
    Location
    USA
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    435

    Default

    nevermind my previous post, i didn't read that it was a diffrent trailer *oops*.

    my horse loads well on my trailer, but if another person want to trailer in theirs, i have to practice my horse loading in it for like a couple days before.

    he doesn't like different trailers unless he builds up his confidence first in loading in them. the more i hurry him to get in the worse he gets in new trailers.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2004
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    3,237

    Default

    She probably was just unsure and needed time to check it out. You were surprised by her balk and encouraged her on. She was saying "wait mom, somethings different..."

    Sometimes they just need a few minutes to figure it out. It looks different than her trailer, and probably smells like horses she doesn't know very well, not to mention it was dark inside. Scary.

    If you have one that is typically a very good hauler, its usually safe to give them a few minutes to investigate without pushing them.
    Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 29, 2008
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by marta View Post
    It was dark green on the inside. I thought about that contrast between outside and inside especially on a bright sunny day.

    Why a case of "I don't wannas' for the first time in 7 years??? This mare will normally follow me through anything...

    Im probably overthinking this. I will check if she loads onto our trailer today and the next time we take friend's trailer I will try loading her on it in advance and see what happens.

    I've had trouble with trailers that were dark on the inside. That's a possibility.

    As to why she wouldn't wanna? Well, why not? Women are allowed to do that. It's what makes us smarter than men.



  10. #10
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    Mar. 10, 2003
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    Massachusetts, USA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HoofHeartSoul View Post
    ... he doesn't like different trailers unless he builds up his confidence first in loading in them. the more i hurry him to get in the worse he gets in new trailers.
    The horse will resist with as much energy as force being applied to him.
    --Gwen <><
    "Treat others as you want to be treated and be the change you want to see in the world."
    http://www.thepenzancehorse.com



  11. #11
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    Jun. 10, 2001
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    nj
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    Default she loaded today on my trailer

    with no hesitation. On and off several times. So at least I know she has not lost her mind completely
    http://www.eponashoe.com/
    TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique



  12. #12
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    Aug. 30, 2008
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    USA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by caballus View Post
    The horse will resist with as much energy as force being applied to him.
    yep act like you have only 5 mins it will take forever, act like you have forever and it will take 5 mins (or less)

    that is why i don't let anyone else besides me load my horse either, because they usually try to hurry too much and end up stressing him out more thant he would be.

    my technique is always load the head,back out) load the neck,back out,then the shoulders etc etc. until your loading them on and off a couple times comfortably, then leave them longer and longer in the trailer without backing out (gradually) .



  13. #13
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    Jul. 2, 2003
    Location
    Woodland, Ca
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    Default

    Try loading your friends horse into your trailer... maybe her horse isn't a bad loader and it's something about the trailer.



  14. #14
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    Jun. 10, 2001
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    nj
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    Default fourmares

    Quote Originally Posted by fourmares View Post
    Try loading your friends horse into your trailer... maybe her horse isn't a bad loader and it's something about the trailer.
    we did. when she refused and i couldn't get her on for 10 minutes we decided to get friend's on mare first. that took about 15 minutes (). then we tried my mare again and she again refused, danced around, balked. but after 5 more minutes of that she did get on. then when we were leaving the park i tried to load her first and after about 3 minutes of hesitation she got on (first, without the other horse on the trailer).
    http://www.eponashoe.com/
    TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 12, 2007
    Posts
    4,227

    Default

    I went to a show once - just a day show with no stalls. My horse loaded beautifully to go and then it took 4 hours to load him to go home. Same trailer I used for 3 years for him, within sight the whole 3 hours we were there. He has not been a good loader in any trailer since. It's exasperating!

    Even as a trainer I have no advice for you - i just feel your pain. When 16.3 1400# says i am not getting in, he is simply not. He will not be lead, bribed, cajoled, whipped, wanded, tapped, encouraged, chained, spun, backed, etc. I even had one of the "As seen on TV" guys work with him at a clinic - let's just say that episode did not air. Man that guy has a temper - he did most of the "techniques" listed above - not available in stores or endorsed on his web site.

    When he is ready he walks in easy as Pi - but not until - the big JERK!

    "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"



  16. #16
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    Jun. 10, 2001
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    nj
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    Default woodland

    i'm hoping it's just that one trailer that's an issue. she loaded into my trailer yesterday w/o any problems.

    but regarding the loading problems, my gf, whose mare is a terrible loader, was introduced to this technique - you take two pieces of plywood, maybe 3' x 2'. you have two people hold each piece, one person on the side of the ramp, the other person walks up behind the horse and holds the plywood on the level of horse's hocks and rump and just kind of walks behind the horse exerting the slightest pressure with the plywood. her mare walks right on w/ that technique and the person who taught her this has 2 horses it also works on. give it a shot. plywood is cheap

    do you have any ideas what caused your horse to suddenly 'dislike' your trailer?
    http://www.eponashoe.com/
    TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique



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