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Trailer loading help
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want2chase3
Reg. May 2009
Posted 2019-03-15 10:16 PM (#7425047)
Subject: Trailer loading help



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My horse suddenly decided getting into the trailer is a bad idea. Never ever has he given me any single problem loading or unloading.. we had a stock trailer for years and we finally got our first nice LQ trailer. Hes been in it twice and loaded just fine, in fact I used him to help me get my 3yr old to load one day.  Now, I know he got scared last time we went somewhere, my husband got in to let him out and he didnt hold his rope, he tried to turn around and banged his head so hard he knocked a bunch of hide off himself .. so he panicked and it wasnt good. That seemed to have ruined him. I went to load him today and he flat out refused. I tried EVERYTHING. I kept pressure on him when hed give to it, I'd let off.. he eventually came in and we stayed there and let him relax all was good then it was time to unload .. couldn't get him to back out!!! He wouldn't budge, kept trying to turn around.. finally he started backing but as soon as his back feet touch the ground, he almost panics and flys back so fast I'm scared hes going  to hit his head. This is so unlike my horse, he was always so chill and easy going about everything. I let him relax outside and eat some grass for a bit ... I wanted to load him again to see if I could get him over his new found fear... again he refused and this time when I put the pressure on him instead of him eventually giving in, he reared up.. another new stupid trick I've never seen. He kept rearing everytime... I'd make him move away from me made him work in tight circles around me each time hed do that.. it took over an hour to get him back in it.. once inside hes totally relaxed and fine, licking his lips, resting a back foot .. totally chill.. I'm at a total loss with this .. bummed out too because this is not how this horse acts.. I've had him for close to 6 years and this has never happened. 

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streakysox
Reg. Jul 2008
Posted 2019-03-15 11:22 PM (#7425049 - in reply to #7425047)
Subject: RE: Trailer loading help



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I back my trailer up to the round pen and feed them in it.  Then when they get comfortable they can't get in until iad them in.  Works best for me

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OhMax
Reg. Feb 2013
Posted 2019-03-16 8:26 AM (#7425060 - in reply to #7425047)
Subject: RE: Trailer loading help


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Time. Patience.

if you establish respect on the ground outside the trailer, moving him forward, backwards, move shoulders, move hips.  Then ask him to load with the same commands.  If he doesn’t, go back and re establish.  Praise him and let him relax when he’s in.

i would also look at a head bumper for his halter and padding overhead your door so if he does fly backwards and hit his head there’s a little protection. 

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want2chase3
Reg. May 2009
Posted 2019-03-16 9:35 AM (#7425063 - in reply to #7425047)
Subject: RE: Trailer loading help



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He does all his groundwork perfectly, hes 14 years old this year , bought him as a finished head horse, hed been thru it all, been there done that type and was just the horse I needed to help me with confidence because the horse I sold for him DESTROYED my confidence and was constantly testing me trying to launch me.. hes a pretty big horse too, very powerful and seeing him rear up like that shook me. I can let him sit for months in the pasture and then hop on him bareback and ride around like no big deal. I had complete trust in him and it may seem stupid but I lost a bunch yesterday witnessing this. I never considered myself timid but I guess I'm older now and I just dont want to deal with any ANY nonsense. I called our trainer, the person I bought him from almost 7 years ago, he has been pestering me for the last few years wanting the horse back because hes so good to rope on and hes gentle enough for him to put the beginners on for lessons.. I told him the horse needed to come back for a tune up anyway on cattle.. he said bring him in 2 weeks and was wanting to know if I'd be interested in selling.. I didnt say no, like I always have! 

 

Sorry for the novel but im just on the fence... I've been wanting to run barrels for a long time... I started patterning this horse a year ago, hes built very downhill,  toes in pretty bad on one foot... he has trouble turning tight and will throw me forward horribly... so its obvious to me hes not cut out for barrels.. I'm not a trainer by any stretch ... I need lessons as well for barrels .. all the help I can get in other words.. he was fun to rope on for me, I enjoyed him.. but I'm not interested in roping anymore.. at all. I feel sick to say I want to sell him but hes not going to cut it for what I'm wanting to do.  So my hubby asked me had the horse loaded right up in the trailer would I be even considering selling him at this point or is this something I've been thinking about but was too afraid to pull the trigger until the horse made me upset. Now I really dont know what to do. I cant really afford to send him off to training.. if he ends up going for a tune up I know he will sell pretty quickly because hes a very nice rope horse and gorgeous to look at, so I wouldn't really be out any money on that deal and then maybe I can buy something already finished in barrels that I can go enjoy myself on .. I dont go to any races because i don't have anything i feel comfortable or confident in going on yet. 

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Southtxponygirl
Reg. Nov 2006
Posted 2019-03-16 10:45 AM (#7425066 - in reply to #7425047)
Subject: RE: Trailer loading help



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Sounds like to me hes claustrophobia, after being haul in a open stock trailer to being asked to ride in a close trailer is what scares him, did you ask him to back out of the stock trailer when hauled or did he get to turn around and hop out? I think the more hes loaded and gos the more he'll learn its not such a scary place.. And another thing too make darn sure theres no wasp nest up in any corners in your trailer thats another thing that sure can screw up a good loading horse is bees/wrasps stinging horses while in trailers, sure can make one panic.. 

Edit to add: Stock trailers are so roomy and a slant load is not roomy like a open stock trailer so that just might be a factor too being in a slant, and stock trailers are lower to the ground so the step down is not as far and I know that some LQ's are kinda high up so the step down is a bit farter for the horse that are use to being in a stock trailer, and that can cause one to panic while backing out. I know a few people that had to put ramps on their trailers because they were so high off the group and they had trouble with their horses backing out of these trailers. Just give him time to get use to the change. 



Edited by Southtxponygirl 2019-03-16 11:03 AM
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want2chase3
Reg. May 2009
Posted 2019-03-16 11:03 AM (#7425068 - in reply to #7425066)
Subject: RE: Trailer loading help



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Southtxponygirl - 2019-03-16 10:45 AM


Sounds like to me hes claustrophobia, after being haul in a open stock trailer to being asked to ride in a close trailer is what scares him, did you ask him to back out of the stock trailer when hauled or did he get to turn around and hop out? I think the more hes loaded and gos the more he'll learn its not such a scary place.. And another thing too make darn sure theres no wasp nest up in any corners in your trailer thats another thing that sure can screw up a good loading horse is bees/wrasps stinging horses while in trailers, sure can make one panic.. 


His previous owner had a closed trailer too, he started him when he was a 2yr old so I know hes been in a closed trailer many times.. I use to let him turn around in the stock trailer though. I did check all in our trailer and theres no nests or anything weird, I remembered a story about that. I feel like he was just being a pig about it really... I cannot stand a horse that wont load :-(

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runnin hard
Reg. Jan 2005
Posted 2019-03-16 6:53 PM (#7425073 - in reply to #7425047)
Subject: RE: Trailer loading help



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I'm going to say this issue was caused when your husband didn't hold his rope and the fiasco happened unloading.  Now he is spooked because he remembers that experience.  I think you are on the right track with moving his feet outside the trailer, then asking him to load and repeating until loaded.  Plan on plenty of time before you need to leave as sometimes this can take a while.  You can also work on this and not go anywhere.  The key is don't quit him and not load him as that reinforces the win for the horse.  It's no fun and I've had to do this with an older mare that had a similiar incident.  It took a couple times of working with her, but she is back to loading like she knows how.  Best of luck and remember patience / time is your friend when working thru this type of issue.

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want2chase3
Reg. May 2009
Posted 2019-03-16 7:59 PM (#7425076 - in reply to #7425073)
Subject: RE: Trailer loading help



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runnin hard - 2019-03-16 6:53 PM


I'm going to say this issue was caused when your husband didn't hold his rope and the fiasco happened unloading.  Now he is spooked because he remembers that experience.  I think you are on the right track with moving his feet outside the trailer, then asking him to load and repeating until loaded.  Plan on plenty of time before you need to leave as sometimes this can take a while.  You can also work on this and not go anywhere.  The key is don't quit him and not load him as that reinforces the win for the horse.  It's no fun and I've had to do this with an older mare that had a similiar incident.  It took a couple times of working with her, but she is back to loading like she knows how.  Best of luck and remember patience / time is your friend when working thru this type of issue.


Yes I was so mad when he let him turn in that trailer and bang his head so hard.  My hubby was used to his horse being automatic to unload backing up. So today, we had a much better day.. I took him to the trailer and just walked him up to. I let him stand there for a while before asking him to load.. then instead of me going in and trying to pull him in. I tossed the rope around his neck and smooched at him to step up... he only hesitated for a second, then he stepped right inside and walked to the front of the trailer (his spot). I was so relieved! We stayed in the trailer for a while so he relaxed and just stood there with his head hanging out the window. Getting him out was much better today as well! He was still pretty nervous but I got him to back out slower than his last few times.. so I let him quit after that.. I saddled him up and rode around lightly... much much better day for us. 

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Southtxponygirl
Reg. Nov 2006
Posted 2019-03-16 9:39 PM (#7425078 - in reply to #7425076)
Subject: RE: Trailer loading help



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want2chase3 - 2019-03-16 7:59 PM


runnin hard - 2019-03-16 6:53 PM


I'm going to say this issue was caused when your husband didn't hold his rope and the fiasco happened unloading.  Now he is spooked because he remembers that experience.  I think you are on the right track with moving his feet outside the trailer, then asking him to load and repeating until loaded.  Plan on plenty of time before you need to leave as sometimes this can take a while.  You can also work on this and not go anywhere.  The key is don't quit him and not load him as that reinforces the win for the horse.  It's no fun and I've had to do this with an older mare that had a similiar incident.  It took a couple times of working with her, but she is back to loading like she knows how.  Best of luck and remember patience / time is your friend when working thru this type of issue.



Yes I was so mad when he let him turn in that trailer and bang his head so hard.  My hubby was used to his horse being automatic to unload backing up. So today, we had a much better day.. I took him to the trailer and just walked him up to. I let him stand there for a while before asking him to load.. then instead of me going in and trying to pull him in. I tossed the rope around his neck and smooched at him to step up... he only hesitated for a second, then he stepped right inside and walked to the front of the trailer (his spot). I was so relieved! We stayed in the trailer for a while so he relaxed and just stood there with his head hanging out the window. Getting him out was much better today as well! He was still pretty nervous but I got him to back out slower than his last few times.. so I let him quit after that.. I saddled him up and rode around lightly... much much better day for us. 


So glad that you and your gelding had a better day, being patience with him will pay off.. Just dont ever let him win when hes being a butt head.. But I really feel that you have got this all figured out now and under control..

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want2chase3
Reg. May 2009
Posted 2019-03-16 10:03 PM (#7425079 - in reply to #7425078)
Subject: RE: Trailer loading help



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Southtxponygirl - 2019-03-16 9:39 PM


want2chase3 - 2019-03-16 7:59 PM


runnin hard - 2019-03-16 6:53 PM


I'm going to say this issue was caused when your husband didn't hold his rope and the fiasco happened unloading.  Now he is spooked because he remembers that experience.  I think you are on the right track with moving his feet outside the trailer, then asking him to load and repeating until loaded.  Plan on plenty of time before you need to leave as sometimes this can take a while.  You can also work on this and not go anywhere.  The key is don't quit him and not load him as that reinforces the win for the horse.  It's no fun and I've had to do this with an older mare that had a similiar incident.  It took a couple times of working with her, but she is back to loading like she knows how.  Best of luck and remember patience / time is your friend when working thru this type of issue.



Yes I was so mad when he let him turn in that trailer and bang his head so hard.  My hubby was used to his horse being automatic to unload backing up. So today, we had a much better day.. I took him to the trailer and just walked him up to. I let him stand there for a while before asking him to load.. then instead of me going in and trying to pull him in. I tossed the rope around his neck and smooched at him to step up... he only hesitated for a second, then he stepped right inside and walked to the front of the trailer (his spot). I was so relieved! We stayed in the trailer for a while so he relaxed and just stood there with his head hanging out the window. Getting him out was much better today as well! He was still pretty nervous but I got him to back out slower than his last few times.. so I let him quit after that.. I saddled him up and rode around lightly... much much better day for us. 



So glad that you and your gelding had a better day, being patience with him will pay off.. Just dont ever let him win when hes being a butt head.. But I really feel that you have got this all figured out now and under control..


Thank you! Yes we had a good day for sure... I now feel guilty for wanting to sell him lol! Hes my heart horse, I do love him and we have this goofy bond .. I sometimes think I expect too much out of him when its actually my fault hes gotten a bit stubborn and definitely spoiled, hes a worker and needs to be doing stuff. Theyve all gotten too fat and sassy on our nice green pasture ... I'm now limiting their turn out time till the pasture mellows out a bit and made the decision to ride every day even if it's just for 30 minutes. 

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SKM
Reg. Dec 2003
Posted 2019-03-17 8:53 AM (#7425085 - in reply to #7425047)
Subject: RE: Trailer loading help



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I’d drug him a few times to take the edge off and build his confidence up. They make paste domesden. I’d get some and gradually wean the dosage down until it wasn’t needed any more. There is nothing wrong with chemical help when it’s used properly and short term.

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Chandler's Mom
Reg. Jan 2015
Posted 2019-03-17 1:07 PM (#7425101 - in reply to #7425079)
Subject: RE: Trailer loading help



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want2chase3 - 2019-03-16 10:03 PM


Southtxponygirl - 2019-03-16 9:39 PM


want2chase3 - 2019-03-16 7:59 PM


runnin hard - 2019-03-16 6:53 PM


I'm going to say this issue was caused when your husband didn't hold his rope and the fiasco happened unloading.  Now he is spooked because he remembers that experience.  I think you are on the right track with moving his feet outside the trailer, then asking him to load and repeating until loaded.  Plan on plenty of time before you need to leave as sometimes this can take a while.  You can also work on this and not go anywhere.  The key is don't quit him and not load him as that reinforces the win for the horse.  It's no fun and I've had to do this with an older mare that had a similiar incident.  It took a couple times of working with her, but she is back to loading like she knows how.  Best of luck and remember patience / time is your friend when working thru this type of issue.



Yes I was so mad when he let him turn in that trailer and bang his head so hard.  My hubby was used to his horse being automatic to unload backing up. So today, we had a much better day.. I took him to the trailer and just walked him up to. I let him stand there for a while before asking him to load.. then instead of me going in and trying to pull him in. I tossed the rope around his neck and smooched at him to step up... he only hesitated for a second, then he stepped right inside and walked to the front of the trailer (his spot). I was so relieved! We stayed in the trailer for a while so he relaxed and just stood there with his head hanging out the window. Getting him out was much better today as well! He was still pretty nervous but I got him to back out slower than his last few times.. so I let him quit after that.. I saddled him up and rode around lightly... much much better day for us. 



So glad that you and your gelding had a better day, being patience with him will pay off.. Just dont ever let him win when hes being a butt head.. But I really feel that you have got this all figured out now and under control..



Thank you! Yes we had a good day for sure... I now feel guilty for wanting to sell him lol! Hes my heart horse, I do love him and we have this goofy bond .. I sometimes think I expect too much out of him when its actually my fault hes gotten a bit stubborn and definitely spoiled, hes a worker and needs to be doing stuff. Theyve all gotten too fat and sassy on our nice green pasture ... I'm now limiting their turn out time till the pasture mellows out a bit and made the decision to ride every day even if it's just for 30 minutes. 


Think you and he are on the right path

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AmericanJelly1
Reg. Dec 2018
Posted 2019-03-18 3:05 PM (#7425176 - in reply to #7425076)
Subject: RE: Trailer loading help


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want2chase3 - 2019-03-16 8:59 PM


runnin hard - 2019-03-16 6:53 PM


I'm going to say this issue was caused when your husband didn't hold his rope and the fiasco happened unloading.  Now he is spooked because he remembers that experience.  I think you are on the right track with moving his feet outside the trailer, then asking him to load and repeating until loaded.  Plan on plenty of time before you need to leave as sometimes this can take a while.  You can also work on this and not go anywhere.  The key is don't quit him and not load him as that reinforces the win for the horse.  It's no fun and I've had to do this with an older mare that had a similiar incident.  It took a couple times of working with her, but she is back to loading like she knows how.  Best of luck and remember patience / time is your friend when working thru this type of issue.



Yes I was so mad when he let him turn in that trailer and bang his head so hard.  My hubby was used to his horse being automatic to unload backing up. So today, we had a much better day.. I took him to the trailer and just walked him up to. I let him stand there for a while before asking him to load.. then instead of me going in and trying to pull him in. I tossed the rope around his neck and smooched at him to step up... he only hesitated for a second, then he stepped right inside and walked to the front of the trailer (his spot). I was so relieved! We stayed in the trailer for a while so he relaxed and just stood there with his head hanging out the window. Getting him out was much better today as well! He was still pretty nervous but I got him to back out slower than his last few times.. so I let him quit after that.. I saddled him up and rode around lightly... much much better day for us. 


I agree with everything you did. He just needs some time to get his confidence back and realize that no more "bad things" are going to happen. I have a mare like this. If something scares her she loses her trust and you might as well just leave her alone for a little bit to let her settle down. I'm not saying if he refuses to load to just let it go, I'm just saying patience is key. I think you did an excellent job!

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luluwhit
Reg. Dec 2005
Posted 2019-03-19 8:39 AM (#7425211 - in reply to #7425047)
Subject: RE: Trailer loading help



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i think you helped yourself more than any of the advice on here.  i think if they were good loaders and something happens to create not wanting to load you have to be firm and consistant that yes... you do load and no you dont get to say no.  with the constant work and doing it multiple times this week i think you have had him convienced that he is a loader again.  lol  i would also suggest if you can have your husband load and unload once at home that would be helpful also next time the mr is on his own. 

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want2chase3
Reg. May 2009
Posted 2019-03-19 9:28 AM (#7425220 - in reply to #7425211)
Subject: RE: Trailer loading help



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luluwhit - 2019-03-19 8:39 AM


i think you helped yourself more than any of the advice on here.  i think if they were good loaders and something happens to create not wanting to load you have to be firm and consistant that yes... you do load and no you dont get to say no.  with the constant work and doing it multiple times this week i think you have had him convienced that he is a loader again.  lol  i would also suggest if you can have your husband load and unload once at home that would be helpful also next time the mr is on his own. 


Thank you. My hubby had to load him and unload him the day I had so much trouble with him after the 2nd try .. he pulled back so hard he gave me an ugly rope burn, I had to walk away for 10 minutes to compose myself. I know this horse very well and he definitely feeds off my energy and I was not in a good calm state at that point lol! The day after our terrible experience,  I was calm and relaxed and I know that helped him load better.. i was mentally prepared to sit there as long as it took and low and behold,  he was in the trailer in less than 30 seconds lol! 

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Southtxponygirl
Reg. Nov 2006
Posted 2019-03-19 9:32 AM (#7425222 - in reply to #7425220)
Subject: RE: Trailer loading help



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want2chase3 - 2019-03-19 9:28 AM


luluwhit - 2019-03-19 8:39 AM


i think you helped yourself more than any of the advice on here.  i think if they were good loaders and something happens to create not wanting to load you have to be firm and consistant that yes... you do load and no you dont get to say no.  with the constant work and doing it multiple times this week i think you have had him convienced that he is a loader again.  lol  i would also suggest if you can have your husband load and unload once at home that would be helpful also next time the mr is on his own. 



Thank you. My hubby had to load him and unload him the day I had so much trouble with him after the 2nd try .. he pulled back so hard he gave me an ugly rope burn, I had to walk away for 10 minutes to compose myself. I know this horse very well and he definitely feeds off my energy and I was not in a good calm state at that point lol! The day after our terrible experience,  I was calm and relaxed and I know that helped him load better.. i was mentally prepared to sit there as long as it took and low and behold,  he was in the trailer in less than 30 seconds lol! 


So are you over on wanting to sell him? I hope so, he sounds like a good boy.

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want2chase3
Reg. May 2009
Posted 2019-03-19 9:55 AM (#7425224 - in reply to #7425222)
Subject: RE: Trailer loading help



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Southtxponygirl - 2019-03-19 9:32 AM


want2chase3 - 2019-03-19 9:28 AM


luluwhit - 2019-03-19 8:39 AM


i think you helped yourself more than any of the advice on here.  i think if they were good loaders and something happens to create not wanting to load you have to be firm and consistant that yes... you do load and no you dont get to say no.  with the constant work and doing it multiple times this week i think you have had him convienced that he is a loader again.  lol  i would also suggest if you can have your husband load and unload once at home that would be helpful also next time the mr is on his own. 



Thank you. My hubby had to load him and unload him the day I had so much trouble with him after the 2nd try .. he pulled back so hard he gave me an ugly rope burn, I had to walk away for 10 minutes to compose myself. I know this horse very well and he definitely feeds off my energy and I was not in a good calm state at that point lol! The day after our terrible experience,  I was calm and relaxed and I know that helped him load better.. i was mentally prepared to sit there as long as it took and low and behold,  he was in the trailer in less than 30 seconds lol! 



So are you over on wanting to sell him? I hope so, he sounds like a good boy.


Haha! Yes definitely over it... now to break the news to my trainer

He probably already knows I wasnt seriously considering it lol! 

 

Thinking about starting to haul him over there myself and start roping again a few times a week.. he loves it and it's so good for him and me too. Plus I have a 4yr old who's about ready to start on the hot heels and tracking some. 

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Southtxponygirl
Reg. Nov 2006
Posted 2019-03-19 9:57 AM (#7425225 - in reply to #7425224)
Subject: RE: Trailer loading help



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want2chase3 - 2019-03-19 9:55 AM


Southtxponygirl - 2019-03-19 9:32 AM


want2chase3 - 2019-03-19 9:28 AM


luluwhit - 2019-03-19 8:39 AM


i think you helped yourself more than any of the advice on here.  i think if they were good loaders and something happens to create not wanting to load you have to be firm and consistant that yes... you do load and no you dont get to say no.  with the constant work and doing it multiple times this week i think you have had him convienced that he is a loader again.  lol  i would also suggest if you can have your husband load and unload once at home that would be helpful also next time the mr is on his own. 



Thank you. My hubby had to load him and unload him the day I had so much trouble with him after the 2nd try .. he pulled back so hard he gave me an ugly rope burn, I had to walk away for 10 minutes to compose myself. I know this horse very well and he definitely feeds off my energy and I was not in a good calm state at that point lol! The day after our terrible experience,  I was calm and relaxed and I know that helped him load better.. i was mentally prepared to sit there as long as it took and low and behold,  he was in the trailer in less than 30 seconds lol! 



So are you over on wanting to sell him? I hope so, he sounds like a good boy.



Haha! Yes definitely over it... now to break the news to my trainer


He probably already knows I wasnt seriously considering it lol! 


 


Thinking about starting to haul him over there myself and start roping again a few times a week.. he loves it and it's so good for him and me too. Plus I have a 4yr old who's about ready to start on the hot heels and tracking some. 


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CanChaser1013
Reg. Aug 2017
Posted 2019-05-15 1:05 PM (#7429149 - in reply to #7425047)
Subject: RE: Trailer loading help


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Location: North central Florida

You can watch Clinton Anderson Trailer loading on Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OT4FCaNvX6A).  It just takes time, effort and patience. I bought a horse less than a year ago that was loading and unloading just fine and one day just wouldn't load.  It was a respect issue.  I had been doing some ground work on this horse before I ride him as he was still green so he was used to the sending exercises and lungeing with me.  We had to work on the sending exercises, then loading into the trailer.  A few times with the stick and string and he learned quickly I meant business!  Haven't had an issue since.

I also have a horse that had been taught to load and was allowed to turn around in a stock trailer and then hop out.  Wouldn't back out of the trailer.  This was a big hole in her training and dangerous as I once saw a friend get run over in her own trailer by allowing her horse to turn around.  First barrel race I went to it took me and several others 20 minutes to get her out of the trailer.  Since I have a 3 horse slant, she couldn't turn around and had to learn to back out.  Again, I spent a few weeks working on it every day until it was just no big deal.  She self loads and unloads fine now.  I also make my horses wait on me to ask them to back out of the trailer so they don't rush out backwards.  When learning, I ask them to take a couple steps back to unload, then wait give praise, then ask for steps foward again.

Ground work is very underestimated in my opinion.  A lot of problems under saddle can be eliminated by spending time doing ground work with your horse.  They learn to RESPECT you.

 

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