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Trailering a yearling

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  • Trailering a yearling

    I have a question about trailering and would love any feedback.. I want to take my young yearling (soon to be 2 yr old) Section B Welsh Pony to her second show. I want to know the best way to go about trailering her. When she went to her first show she was loose in the trailer but she is not able to do that this time. How do you really teach them that being tied in a trailer is an OK thing.. She loads and unloads fine but she is a nervous girl. I just don't want her to get hurt. I work her everyday on the ground and she ties fine but has never been tied in a trailer and I really don't want her to panic. Any feedback would be great.. Thank you!
    My horse of a lifetime!!

  • #2
    I've never had a problem with one that tied well in the barn not tying in the trailer (we do always use breakaway halters/ tie straps) -- once they are in there with the ramp up and the doors closed they are usually fine, there's nowhere for them to go.


    • Original Poster

      Hey Highflyer,
      That makes me feel a bit better.. She is good otherwise so maybe I am just over thinking it. I have a tendency to do that Thank you for the feedback!
      My horse of a lifetime!!


      • #4
        I've also never had a problem as long as they have a concept of tying. I do very much prefer slant loads, especially for youngsters.
        Making Your Ambitions a Reality at Secret Ambition Stables.
        Quality Welsh Ponies and Welsh Crosses bred for sport
        Facebook Page.
        Section A and Section B Welsh Ponies at stud


        • #5
          Food and a friend helps.

          I have had 3 or 4 weanlings that I trailered, minimal fuss and bother. I avoided making their "first" trip a solo voyage, I had their regular pasture-mates along.

          If she's already trailered once to a show, she's probably not going to suddenly turn crazy in there. She gets the idea that she's limited, movement-wise. Also, she's a Welsh Pony, IME they are sensible to a fault...a little food in there and a nice breeze, she won't have any problem hanging out in the comfy trailer.

          I do know some people are very opposed to feeding in the trailer, so YMMV on that one. Kind of depends on the set-up too, if the only choice is mangers and they don't quite work for her size, then food is a bad option, it will frustrate her.
          Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior


          • Original Poster

            I have a straight load with a manger so a bit of a bummer although she can reach the manger pretty well..When she went to her first show she was loose with her half brother. This would be a solo trip which dies worry me a bit..I guess I could bring my TB along for the ride She would have plenty of good hay...
            My horse of a lifetime!!


            • #7
              ^I'd figure she'll be fine. She might experiment a little with the tie to see how much room she has, but as long as she's secure with some food...I wouldn't worry too much.

              I do know that my highest-energy weanlings tended to fuss (pawing mostly, whinnying) when the trailer was stationary, and especially when their friends were in earshot. This was all show, and always quieted shortly after we got moving.

              Also, nervous is ok...panic isn't. That's where you kind of have to gauge. My weanlings were loud, obnoxious and usually nervous about trailering the first few times...but they were still responsive and not acting out in a panic. They led, and when I yelled at them, they stopped pawing/whinnying, at least for a few seconds. The best response was a trailer ride that proceeded without incident and a cookie at the end. If a horse is scared to the point of panic, that's when I'd look at adding a buddy or something, for added confidence.

              I trailered these young horses A LOT because of the remote location I lived in. Everything was a five-hour trailer ride away, from farriers to vets to shows. Being good haulers was just not an option for my horses. I either got really lucky, or did some things right...the horses are all still FINE loaders/travellers in adulthood.

              You probably know all of this, but I know how it is when you have "your baby"...reinforcement of what you already knew is a good thing.
              Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior


              • #8
                I agree with the above posters that if she has a good concept of tying in the stable then she should transition well to the trailer. I routinely feed my youngsters their meals in the trailer (tied, divider shut, trailer closed up as if ready to leave). I think the feeding keeps them occupied and excited about the trailer in a low stress way.
                Nani Lio Farm, LLC


                • Original Poster

                  Thanks for the great advice.. Some I'd heard before but needed the refresher for sure.. I totally forgot about the feeding inside the trailer for a while. I am planning on taking her and my young TB for a few field trips before the show, he is super chill in the trailer so that will be good for her. Hopefully by the time we go she will think nothing of it and I can concentrate on showing her in hand Thanks again!
                  My horse of a lifetime!!


                  • #10
                    maybe do a test run first and ride in the back with her to coax her and make sure she doesnt get too freaked out. I did this with my yearling a few weeks ago and my folks just drove around our neighborhood and back roads. 15 min trip, and i fed him some grain and hay from my hand and reassured him. two weeks later we loaded him up and took him 2 hours to his first show and he was a champ.


                    • #11
                      When my mare was a 2 year old, she would tie well in the barn but routinely sat back in the trailer and broke her halter. I had the same set-up - a straight load trailer with mangers. I tried leaving her loose and she got her head stuck behind the divider (thank God I tested that at home) but eventually we moved to using bungee ties. We had to play with the length quite a bit and we fit it so that it gave enough to allow her to back up all the way to the back of the trailer but it wasn't long enough for her to turn her head back behind her. It might be more difficult with a pony, but still manageable. I liked the bungee because she never felt restricted/panicked, but she was still tied. I gradually shortened it she got used to trailering, and now she rides like a pro.

                      Our next youngsters will start out on the bungee ties so we're not developing a problem, rather than trying to fix one.
                      The rebel in the grey shirt


                      • Original Poster

                        Thanks everybody! So many great ideas... I was thinking about the bungee idea which I have for my TB and although it is tougher with a pony she is about 13.1 so not horribly small. I could probably make it work and between that and a friend hopefully it will be a nice trip. I just saw a few panicked horses in trailers on a few different occasions lately and it has made me a bit jumpy when otherwise this would not have made me so nervous. Thanks again!!!
                        My horse of a lifetime!!