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Training to stand at the trailer

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  • Training to stand at the trailer

    As a spin-off from the tacking up at the trailhead thread, for those who encouraged training vs. retail therapy as means of maintaining control....... When dealing with a horse who gets off the trailer and is ready to hit the trails with or without the rider, what were your techniques for training the horse to stand quietly at the trailer?

    Horse is a saint at home; has nice ground manners, does all those yield-to-pressure exercises, etc. Horse is not mean or stupid. When horse is excited, it is because she is insecure. But at the trailhead, she is too excited to follow my attemps at reassuring leadership. :-)

  • #2
    Take her and a quiet buddy.....go to the trail head...tie them to the trailer with some nice hay in a net...Take out your chair, get your drink and read your book. After a few good hours of standing nicely and eating hay- load up and go home.
    Rinse and repeat ;-)
    Then take your horse and do it solo.


    • #3
      Originally posted by kasjordan View Post
      Take her and a quiet buddy.....go to the trail head...tie them to the trailer with some nice hay in a net...Take out your chair, get your drink and read your book. After a few good hours of standing nicely and eating hay- load up and go home.
      Rinse and repeat ;-)
      Then take your horse and do it solo.
      Yeah... what she said
      <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


      • #4

        park somewhere that pawing won't hurt anyone's feelings. Do as they described above. Ignore all shenanigans. Yes, all- tie her with no more than 18" of slack and the knot should be eye height or higher.

        now sit down and write the great American novel.

        I have one at home that is very insecure about being away from home. For now, he goes everywhere the horse trailer goes. Today he goes along with my other horse for a lesson. Scout's lesson will be stand at the trailer and handle his own stresses while I ride the other horse. then we'll come home.


        • #5
          Originally posted by kasjordan View Post
          Take her and a quiet buddy.....go to the trail head...tie them to the trailer with some nice hay in a net...Take out your chair, get your drink and read your book. After a few good hours of standing nicely and eating hay- load up and go home.
          Rinse and repeat ;-)
          Then take your horse and do it solo.
          Yep. I would even venture as far as taking water with you, and just making a day of it. Have a picnic. Drink some iced tea. Just don't load up to go home until she is standing quietly munching and/or snoozing. Maybe tack her up once she's quiet - maybe just go home.

          Take her camping - that quieted my anxious horse tremendously. High lines are good for a horse's soul.


          • #6
            Yep- same as the others have said. I also find it helps the more you can get the horse out- ie if you can trailer out a couple times a week, it will all soon become routine
            "As soon as you're born you start dyin'
            So you might as well have a good time"


            • #7
              I did the tie with a buddy thing away from home several time, and also tied my youngster to the trailer at home for grooming and hay.

              It took a while, but he's figured out he has to stand. He will still paw a bit when he's bored, but won't tug on his rope.

              Good luck!


              • Original Poster

                She is going to be disgusted with me beyond compare. :-)

                I have just bought a six-pack of Snapple iced tea and a 450-page book. I 'm ready.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Char View Post
                  Take her camping - that quieted my anxious horse tremendously. High lines are good for a horse's soul.
                  So true!


                  • #10
                    Anyone have suggestions other than just wait it out? My boy will give himself ulcers and refuse to eat.
                    chaque pas est fait ensemble


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Petstorejunkie View Post
                      Anyone have suggestions other than just wait it out? My boy will give himself ulcers and refuse to eat.
                      Take him camping. Leave out Friday, come home Sunday. The first time I took my guy camping and put him on a high line, he didn't drink or eat any more than a couple wisps of hay until Saturday afternoon.

                      He lived. In fact, he didn't eat reliably when we went anywhere until he had about 10 trips under his belt. Now, he's a champ. He eats, drinks, stands like a gentleman on the high line, and he doesn't even have ulcers.


                      • #12
                        What Char said.

                        They just have to learn how to deal. And the only reliable way to do that is to go do it.

                        If the cost of doing that business is too high, then you have the option to decline.


                        • #13
                          If I didn't bring a buddy for him my horse would decide that the horse at the trailer parked next us would be his buddy for the day. He used to get hysterical when either his trailer mate or the temporary buddy left from his sight. The only cure for that was time and experience. There are really no short cuts. They just have to learn to deal with it and some take longer than others. He's an old pro now and doesn't freak out (at least not like before) when he is left tied to the trailer. A hay bag to keep him busy helps a lot.
                          "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."


                          • #14
                            When I was first taking my ex show horse out, I unload and instead of tying her up right away, I just lead her around for a bit with out fussing with her. Let her just stand around, eat some grass and check out her surroundings. She was used to going to shows but getting there and going straight to a stall. She'd never been tied to a trailer, near horses and having all the horses wondering around before. I stayed close to her the first few times of tying her up with her hay bag and water right where she can get to them. She gets better and better everytime. I'm sure when I start taking her out again this year, I'll have to walk her around with me for while first.

                            This is her first time being tied to a trailer. She's on the right.

                            Good luck and have fun.
                            R.I.P Vanny 26 yr QH Stallion 4/11/82 - 5/8/08, Scout 28 yr Paint Cross Gelding, Glistening 11 yr Arab/Saddlebred Mare


                            • #15
                              My horse paws like a waterwheel when he's upset so my only aside would be to make sure there isn't anything they can paw that will hurt them or be hurt. My horse would be shackled in a hay bag in a matter of minutes and would destroy a water bucket. I'll offer water but not provide him something to vent his anxiety on.... That's the beauty of a high line.
                              “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey