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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2009
    Location
    Hunterdon County NJ
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    2,894

    Default The Great Trailer loading drama....

    So.... you are at a show or a clinic or some other sort of event. You walk by and you see a couple of folks trying to load a horse that doesn't want to load.

    Do you say something to them, and when? What things have to happen in order for you to decide to say something to the people involved? Does a certain amount of time have to go by? A certain amount of sweat on the horse? A certain behavior maybe horse rears, kicks or strikes out?

    Or do you leave a situation totally alone unless the situation looks really very bad? Very over the line. Very not okay.

    GM was just wrestling with a horse in the USET rotunda a few weeks ago. If anyone else had done that they would be shot. Does who you are matter more than what you do?

    Personally, I've been on both sides of the fence plenty of times with this situation. Over time I've learned more about loading, so over time I've learned more about how to make things work out well. Including when to say no to someone who wants me to help out. Also when to shut up if I see someone else who is having loading problems.

    If the situation is so out of hand that I think I would think to 'stick my nose in' even if it were GM I was watching wrestle with an unwilling horse, then I know things are bad.

    So talk to me about dealing with the difficult situation of seeing someone else doing something with a horse that you might find distressing/object to/feel concerned about.

    Could be trailer loading. Maybe 2 people trying to wrestle a horse to clip it's ears or pull it's mane. Etc.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 2, 2003
    Location
    Woodland, Ca
    Posts
    6,175

    Default

    I'd probably ask if they wanted a hand. If they said "no" I'd walk away.


    15 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2008
    Posts
    2,120

    Default

    I've often asked people if they'd like some help (spoken in a carefully non-threatening, sympathetic, and non-judgmental tone of voice!)... Sometimes they say yes, sometimes they say no. Barring anything abusive or imminently dangerous, if they say "no," then it's walk-away time.
    *friend of bar.ka

    "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"


    4 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2004
    Posts
    6,736

    Default

    I'd stay back a way and watch the train wreck. The horse got on the trailer to arrive at the show...so there's a pretty good chance he'll get on it to get home (evenually).

    Plus, just how many horse skeletons have you seen at show grounds? So, they eventually got on some conveyance.
    "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"


    13 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2006
    Posts
    1,909

    Default

    God had you been there two weeks ago when I picked up my new filly. She is two (just turned), and had never been loaded before. She ties, leads, and picks her feet up somewhat. They aced her before I got there, no help. I figured it could be a challenge but...

    For the love of all that is holy. Reared so high I thought she would go over twice, was kicking too hard to use a butt rope or lock arms... Got loose twice from one of the grooms with a shank over her nose. If some magical horse whisperer had come up and been able to help I would have done cart wheels. Instead it took making basically a chute in a different area and their vet coming with more tranqs, a lot more. And it still took probably an hour. I have never had a horse give the middle finger quite so clearly, although she was justified. She wasn't scared so much (which impressed me) as just not doing it, she told us she knew it was a bad idea!

    I am glad she is home now, and am looking forward to slowly teaching her to load after we learn some other more pressing skills. Really is a sweet filly, but between 3 pro handlers, a vet, and my friend and I (not all at once!) If was a very difficult thing to do. I hope I never have to deal with that ever again and I pity those with problem loaders!

    When my other mare was younger she was quite the worrier. Took three people to pull or cut her mane, a lip chain for shots. Again, sweet girl but had some serious baggage. Now she can have her repro work done without being sedated at all and stands like a lady for everything. But there were some interesting moments on the journey here!
    Last edited by magicteetango; Jun. 2, 2013 at 04:24 PM. Reason: awesome brain blip... typed completely sedated instead. Oops!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    Deep South
    Posts
    14,463

    Default

    I have stepped in several times when horses were placed in danger. One time horsey went over the breast bar and was in danger of damaging lungs/ribs. Second time horsey jumped in to the manger. Third time horsey was being beaten in to the trailer. I tend to get rather strident in these situations and take over until horsey is OK. Probably should not get involved - but you can't watch while a horse gets injured by some dumb idiot's ineptitude. I am generally on the horse's side, and in the situations that do not involve imminent injury I'll pass by. The slackers that cannot be bothered to train a horse to load reliably deserve what their horses hand out.
    ... _. ._ .._. .._


    2 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2001
    Location
    Loudoun County, Virginia
    Posts
    830

    Default

    To answer your question, you should mind your own business unless it's clear that the people are being abusive to the horse, in which case I'd notify show management.

    Otherwise, stay out of it and keep walking. Spectators who "enjoy the show" never help in a situation like that, and can actually exacerbate it if those loading are feeling like the center of attraction.
    Chase's Mom; RIP Dezi 1/99-2/09


    14 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2007
    Location
    Down on the Farm
    Posts
    3,054

    Default

    I try and offer a little advice, if they take it fine, if not fine too, then I wish them luck. If it was something dangerous for the horse I would step in, or contact show stewards, etc.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 21, 2006
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    4,935

    Default

    I stay out of it.

    I have a horse who occasionally acts like he's going to give me trouble getting in the trailer. He always gets on, but sometimes it takes a few minutes. If some well-meaning person ran over and tried to insert themselves into the situation, it would just complicate things. I'd hate that, and I'd ask the person, as politely as possible, to please leave us alone.

    I see people doing stuff with their horses all the time that I'd object to. Well, stuff I'd object to if my horse did it. Like grazing under saddle, or using a human for a scratching post, or dragging a person all over creation on the end of a lead. I don't say a word. Obviously that person likes having their horse do that, so who am I to judge?


    5 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 4, 2010
    Posts
    1,698

    Default

    My sister owned a 1/2 Arab, 1/2 Saddlebred that was a terrible loader until I finally trained him to load using a technique I found in a really good book (Training Your Own Young Horse). But, until I got him trained, he liked to play some serious mind games before he would get on. I confess I hit him with a coat hanger once - it was handy and I was mad. He did immediately load! Also whapped him with a broom once or twice. I know we sound like total hillbillies, but he was a booger and we knew he would load. He just wanted us to make him.

    My point here is...we would often get "experts" stopping by to tell us how to load him. This would only make things worse as they would want to do things that we *knew*, from long experience, would.not.work! So then we would have to argue with the experts and try to load the booger.

    So, I guess I would plead for forbearance unless the situation was completely abusive and, in that case, go for the authorities.

    As for other situations, I try to be friendly and helpful when people seem to need help. So far, it's worked.


    9 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May. 5, 2009
    Location
    Location: Indiana, but my heart is in Zone II
    Posts
    2,591

    Default

    I ask if they need help and if they say no, keep away.
    Come to the dark side, we have cookies


    2 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 21, 2006
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    4,935

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
    GM was just wrestling with a horse in the USET rotunda a few weeks ago. If anyone else had done that they would be shot. Does who you are matter more than what you do?
    .
    I don't read the H/J forum, so I'm not familiar with the incident you're referring to. What happened?



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep. 20, 2005
    Location
    You must never go there, Simba.
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    3,449

    Default

    Generally speaking, mind your own damn business.

    I have a horse that used to be a holy terror to load. He's now a reliable self-loader, but it's taken some time.

    When he was bad, I cannot tell you how truly irritating it was to have everyone and their mother drop by the trailer to offer help/advice/whatever. It's absolutely astounding to me how everyone is suddenly a horse trainer in that situation.

    The key with my guy was to be patient. We put two feet on the ramp, pause, back off the ramp, pause, take three steps up the ramp, pause, etc...

    Getting behind him at all would send him into a blind panic that would have him running backward at mach 30 regardless of what or whom might be standing in the way.

    So...just because you see someone dealing with a tough loader, this is not the opportunity to put your trainer hat on. Assume that whoever has the tough loader is not, in fact, a moron, and move on with you life. Also, thank your lucky stars that your horse loads. Not all of them are baggage free.
    "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
    -George Morris


    5 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2003
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    13,889

    Default

    I stroll up, watch, ask if I can help. It's happened so often I cannot count with likely new parents of a kid with a horse at a show, lesson, trailride, etc.
    I keep a buggy whip with a plastic bag tied to the end and if necessary I test it out on the horse, gently, slowly. Always got the job done.

    I remember a low moment when nobody had trailers and few horses knew how to load and this poor mare was being so harassed into going in (not) - I did not know how to help, at that time, and the horse had to be ridden home.
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


    1 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2010
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    1,425

    Default

    I am really good at teaching horse to load.

    I NEVER intervene in a situation. Unless it is someone I know and they are begging.

    Not worth it. Not safe.

    If it became abusive I would film it or at least get the names and remember them for later.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb. 2, 2003
    Location
    Iowa, USA
    Posts
    2,223

    Default

    Well, I'm not very good at loading horses. I had a really bad wreck inside a closed trailer with a flipped out horse. Ended up with only a broken arm but it was a very long and traumatic event. As much as I think everything's fine and I can say with total bravado "ok now let's all walk into that much-too-small tin can, shall we?? I have no doubt whatsoever that I emanate a certain lack of conviction that once the horse loads that it's a good place for us both to be. I assume all this because none of my horses have ever been good loaders. Which says: it's me. All that self-flagellation aside, I was at a local show (given the above history, first time off the farm in 7 years and , so far, the last time) and the mare was just refusing to get back on that trailer (after what had been such a fun, fun show). We're in the middle of all these trailers, everyone's watching, and it just totally sucked. Please trust me that me and my helper were NOT doing anything remotely abusive, no whips or smacking or anything-- I think the worst sin was we ended up trying a lunge rope around her rump.

    The problem with people strolling by and asking if they could help: they're at the end of a long, tiring show also. They may not really have the time or skills to really help. I let this one young woman try to help and she was completely ineffective and just confusing my horse, and then her teenaged friend joined in and within 5 minutes it became this crowd-sourced event that was so much worse than the status quo. I had to say ok thanks everyone, but we're done.

    Just trying to offer the perspective of someone who could surely benefit from your help, but there's no way for the frustrated, embarrassed horse owner to know if you can actually help or are you just thinking "geez I can do better than THAT idiot because my trainer showed me once!".
    (In the end, we pulled the trailer about a quarter mile away from the show grounds, I walked the mare over, and a very experienced horsewoman helped me load her. I knew this woman so I guess part of what made that work was that I trusted her and her experience. (This does not exclude the possibility that she considered me an idiot, but as long as I didn't know that, all is good LOL)

    Anyway, just hoping you'll understand the aversion someone like me may have when you say: can I help? I'd love if you had a sign on your forehead that says "and yes, I really am qualified!" But in the stress of the moment, you'd rather just be invisible-- and every offer to help comes across as condemnation or ridicule.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2009
    Location
    Hunterdon County NJ
    Posts
    2,894

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HungarianHippo View Post
    Anyway, just hoping you'll understand the aversion someone like me may have when you say: can I help? I'd love if you had a sign on your forehead that says "and yes, I really am qualified!" But in the stress of the moment, you'd rather just be invisible-- and every offer to help comes across as condemnation or ridicule.
    Thanks for that. I am confused by the behavior of people who park themselves and glare at those struggling with the loading process. Surely, they cannot think that glaring is helpful? And as you point out, getting people directly involved when you don't know them (or their 'qualifications) and they don't you, the horse, and the issues involved with both, is really a bad idea.

    I am thinking that the next time I see someone offer to 'help' I will remind them that not the trailer owner,driver nor horse owner nor handler are liable injuries incurred when helpers decided to 'intervene.'


    1 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2004
    Location
    Piedmont Triad, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,159

    Default

    No advice, just a story... Many years ago I had a horse that was a booger to load. We were that last trailer to leave at several 4H shows. Then we learned to show the horse a corn broom. Not a whip, not a stick, not a crop. Just an ordinary broom. Not even touch him with it, or swing it at him. Just hold it and stand at his side. He self loaded every time ... any trailer. We discovered this quirk when we used a broom to sweep the ramp before a loading attempt. we were expecting the usual agony of loading. Were we surprised !!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2001
    Location
    Almost Aiken
    Posts
    2,620

    Default

    MYOB, if you think it's getting abusive (and that's a toughie too) go to show management.

    I also had a horse who was tricky to load. He was fine once there and would come off like a gentlemen, but getting him on just took a little time and patience and quiet.

    I basically had to stand in the trailer asking gently and let him do his hissy-dance - side to side, backing up, planting his feet and being a statue, snorting like he'd never seen a trailer. I know it looked from the outside like I had no clue as to what I was doing, but if you got extra people behind him he'd shut down. If there were implements of any sort waved at him he'd panic and we were done.

    It generally took between 15 and 30 min, and all I did was to limit his movement, keep him facing the trailer, and let him sort it out. He'd suddenly stop, look at me, sigh, and step cautiously on. My trailer was a wonderful old Merhow 2h with a long low ramp, white inside, lovely and airy and bright. When he decided to get on I'd go out out through the escape door pulling the rope around the corner with me, and go around to do the butt bar... once on he never offered to back off before being asked.

    I never minded the people who walked by saying "are you ok?" and were sensible and kept going when I said we were fine. It was the macho types (both male and female) who were SURE I had no clue and were going to "help" whether I liked it or not. They made the process longer because I'd take him away from the trailer to explain while he grazed, and then I had to start all over again.

    So yeah, MYOB please. A quick "OK?" if you must, but then go away if you aren't needed.

    I sure learned to park well away from the center of things!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2005
    Location
    Spotsylvania, VA
    Posts
    12,702

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by oldernewbie View Post
    My sister owned a 1/2 Arab, 1/2 Saddlebred that was a terrible loader until I finally trained him to load using a technique I found in a really good book (Training Your Own Young Horse). But, until I got him trained, he liked to play some serious mind games before he would get on. I confess I hit him with a coat hanger once - it was handy and I was mad. He did immediately load! Also whapped him with a broom once or twice. I know we sound like total hillbillies, but he was a booger and we knew he would load. He just wanted us to make him.

    My point here is...we would often get "experts" stopping by to tell us how to load him. This would only make things worse as they would want to do things that we *knew*, from long experience, would.not.work! So then we would have to argue with the experts and try to load the booger.

    So, I guess I would plead for forbearance unless the situation was completely abusive and, in that case, go for the authorities.

    As for other situations, I try to be friendly and helpful when people seem to need help. So far, it's worked.
    By Jan Dickerson? I had that book, lent it out and never got it back. Her other book "Make the Most of your Horse" is also outstanding IMHO she was under appreciated https://www.chronofhorse.com/article/col-jan-dickerson
    I wasn't always a Smurf
    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.



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