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)
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
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.
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) .
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).
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"
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?