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Slant Horse Trailer. Human error.

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  • Slant Horse Trailer. Human error.

    Human error in a slant load trailer.

    Had to trailer to the clinic and coming back we got stuck in traffic b/c of the bad incident. It took us an hour to go 1 exit. We felt our horses stumping, but since most of them stump when trailer stops or moves slowly we didn't give it much thought. After 2+ hours we finally started to move and got home. (There was a drive by shooting, so freeway was closed for a while)

    When we got home and opened the trailer we saw a young horse 4+ years nibbling on my mare's side. She was standing in the first slot. The trailer divider was missing one bar and that opening was wide enough for him to reach my mare's belly and nibble on her side. She must have had 50+ quarter size small bites all swollen. Several larger ones with missing hair and skin deep blood, one large one bleeding with a chunk of skin taken out. It happened Tuesday and she still has swelling. I can't put a saddle/syrcingle on her since she is covered with swollen bites there.

    I feel so bad for my sweet mare, I keep seeing nightmares that the poor thing was stuck/locked for almost 3 hours, being bitten and she couldn't do anything about it! When I took her out she was drenched in sweat, her tail all wet! I can't even start to think how I will get her back in to the trailer again...

    I trailered for many, many years and never even thought that this can happen. Those horses were together before and did just fine. The young gelding is a very sweet horse and both of them are barn buddies and friends. But the stop and go slow traffic changed something.

    Please send your warm thoughts of healing to my traumatized mare and be careful and check on your horses white in stop and go traffic!
    Last edited by Dressage Art; Mar. 14, 2009, 11:40 AM.

  • #2
    I always check on the horses when I'm stuck in traffic. If I can, I offer water and fill hay bags.

    I'm confused about how one horse could bite another's belly in the trailer. Was your mare in the first slant spot and the gelding loose behind her? Was he not tied or locked in a slant spot?

    Comment


    • #3
      A friend had a young Dale pony yearling in a slant, she evidently fell sometime during the 1 hour trip and a rather nasty mare stomped her to death. Quite a surprise when the trailer back door was opened. She was a lovely little girl.
      "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Simkie View Post
        I'm confused about how one horse could bite another's belly in the trailer. Was your mare in the first slant spot and the gelding loose behind her? Was he not tied or locked in a slant spot?
        I was confused about this as well. This seems to be more of a "make sure your trailer is in good working order, your horses are appropriately secured when trailering, and your stall dividers are not missing a bar" warning than a "slant horse trailer" warning.

        Jingles for your mare.

        Comment


        • #5
          Trailer accidents are not limited to slants. Once I was showing at the VA Horse Center and someone pulled up in a horse box, 4 horse head to head. One of the horses flipped over on the way and died. One of its legs was sticking out the window. Gruesome, blood everywhere. It is a risk you take when you put a horse in a trailer that something will go wrong.

          Comment


          • #6
            Sorry about the mare, but how this is a slant load issue, I'm not sure. This is a check on the safety of your trailer, and secure your horses well in transit, story.

            Comment


            • #7
              Sorry for your mare, and I agree, it's confusing how this happened? Was the four year old tied? How did he reach her belly?

              I've had a situation where one of my horses got bitten up on the neck by another, but it was extreme circumstances. My mustang had gotten seriously injured while away on a trip. He'd caught his leg in a barbed wire fence and tore up his hock, lost enough blood that the vet was talking transfusion, and was on 6 (yes 6!) grams of bute daily for it. The second day we had to trailer 45 minutes home so the vet advised us not to give him his bute before the trailer ride but to wait until he got home. He was bandaged in heavy bandages (my home vet said that's the kind they use on broken bones) from hoof to hip for the trail ride, and in a TON of pain - my home vet had to sedate him the next day to even be able to take the bandages off.

              Anyway, got him on my four horse stock trailer, straight loaded with three other horses, he was in the back. He was GRUMPY and in pain. He managed to untie himself (he does it often) and proceeded to take a bunch of chunks out of the neck of my thoroughbred who was trailered next to him, the poor guy.

              But that wasn't the fault of the trailer, and I certainly wouldn't post a "four horse stock trailer warning" about it. It was just bad circumstances and would never have happened if he hadn't untied himself, he wouldn't have been able to take out his frustration on the horse next to him. In fact - I usually use trailer ties that he can't undo, but because of his injury we had him tied more losely and with a lead rope so he could balance a little easier.
              If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
              ~ Maya Angelou

              Comment


              • #8
                Yvetta, I have a slant, and I can't figure out how this happened to your horse. I know that my horse - or any 2nd horse in the trailer - simply could not reach each other back in the area the bar covers. There's a solid piece on the divider by the heads - and I assume that the trailer you were using has that too. The remaining part of the divider is two straight rails, open in the middle, but only an untied horse would be able to reach the belly of his neighbor. My guy has tried to take a sniff of the back and/or side of a trailer-mate as I load him, but once he's in and tied, it would be close to impossible. The only way I can see them hurting each other would be by legs interfering below the divider - which why one wraps, among other things. How did this happen? Was the chewer completely untied? Even then, I'd think he'd have to turn around to do it - although that might be possible if he were untied and in the section next to the door in a slant load.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I know how this can happen without any trailer damage...I hauled 2 horses from the west coast to NJ one year and my youngster got bored and kept slipping his halter to eat my other geldings mane along with biting him. I'm surprised that my older guy did not take the trailer apart at the abuse. This same younger gelding also used to play with his 1/2 bro under the divider on longer trips- they both used to bite each others legs sometimes inflicting bloody damage.

                  The only thing that stopped it was to load Mr. Teeth in the front slot and use a halter with a neck collar attached so he couldn't slip it. A good friend uses a grazing muzzle on her young stallion as he likes to be rude and eat whomevers braids out that he is riding with to shows. (nickname is Jaws) He is a PIA and wears 2 halters.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    The reason why I posted it is that I also would never could imagine that could happen. We trailered in that top of the line trailer for 2 years already (not my trailer) and it was just fine. It took a frustrated horse to figure that one out. So I understand your confusion.

                    The young horse (big draft) was in the last slant that has more room to it. Next time when you'll see 2 horses in the slant trailer - the second horse's head starts from the shoulder of the first horse. The teeth of a second horse are not so far away. The first horse is really squeezed in the first slant partition, so they have nowhere to go.
                    http://www.turnbowtrailers.com/model...Grand-Prix.jpg

                    Not all of the slant trailers have solid dividers and some deviders are quite flimsy & wide apart that some horses can put their mouth thru it. (and in that trailer one of the bars was missing)
                    http://www.affordabletrailersalesco....erhow/9779.jpg
                    http://www.upstatehorsetrailerservic...ges/inset3.jpg
                    http://www.affordabletrailersalesco....erhow/9553.jpg

                    My mare is doing OK. Today the swealing is almost gone and small raw spots started to heal. I'm hoping to ride her next week.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      So sorry to hear about your mare. Glad she is doing better.
                      "Fool! Don't you see now that I could have poisoned you a hundred times had I been able to live without you." Cleopatra VII

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm sorry about your mare!

                        But I thought it might give some slightly humorous perspective: I once arrived at the boarding barn, brought my mare out of her stall, and to my utter horror her entire right side was covered in bite marks. There must have been 30 or 40 bites, from little hairless half-moons to slightly worse ones that broke the skin. She looked awful and many of them were tender to the touch.

                        How did it happen? She had been turned out earlier that day. She was in heat. There was a charming gelding on the other side of the fence. She apparently stood next to the fence for hours flirting and getting nipped. The BO was very apologetic and had already put some balm on the worst bites. But she looked horrible for weeks, til the hair grew back.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Excuse me, but WHY would you never expect that?? I'm sorry, I've only trailered (where I was responsible) maybe 30 times in my life, and even I KNOW when you are in stop and go traffic, the horses are fractious, anxious, that is where the crazy [stuff] happens, like wraps coming off, kicking, wounds, somebody getting their halter off, chewing through a lead rope, taking down a divider. You KNOW never to assume anything with horses, you don't anthropomorphosize horses, they have their own, wholly unknown agenda, there is no predcting them, and they ALWAYS will find something to surprise you with, and I am not being cute suggesting that, its a fact that we all have to keep constantly in the forefront [edit] if we want to keep our horses safe in our care. That's it- that's the rule - they will think of something you haven't experienced before, and coming on a BB to share this is just I don't know, what are you looking for, sympathy? Someone to say, gee, I never would have expected it either? If you hear that, they are either full of baloney just as negligent as you are, and that's what I am coming to, that was a negligent haul you made.

                          Maybe you MIGHT not have a problem with your steady eddy if he's alone, but keerist, you don't "assume" anything with horses. Who the hell doesn't check on their horses for three hours in stop and go traffic?? You put on the brake, jump out and run and look at them. If somebody honks or objects, you get aggressive and make them stop and wait you are checking on the safety of your animals, this is halted, or stop and go slow traffic, nobody is going to be inconvencienced if you are sitting going nowhere because of "the incident". Just get out and look, if there's a problem, pull over and take care of the animals. Always, always check on the animals, I don't know, every hour is my inclination, even moving steadily, you stop and check. Everyone, at least everyone I know, knows that stopping, slowing down, changing direction, turning, anything other than straight steady throughway speed stresses your animals. You didn't know that? Now you do. Any change in a trailer stresses your animals. I leave it to you to fill in how your animals will react under stress. And you don't have experience haulting that 4 year old, he's 4 years old, he's a baby, he had a different brain 6 months ago than today, that's like saying, gee, my 2 year old child never behaved like that, yeah, that's because a few months ago, he couldn't speak or walk. No animal is predictable, and there is only one thing you can predict hauling horses, is that a change from steady speed stresses the horses.

                          So now you know. Your mare is chewed up, your youngster is neurotic, and you didn't check on them. What if they needed water and or more hay? What if they were "stumping" because they were losing their wraps?? What if one horse slipped on what was of course a whole lot of manure in those hourse, and has stepped on the other horse's leg and sliced the corontet band? Just tough luck? Just, see you when we get there? Just, gee, that's alot of 'stumping' for horses sitting in traffic. Three hours! You should feel bad. I feel bad for your horses. Your mare was tortured by a youngster for god knows how long, betcha it was more than three hours, and you never even checked. AND YOU HEARD 'STUMPING'. If you hear horses clanging around in a trailer when you are stopped or just rolling, they aren't shifting for footing. If you aren't moving, they aren't shifting around for footing, They are acting up.

                          I feel crazy for even having to outline this. This is the kind of attention I was taught about trailering when I was a teen ager. THis is just about the only thing, other than the mechanics of your rig, that you should be thinking about when you haul. What were you thinking? What do you hope to get from this thread? Feel good posts about "that's ok, I have done it too?, I wouldn't have thought of that either?" to make you feel better? I don't think you should feel better. I think you should feel like a stinker, and like you had a big chunk of horse sense missing that hopefully you won't repeat.
                          Last edited by Moderator 1; Mar. 15, 2009, 08:41 AM. Reason: language
                          Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sorry this happened to your mare....but still trying to work out how, if your gelding was tied, that he could have got to her shoulder, unless the rope was really loose.

                            However, I know you feel bad and even you have written lesson learned - go and check on your horse. I think sometimes we think that it's just about to start moving again, really it's just about to do it, and of course it doesn't. I do hope your mare is OK and that she beats the crap out of that little boy for being so disrespectful!! :-)
                            Last edited by Kate66; Mar. 13, 2009, 11:00 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              He wouldn't have had a loose tie if he had been checked on.

                              He wouldn't have gotted to her shoulder, no, it was her side, her barrell, wasn't it? He wouldn't have chewed on the horse if he had been checked on.
                              Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Carry some tranquilizer when you trailer.

                                An old friend gave me this tutorial when I started trailering!! And expressly for one of the reasons that the OP stated here in her story. Long traffic delays -- accidents. Tough luck if you are traveling to a show that drug tests but given the choices I lean to my horse's safety and explain when you get there.

                                Long waits standing and stomping, pawing, possibly bucking and rocking the trailer -- maybe you're in an accident and have to unload along side a busy road. Just so easy to keep a couple of syringes loaded and in a container under your seat. I label them to prevent misinterpretation, at best.
                                Don't let anyone tell you that your ideas or dreams are foolish. There is a millionaire walking around who invented the pool noodle.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Yeah you're right about the tranquilizer, but the first thing you have to do is actually take the time to pull over. I was with my trainer coming back from a show and we got stuck in traffic. We just pulled over on the side of the freeway every half hour to forty-five minutes to see that everyone was okay. Absolutely no big deal, other than taking the time to do it.

                                  Your post title is misleading. It implies that this situation had something to do with slant loads, when it absolutely does not.

                                  I feel really badly for your poor mare.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Aaaahhhh, now I remember why I stopped coming over to CoTH for awhile, somethings never change!

                                    I really hope your mare is okay and trailers okay in the future.
                                    To ride or not to ride; what a stupid question!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Argyle View Post
                                      I know how this can happen without any trailer damage...I hauled 2 horses from the west coast to NJ one year and my youngster got bored and kept slipping his halter to eat my other geldings mane along with biting him. I'm surprised that my older guy did not take the trailer apart at the abuse. This same younger gelding also used to play with his 1/2 bro under the divider on longer trips- they both used to bite each others legs sometimes inflicting bloody damage.

                                      The only thing that stopped it was to load Mr. Teeth in the front slot and use a halter with a neck collar attached so he couldn't slip it. A good friend uses a grazing muzzle on her young stallion as he likes to be rude and eat whomevers braids out that he is riding with to shows. (nickname is Jaws) He is a PIA and wears 2 halters.
                                      That one comment was worth all the other teeth-gnashing of this thread! <LOL> (and giggling to boot) sylvia


                                      Originally posted by AnotherRound View Post
                                      Excuse me, but WHY would you never expect that?? I'm sorry, I've only trailered (where I was responsible) maybe 30 times in my life, and even I KNOW when you are in stop and go traffic, the horses are fractious, anxious, that is where the crazy shit happens, like wraps coming off, kicking, wounds, somebody getting their halter off, chewing through a lead rope, taking down a divider. You KNOW never to assume anything with horses, you don't anthropomorphosize horses, they have their own, wholly unknown agenda, there is no predcting them, and they ALWAYS will find something to surprise you with, and I am not being cute suggesting that, its a fact that we all have to keep constantly in the forefront of what little brain we may have if we want to keep our horses safe in our care. That's it- that's the rule - they will think of something you haven't experienced before, and coming on a BB to share this is just I don't know, what are you looking for, sympathy? Someone to say, gee, I never would have expected it either? If you hear that, they are either full of baloney just as negligent as you are, and that's what I am coming to, that was a negligent haul you made.

                                      Maybe you MIGHT not have a problem with your steady eddy if he's alone, but keerist, you don't "assume" anything with horses. Who the hell doesn't check on their horses for three hours in stop and go traffic?? You put on the brake, jump out and run and look at them. If somebody honks or objects, you get aggressive and make them stop and wait you are checking on the safety of your animals, this is halted, or stop and go slow traffic, nobody is going to be inconvencienced if you are sitting going nowhere because of "the incident". Just get out and look, if there's a problem, pull over and take care of the animals. Always, always check on the animals, I don't know, every hour is my inclination, even moving steadily, you stop and check. Everyone, at least everyone I know, knows that stopping, slowing down, changing direction, turning, anything other than straight steady throughway speed stresses your animals. You didn't know that? Now you do. Any change in a trailer stresses your animals. I leave it to you to fill in how your animals will react under stress. And you don't have experience haulting that 4 year old, he's 4 years old, he's a baby, he had a different brain 6 months ago than today, that's like saying, gee, my 2 year old child never behaved like that, yeah, that's because a few months ago, he couldn't speak or walk. No animal is predictable, and there is only one thing you can predict hauling horses, is that a change from steady speed stresses the horses.

                                      So now you know. Your mare is chewed up, your youngster is neurotic, and you didn't check on them. What if they needed water and or more hay? What if they were "stumping" because they were losing their wraps?? What if one horse slipped on what was of course a whole lot of manure in those hourse, and has stepped on the other horse's leg and sliced the corontet band? Just tough luck? Just, see you when we get there? Just, gee, that's alot of 'stumping' for horses sitting in traffic. Three hours! You should feel bad. I feel bad for your horses. Your mare was tortured by a youngster for god knows how long, betcha it was more than three hours, and you never even checked. AND YOU HEARD 'STUMPING'. If you hear horses clanging around in a trailer when you are stopped or just rolling, they aren't shifting for footing. If you aren't moving, they aren't shifting around for footing, They are acting up.

                                      I feel crazy for even having to outline this. This is the kind of attention I was taught about trailering when I was a teen ager. THis is just about the only thing, other than the mechanics of your rig, that you should be thinking about when you haul. What were you thinking? What do you hope to get from this thread? Feel good posts about "that's ok, I have done it too?, I wouldn't have thought of that either?" to make you feel better? I don't think you should feel better. I think you should feel like a stinker, and like you had a big chunk of horse sense missing that hopefully you won't repeat.

                                      Goodness gracious. sylvia
                                      Never explain yourself to someone who is committed to misunderstanding you.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        OP, sorry about your mare. Hope she is feeling better. I understand you posted this as you did because it happened in a slant you want to alert folks to the possibilty.

                                        My goodness some people are ranters! Do you really need to "blast" the OP? How about some gentle guidance and information?
                                        Hillary Rodham Clinton - the peoples choice for president.

                                        Comment

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