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    Last edited by Fairview Horse Center; Jan. 26, 2014, 02:56 PM.

  • #2
    When he threw the fit and said he should just leave, I would have agreed with him.


    • #3
      what a waterhead. I learned the hard way not to tie before butt bar is in place. Not a pretty site!
      Logging Miles with the Biscuit 530.5 Miles for 2011 visit my trail riding blog at www.dashingbigred.blogspot.com


      • #4
        I understand what you're saying with butt bar safety, did he say why he doesn't use them.. like specific examples?

        I have a stock trailer; I have to open the back door to get in while the horse is still tied. He knows he's not allowed to back off until I've untied him.

        I don't think it would be really safe to do it any other way unless I had someone helping me, which I usually don't.
        http://www.clarkdesigngrouparchitects.com/index.html - Lets build your dream barn


        • #5
          My non-horsey husband saw first-hand why butt bars are important last week.

          I had untied my horse and dropped the butt bar but hadn't opened the door yet. Something spooked my horse and he flew backwards into the closed door and scrambled around for a few moments. He was able to bend the latch enough so the door was open about 4 inches.


          • #6
            Yikes! Scary! Someone should telephone the main office of the company that this person works for and discuss this issue. That is completely unsafe, and I were running that hauling company I would want to know that this was going on!

            It is very dangerous to not have some kind of a "butt bar" securing the horse in it's stall. I know of two people who were badly injured by horses flying out the back of trailers where they weren't secured properly with a butt bar.

            Even a stock trailer used for horses should (IMO) have a rear bar that goes across the back of the trailer inside the doors/ramp. I have a four horse slant, and the rear stall has a full width butt bar that fits into place inside the ramp. If I am loading alone, I do generally tie that last horse before I quickly snap the butt bar into place, but even that makes me nervous--I would never put a horse I didn't know in that slot unless I had help so someone could hold the horse until the butt bar was up.


            • #7
              He would have left with an empty trailer while I called around for a new hauler.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Kaleigh007 View Post
                He would have left with an empty trailer while I called around for a new hauler.
                RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

                "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."


                • #9
                  It also sounds like you were caught in the middle a little bit here--I'm glad the owners listened to you and hopefully they will insist that things are done properly for the rest of the drive.

                  It's hard to tell other people that what they are doing with their horses isn't safe. I had a situation recently when an owner decided to save money by coming to pick up his super-nice TB (racing) broodmare instead of hiring a commercial shipper. He showed up with a tiny little two horse with a manger front. The trailer was in good condition, but just not an appropriate trailer for a large (and valuable) TB mare--esp for a long trip. I wanted to say no, I don't think this is a good idea, but they had just driven 10 hours to get here, and it is their mare, and they supposedly had trailered her before in this trailer. When she finally got on, she panicked and cut up her shoulder before we could get her off. I was so upset about it. The irony is that they owned a nice big new gooseneck, they just brought the smaller trailer to save money on gas!


                  • #10
                    You have to wonder what ELSE the new owners DON'T know about horses...using a butt bar while trailering is kind of a no brainer no??


                    • #11
                      Let me say, I use the butt bar.
                      I also know a trainer in this area who specializes in trailer loading who never uses a butt bar, and encourages others not to use them.
                      I thought I was odd person out, using the butt bar.

                      I also want to point out, by not using a butt bar, and closing a ramp door, if the horse starts to come out and pushes on the ramp, you could get caught and trip or fall, and that ramp could come down on you. So, even if you don't think about the horses safety, think about your own.
                      save lives...spay/neuter/geld


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by fivehorses View Post

                        I also want to point out, by not using a butt bar, and closing a ramp door, if the horse starts to come out and pushes on the ramp, you could get caught and trip or fall, and that ramp could come down on you. So, even if you don't think about the horses safety, think about your own.
                        This is how both of the people I know were injured. In one case the ramp crushed the person's foot and it took over a year for the wound to heal. In the other case the lady was crushed underneath the ramp and was in the hospital with broken ribs, etc.


                        • #13
                          If I had a straight load ramp trailer then I would use butt bars. I don't however, I have a slant load which does not have butt bars. I always make sure the horses are untied BEFORE opening the partitions, although I dont' allow them to begin backing up until I get to their head. I have also had stock trailers, which do not come with butt bars, and again, if you make sure head is untied before opening doors, not a problem, however, I ONLY use stepups trailers I HATE ramp loads, but the one time I had a ramp load I'd certainly never begin letting it down without butt bars up!!


                          • #14
                            My slant load has a butt bar. It's always up unless loading or unloading, even sitting in the driveway.
                            "As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use."- William James

                            Proud member of the Wheat Loss Clique.


                            • #15
                              We only use open stock trailers and they are step up and with a one piece door, although the larger ones tend to have a two piece door, which would help if a horse tries to back up.

                              I have heard some with trailers with butt bars that they have been in wrecks, where the horse got partly under them and injured it's back and they don't use any any more because of that.

                              We used to have a two horse enclosed trailer for some quick runs to the track and we had butt chains covered with rubber in it.
                              The chains would hang a little bit and would keep a horse in even if it squatted down, unlike a stiff bar.


                              • #16
                                There's another REAL good reason...

                                actually, not to tie a horse in a trailer until the butt bar is up. If you are tying them and they pull back (or run back), there is a real possibility of losing some fingers.

                                I personally know of two people who have lost one or more fingers from that very thing. The first lady was about 20 yrs. ago. She lost three fingers on one hand. They were reattached and with a lot of work, she regained some use of them. The other just happened a couple of weeks ago and the lady lost her thumb. It was also reattached, but because it wasn't a clean cut (like a knife or saw wound), there was some major concern about nerve regeneration.

                                I NEVER TIE A HORSE IN A TRAILER WITHOUT A BUTT BAR UP.
                                Home of Sea Accounts xx
                                AHS/HV, ATA, GOV, RPSI, JC, AQHA, APHA, APtHA
                                "LIKE" www.facebook.com/SeaAccounts


                                • #17
                                  A professional hauler loaded my horse, then left him tied in the trailer while she fussed with the divider. He decided he'd had enough and pulled back, snapping his halter. Flew backwards out of the trailer and tripped over his hind legs on the ramp. Sat down like a dog and rolled off on his back.

                                  Result? Torn sacroiliac ligament on my dream dressage horse, the one I moved to a smaller house in order to buy. 18 months of rehab, stem cell therapy and $5k in vet bills, etc. ON TOP of the $10k paid by my insurance.

                                  Horse is now strong enough for 3rd level work but we've lost two years, he has a permanent dent in his butt and collection is proving more difficult than before.

                                  Never believe a professional over your own gut. I'm still kicking myself for that.


                                  • #18
                                    ALWAYS use a butt bar

                                    Many years ago, one of our boarders (also a good friend) had a mare who was absolutely terrible about loading. So the owner started working with her each day, getting her to load and feeding her on the trailer. One day, the owner decided to do this by herself, with the trailer parked in the yard, outside the fenced-in barn area. The horse walked on and started eating her grain, so the owner hooked her halter and walked around the back to put up the butt bar. Horse flipped out, broke halter, flew off the back of the trailer and proceeded to run across the front yard of our house, toward a barn across the street where she had lived at one point. She ran into the road where she got hit by a car going 40 mph. All I remember is hearing the owner screaming from the street. We all ran out of the house to find the horse on the side of the road, with all four of her legs broken, trying to stand up. That was, hands down, the absolute worst thing I have ever seen happen to a horse. Of course the vet came right away and put her down. But I can't help but think that all of it could have been prevented if the owner had just followed proper loading procedure, and had the butt bar up before leaving the horse's head.


                                    • #19
                                      WOW!!! What a horrible story...common sense tells you to not tie their heads without the butt bar up...but I guess there are a bunch of people who were not blessed with much of that!


                                      • #20
                                        You should always have some form of restraint at the rear of the horse for exactly the reasons said here.
                                        That being said, there have been people that have had horses try to jam themselves back under the butt bars with disatrous results. One horse I knew personally ended up chipping the vertabrea on his spine and was out of commision for almost two years. Big $$ vet bills on that one.
                                        There really is no foolproof method with horses.
                                        I opted to do the padded straps in my trailer. A lot of commercial haulers will use these or padded chains. There are a couple of reasons why.
                                        First, if the horse tries to fly back off the trailer, and gets under a strap, they have a better chance of not tearing up their back as badly as they would a steel bar.
                                        Second, if you have to do a panic stop, the strap molds to the chest and the point of impact is spread out a bit.
                                        Third, if you ever have a horse get hung up on top of one, you can cut it with a knife and free him yourself. If that happens with a bar, you have a big problem on your hands.
                                        I retrofitted my little 2 horse bumper pull with padded straps. I also left the bars in back along with the straps. When trailering one horse, the strap goes behind the horse, the bar behind the empty stall. This stabilizes the partial divider.
                                        Oh, one other thing I started doing years ago was to use the safety breakaway trailer ties. They have the velcro on them. Takes a lot to pop them, but when they do, you have a velcro grab handle on the halter to help get ahold of them again. And one last related word of caution that should be a no brainer but isn't: never ever use rope halters when trailering. Even if you ship untied, they can get hung up on things in the trailer, and then you can have a really big problem really fast. Leather is best, if using nylon, make sure you have a breakaway one on.