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Traveling to a clinic?

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  • Traveling to a clinic?

    I have decided to do a clinic down in GA in December. My concern is for my horse.... He loathes the trailer. He has only traveled approximately 10 miles up the road and back. He also hates to be stalled. He is as much of the 24/7 as he can get and if weather gets nasty, he has the aisle of the barn left open for his run in.

    From my understanding there will be turnout with the stall, and it is about a 5-6 hour trip down from NC. I already have him on pop rocks daily, succeed, as well as u guard. Oh--if he gets to ticked off while in the trailer, he will kick. I do have kick chains, I have never used them as having a buddy with him (which my friend and I plan on hauling together) he tends to be okay, but this is a longer distance.

    Any advice for us? Ideally I would love to have him doped up for the whole trip (and valium for me because I will be worried the whole trip about him), but that is not possible, or is it?

  • #2
    If you own a trailer take him for short rides as often as you can, increasing the length.
    Forget the kicking chains.

    Same thing with stalls.
    Put him in for an hour with hay and a buddy in the next stall and start increasing the time.

    Both are life skills a horse needs to learn
    I wasn't always a Smurf
    Penmerryl 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.


    • #3
      You can work now to start acclimating him to being stalled. Get him comfortable in stalls at your place, then take him to friends' barns if possible and get him used to walking off the trailer and walking into a strange stall and hanging out for a bit.

      Also, if you've only traveled 10 miles, I'd guess it's mostly local roads? Take him out for trips that are an hour or two long, on highways. You may find he settles in more once on the highway than he does on the short trips. You may also find that the more trips he takes, the better he settles.
      "The [poster] was deliberately vague. It confused people. They started eating brownies and drinking gin and tonics. Welcome to COTH!" - TheHorseProblem


      • #4
        I've used an herbal aromatherapy for a horse that became nervous in the trailer called Rescue Remedy. I would also suggest you go on some field trips with him before the clinic if possible. Talk with your vet as well, there are some sedatives you could give him if he were to get really upset on the trailer, and personally I'd rather do that than have a horse get hurt. Some horses do settle once on the open road, and in fact I've seen a long trip make them better for the short hauls. If I remember correctly, my vet prescribed a low dose of sedivet for the horse I mentioned above before we discovered the Rescue Remedy.


        • Original Poster

          Originally posted by carolprudm View Post
          If you own a trailer take him for short rides as often as you can, increasing the length.
          Forget the kicking chains.

          Same thing with stalls.
          Put him in for an hour with hay and a buddy in the next stall and start increasing the time.

          Both are life skills a horse needs to learn
          I agree these are life skills. Last year, we did 5 months boot camp at my instructor/trainer's. He lived there, learned to load (albeit we still are working on that, it just takes me and another), and learned how to hang out on a high line. He still has a ways to go, I guess I need to just incorporate these more on a daily basis now. Would you do the kick chains in the stall? He will kick the stall too, I really don't want him kicking down the host's barn (provided he can't work out the stall thing). I guess I should just wait to see how the stalling practice goes.

          As for trailer, that isn't a problem, I have one I bought because of his claustrophobic issues he has. But the buddy usually helps out with that. I guess now for one of my weekly lessons, my instructor/trainer, will go on the road with us :-). She already plans on having my friend and I haul to her place for a lesson at least once a week.

          Drugs are a good thing. I will keep the sedivet name on hand. I do have Ace, but that doesn't do much for him. If he gets the least bit anxious, he wakes right up.

          He really has come a long way. He was such a homebody when I bought him. I try to get out at least once a month somewhere, guess my somewhere will be further away from home the next couple of months.


          • #6
            meh, you'll be bored as you cruize down I85 and eventually he'll chill out.
            Snag some back flower remedy sleep aid spray from GNC and give him 5-6 spritzes on his gums each time you stop to pee or get gas. Wet down his hay, and start electrolytes 48 hours in advance.

            I do 5 hour hauls with my boy 3-4 times a year. Once you've done it a few times you'll realize it's much easier than short hauls.
            chaque pas est fait ensemble


            • #7
              My sensitive horse learned the bootcamp way -- she went from California to Florida, some of it alone. Before that she'd been a homebody, rarely traveling (never alone!), never stalled, and everything was arranged her way.

              You've got excellent advice on helping your horse adjust. I just want to reassure you that sometimes our horses can surprise us by settling down and accepting the inevitable when it becomes clear after a couple of hours.

              Hope your clinic is fantastic!


              • Original Poster

                Thanks all :-). I guess I need to get my deposit in if I am going then. Now to just make sure my DH can fend for himself and the kids during a schoolweek--lol!


                • #9
                  I would put horse in the trailer everyday and take him for a drive--feedstore, grocery store, lunch. Part of trailer training is standing still when the trailer is still.
                  Daily rides in the trailer should be part of his training as well as the manners aspect-loading/unloading without fussing and standing quietly in the trailer even when it is not moving.