OK. I'm going to ask first thing...right up front: PLEASE don't interject your 'do this with your horse to lessen his trailer fears'
My horse is 14 years old. I've had him since he was 3.5 I've done/tried/worked on every possible scenario out there, and he's a BEAUTIFUL loader. No fuss, no muss, self load, do it by myself every time. He's an only horse, and he starts to piaff and stress and snort and sweat when the doors shut. Its NOT going to change. He's been here there and everywhere, and we do go ANYWAY. Yes, with another horse, its much 'better' but I cannot always do that....yes, I've tried various trailers, too..and the scenario is the same.
ANyway...I give that disclaimer, because I just DONT need the typical "let me suggest this' kinda loading suggestions. (and honestly, nor the hauling suggestions...(earplugs (tried it) radio (tried it) etc, etc....)
but I do want to know: do any of you successfully use dormosedan gel for a nervous hauler? I cannot use ace, as my gelding dropped once from this (given for a fourth of july night with BIG overhead fireworks...at a resort that he was at) and I'll never risk it again since he didn't retract for 4 days.
Currently, I am hauling/attending 'trips' and trail rides and stays of more than a few days just for fun, NOT for showing...so, now he could be hauled with meds....This is my ONE guy, he's not going to change, and I'm NOT going to sell him...can anyone chime in on using this for that purpose and how it works for you or your horses/experiences?
thanks so much!
"Indecision may or may not be my problem"
Not sure exactly what your question is. Yes it will tranquilize him. Will it last long enough to get you where you are going? Obviously that depends upon how far the trip is. Will he be able to balance in the trailer to avoid falling? Probably but maybe not.
this of course, is why I am asking. Trying to find those who have used it, and used it expressly for trailering and a bad hauler to get their feedback. Because of course I don't want a fall in the trailer. But I know 'take the edge of drugs' are used, and wanted feedback from those who have utilized this one for that specific need.
I am especially interested in the gel, as I would not have to give the injections, nor keep the cocktail onhand.
I AM going to try minimal dose per weight, and review this 'at home' first to try to tweak it correctly if I do use it for this, but, again: wanted those who do? / have? used it this way to chime in --- I'd really give just about anything for my horse to settle quiet, and not hurt his back every. single. time from prancing and walking the wall and stressing the whole way. So...I'm looking for shared experiences with this kind of hauler and this possible gel.
"Indecision may or may not be my problem"
I agree...you need to do this ahead of time to see how he responds.
I use the xyzaline for a horse who chokes to help her to relax. I think she'd haul alright if I needed to use it.
The dormagel works similarily, and you put it under the tongue so it absorbs thru the mouth.
I would also practice, putting him on the trailer, closing it in, giving him nice hay and not move. Maybe with the gel, and without.
I know you have tried everything, but I had a horse who freaked when the doors shut, and we spent weeks, loading, unloading, and progressed to loading, shutting the doors for 1 minute, until we finally got to the point the doors could be shut and we could move. Months it took to de sensitize him.
Maybe using a sedative could help initially in your 'training'.
I would experiment with dosages both while in his stall, and also while closed up in the trailer. In other words, the amount to dose in his stall might not be the same when he is under stress.
I am not a big fan of trailering while sedated, although a light, take the edge off is a whole different sedation than head hanging, feet spread trying to balance.
if you haul completely drugged, please take precaution to protect your horses face. and wrap up legs really well, even protecting cornet bands
I had to haul a horse for someone who needed to be almost completely drugged
I went to a fabric store and found this stuff almost like neoprene. they said: people use it for the inside roof of cars. I cut it out in the shape of a horse face. covering the front of the face, around the eye and cheek bones, and over the pole. then cut two ear holes and put velcro fasteners under throat latch and jaw. I double up on the material for the forehead and down the front of the nose..
this thing stays put REALLY well, and is VERY protective. and the horse doesnt even know its there, doesnt bother them a bit
I think I can find some pics...
here ya go, my mare is modeling
it actually worked so well, that I use it on my mare all the time now, just for extra protection, and dont even use the bumper anymore