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Trailer "Incident"

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  • Trailer "Incident"

    Today I did probably the dumbest thing I have ever done, Like really my mind must have been turned off.

    Okay so we get to the small schooling show this morning, just me and my dad.... my trainer wasnt coming till later so he goes up to the office which is normally my moms job and leaves me alone with my horse and trailer... so I decide oh what the heck I can unload her myself.

    So I undo the butt bar and she doesnt move at all and I walk around to untie her, well as soon as I start messing with the knot (I normally do a quick release but it was dark when we loaded and I was being lazy and not thinking) she starts to back up before I could finish undoing it and I know im in trouble, so im trying to pull her foward cause I know once she pulls it tight enough and theres no give theres no way ill be able to undo the knot and I know that shell panic if she doesnt have any give in the rope and then ill be in deep trouble so I try to pull her foward and calm her and say Whoa, but its useless she flys off the ramp and swings around so shes parellel to the side of the trailer (picture a two horse sundowner trailer with me standing in the door) shes trying to rear but she cant so shes literally on her haunches, it happened so fast, I felt SO helpless so I jump out from the door and try to push her butt foward so shes not pulling against the rope and I or someone can get it undone (there were a bunch of people around) but it was to tight since she was pulling so hard and she was just fighting herself and it felt like forever even though it was probably no more than 30 seconds from that point till the leather halter finally gave and she was free however I didnt have a halter obviously so I just grabbed her around the neck I swear she looked at me like WTH mom seriously, and it was then that I just broke down, it all hit me like a ton of bricks that doing something so stupid could have really injured my horse

    thankfully someone let me borrow their halter untill I could buy a new one, and she was fine except for a few scratches under her face where she was cut up by her halter breaking, I was so relieved that her legs werent hurt thanks to me being a freak about wrapping.

    Moral(s) of the story

    always use a quick release knot or the trailer ties with the saftey clip and velcro (my next purchase).

    always wrap your horses legs, no matter how short the trip is, if I hadnt (it was only a 30 minute drive) she really could have injured them.

    always use a leather halter, because a nylon would not have broken how the leather did.

    and the big one: Never try to do a two man job by yourself!!!!

    okay my explanation of my stupidity is over

  • #2
    That's great you at least learned something from it. I'm sure you won't be making those mistakes again. I'm very glad your horse and you are both okay - could have turned out a lot worse, but I'm sure you know that .


    • #3
      I had a similar incident once. I had a horse tied to the front of his stall while I was cleaning it. Being stupid I had the rope too long and he was able to get his head down to the ground. Well when he went to lift his head the rope got wrapped around his neck and he just came unglued! He went into panic( with good reason). Then he stopped for a moment and I went to try to loosen the rope.....that scared him even more. So now he had me pinned to the wall trying to climb over me and get loose. finally I was able to slip his halter off and turn him loose before he tore down the whole stall front. Luckily he wasnt hurt, however by the end of the night my feet were purple and bloody from him climbing on them. They healed though, just a few scars.

      Glad you and your horse are okay!
      "To do something that you feel in your heart that's great, you need to make a lot of mistakes. Anything that is successful is a series of mistakes." -B.J. Armstrong


      • #4
        I do know a lot of experienced people carry pocket knives too. Though I don't think myself I'd be able to get one out fast enough to saw a rope.
        Ring the bells that still can ring
        Forget your perfect offering
        There is a crack in everything
        That's how the light gets in.


        • #5
          i am glad that everything turn out ok, but here is one more tip for if you ever have to load/ unload by yourself:




          there have been many times when i have had to load/ unload by myself and these are very important things to remember.


          • #6
            Yeah, you forgot the two big ones


            "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"


            • #7
              Glad everyone is ok. If you are ever in a situation where you have to unload off a two horse on your own (and hopefully you won't be), unclip the head and throw the lead over the neck. Then close the escape door, walk around back, and drop the butt bar. As the horse comes back, grab for the lead rope.

              If there is only one horse on the trailer, you can hold the leadrope with one hand from the other side of the trailer as you drop the butt bar with the other hand- then there is no risk of missing the lead rope when the horse comes back.


              • #8
                amen hrsgirl!

                i never ever even open the back of the trailer before i untie the horse! even when i use the 4 horse with 4 horses...every horse gets untied, and leadrope over the neck before i start unloading!

                same with loading...i load, do the butt bar, then tie!

                if you do it that way, you CAN load and unload alone!
                "If you are nervous you arent focused-if you are focused, there is no room for nerves!"


                • #9
                  Originally posted by hrsgirl07 View Post
                  i am glad that everything turn out ok, but here is one more tip for if you ever have to load/ unload by yourself:




                  there have been many times when i have had to load/ unload by myself and these are very important things to remember.
                  Seconded! A few days ago there was a thread about loading: whether you should tie the horse before closing the divider -- well, you shouldn't. This is why.

                  OP, glad your horse was okay. Sounds like your lesson was learned with a minimum of damage. And don't worry, ALL of us make stupid mistakes from time to time. It's not the end of the world.

                  You might consider The Clip for future use. When you use it in the trailer, you don't tie a knot in the rope. Then the horse can pull the rope free if necessary. It works sorta like the Blocker Tie Ring, but it's cheaper and more convenient.


                  • #10
                    Learning the hard way...

                    But you did learn... a lot!

                    So the other posters are right about the missing moral of the story.

                    I taught my horse something that might help you-- to wait, even after the butt bar is down-- to unload.

                    I also lead him into the trailer and he waits while I put up the butt bar. Then he gets tied.

                    Having a horse who loads well with one person is great because he or she will never invite people to try their special techniques for loading.

                    So glad the halter was all that broke. Consider this a cheap and important lesson (and everybody has 'em!).
                    The armchair saddler
                    Politically Pro-Cat


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mroades View Post
                      Yeah, you forgot the two big ones


                      Agree! I know of 2 seperate people that broke those rules and their horse broke their neck.


                      • #12
                        yikes. i'm glad you and your horse are okay. definitely, like everyone else has said, ALWAYS untie their heads before you even touch the butt bar. honestly, it peeves me that your trainer has never told you this. someone at my barn got very seriously hurt loading her horse the incorrect way (she tied the head before fastening the butt bar). so, i guess as you have already discovered (but it never hurts to say it again), BE CAREFUL WHEN TRAILERING!! haha sometimes i think actually riding the horse is safer than handling it!


                        • #13
                          Another couple of lessons:

                          * Keep a spare halter and leadrope in the trailer.
                          * Keep a pocket knife in the trailer (in case you need to cut the leadrope or halter)

                          I'm sorry this happened, and I'm glad you are OK.
                          I have a Fjord! Life With Oden


                          • #14
                            Yes - the spare halter thing - in case you find loose horse trotting down the road like we did once.

                            Also, those bungy ties they make - in this instance would have stretched until it may have broken and then it would have sproinged into her face and possibly her eye and definitely caused even more of a wreck. (climbing off my soapbox now. I bought one years ago but never used it after somebody told me how dangerous they are. Can't think why they are still sold.)
                            Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mroades View Post
                              Yeah, you forgot the two big ones


                              Ditto... 2 golden rules.. many of us have to unload alone... and these rules are of utmost importance.
                              Windswept Stables-Specializing in Ponies
                              Sales, Breaking,Training,Showing, Stud Service

                              Home of 2008 Sire of Year Reserve Champion
                              Pony Hunter Breeding - Empires Power



                              • #16
                                Trailering does not have to be a two person job, but it does take some planning. Pony club rule of trailering number 1: Never ever take the butt bar down before un-tying the horse and vice versa. I've seen a horse break the rope and flip backwards out of the trailer... it's not pretty, and it almost never ends well for the horse.

                                Now, to do it on your own... teach horse to self load with lead rope over the shoulder (ask Melissa.Hare.Jones... her horses are fabulous at it), fasten butt bar, close back door, walk around and tie horse. Failing that (my horse never got the idea of going on by himself) teach horse to ground tie. Walk onto trailer, ground tie with stay command, walk around trailer, put up bar and ramp, walk back around and tie horse. Second method takes longer, but it is still a safer method... if horse decides to back off, at least it was not dangerous, and just put them back on.

                                With unloading, untie horse, walk around, put down ramp and bar, stand to the side and then horse backs off. Catch the lead as their head comes past the door. Works best if you can teach horse to wait until you give an unload command.

                                That's my little soap box, and I'm stepping off of it now. I'm very glad that you and your horse are ok, and that you are willing to learn some important lessons from this incident. P.S. As soon as you feel up to it, have some nice, easy loading/unloading sessions with your horse so she doesn't have any fear left from the issue .


                                • #17
                                  Just wanted to add, that the golden rule above, applies to EVERY HORSE, no matter how good a loader they are. My horse would walk up anyone's ramp if he had the chance (ie walking by one on a loose lead). One day a professional tried to unload him without me, and put down the butt bar before untying his head, and, you guessed it, he pulled back and broke his halter and got loose. When I asked her didn't she know better than to do that, she said she thought it would be okay with that horse since he was so good about the trailer.


                                  • #18
                                    Scary. I find that trailering is one of the things we do with horses that has a lot of potential for things to go wrong. I'm glad that nothing did.

                                    We always learn a few lessons the hard way.

                                    I still remember the time I learned the lesson of "always close the paddock gate behind you before you release the horse." You know, in case said horse decides to run out the gate, down the road, back to the barn, at top speed.
                                    "I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream." --Vincent Van Gogh


                                    • #19
                                      BALING TWINE (sp?)

                                      I use it on all my crossties, in trailers, at home, at shows, EVERYWHERE... nothing gets tied to a wall, theres always a loop of twine between the eyehook/whatever and the actual tie/lead rope/etc...

                                      Very cheap safety fix...
                                      **RIP Kickstart aka Char 12/2/2009**


                                      • #20
                                        No need to beat yourself up, OP: You will Never Ever EVER make this mistake again. I promise.