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Trailer loading issue....

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Last activity 2019-09-12 12:48 PM
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emricmacy
Reg. Sep 2016
Posted 2019-09-08 9:03 AM
Subject: Trailer loading issue....



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All of a sudden my gelding is having trailer loading issues. I've had him a little over a year and he hasn't ever not loaded. Yesterday took me 50 min to get him in the trailer. I was frustrated as he's never refused. He stood right in front of the ramp and stood there. Making a circle and trying again made it worse as we were getting farther away from the trailer. I do regular groundwork and can easily move his body and feet. He's respectful on the ground. Took another 45 min to get him on the trailer again as I practiced. Finally got to the barrel race and practiced there which was another 45 min. I tried everything, treats, grain, etc...I truly don't know what to do. I can't and will not rely on others .I go by myself almost all the time. riding wise he's great, no issues. None. He hasn't ever had a bad experience in a trailer and I've checked the trailer out and there is nothing wrong with it. I board, and am going to bring the trailer with me every day this week but I don't know what to do when he just stands there. This horse really doesn't have any vices. He just got chiro done and acupuncture and he was great. I don't want this trailer issue to become a habit. I'm at a barrel race now, and I almost didn't go as I couldn't get him loaded. After an hour someone from the barn showed up and it took another 20 min...

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want2chase3
Reg. May 2009
Posted 2019-09-08 9:08 AM
Subject: RE: Trailer loading issue....



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So frustrating,  I've been exactly where you are now! We went from an open stock trailer to a slant and he hated it and wouldn't load for me.. he use to load himself! We ended up getting another trailer (not to appease him, we just upgraded) it was bigger, wider and white inside with a ramp and he just walked right in the first time we tried to load him. Something must be off for him 

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emricmacy
Reg. Sep 2016
Posted 2019-09-08 9:12 AM
Subject: RE: Trailer loading issue....



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I'm so frustrated I was in tears as he's never done this! 

He's acting perfectly normal in all other aspects so I don't know what to do. 

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Liana D
Reg. Sep 2008
Posted 2019-09-08 10:06 AM
Subject: RE: Trailer loading issue....


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A horse with sore hocks will , a lot of times, quit loading in the trailer, it hurts them to step up. Sometimes they’ll do the opposite, they’ll jump in the trailer , hopping in with the hind end, so they don’t have to step up.

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emricmacy
Reg. Sep 2016
Posted 2019-09-08 10:09 AM
Subject: RE: Trailer loading issue....



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Liana D - 2019-09-08 10:06 AM


A horse with sore hocks will , a lot of times, quit loading in the trailer, it hurts them to step up. Sometimes they’ll do the opposite, they’ll jump in the trailer , hopping in with the hind end, so they don’t have to step up.


Good to know, I have the vet coming out Wednesday and will have him check.

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want2chase3
Reg. May 2009
Posted 2019-09-08 10:30 AM
Subject: RE: Trailer loading issue....



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emricmacy - 2019-09-08 9:12 AM


I'm so frustrated I was in tears as he's never done this! 


He's acting perfectly normal in all other aspects so I don't know what to do. 


Ohhh I know how you feel. I think I cried too and gave up trying. I tied him to the trailer and stepped away for about 30 minutes. Then my hubby tried loading him and he wouldn't get in. He just kept rearing up. I even considered selling him that day! Now hes back to loading himself in our slant without an issue.. I wish I had better advice to give but just know you arent alone in the issue! 

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r_beau
Reg. Apr 2010
Posted 2019-09-08 4:41 PM
Subject: RE: Trailer loading issue....



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emricmacy - 2019-09-08 9:03 AM


All of a sudden my gelding is having trailer loading issues. I've had him a little over a year and he hasn't ever not loaded. Yesterday took me 50 min to get him in the trailer. I was frustrated as he's never refused. He stood right in front of the ramp and stood there. Making a circle and trying again made it worse as we were getting farther away from the trailer. I do regular groundwork and can easily move his body and feet. He's respectful on the ground. Took another 45 min to get him on the trailer again as I practiced. Finally got to the barrel race and practiced there which was another 45 min. I tried everything, treats, grain, etc...I truly don't know what to do. I can't and will not rely on others .I go by myself almost all the time. riding wise he's great, no issues. None. He hasn't ever had a bad experience in a trailer and I've checked the trailer out and there is nothing wrong with it. I board, and am going to bring the trailer with me every day this week but I don't know what to do when he just stands there. This horse really doesn't have any vices. He just got chiro done and acupuncture and he was great. I don't want this trailer issue to become a habit. I'm at a barrel race now, and I almost didn't go as I couldn't get him loaded. After an hour someone from the barn showed up and it took another 20 min...


Most of the time when something SUDDEN happens with trailer loading:

1) Is your horse hurting somewhere? You said the vet is coming out anyway, so yes, ask.

2) What is wrong with your trailer? You said you inspected it yourself, but can you have someone else drive you around in it? I've even heard stories of electrical issues caused "shocks" so to speak, while the trailer is in motion. You can't check that if the trailer isn't actively moving.

 

If it's not pain and it's not the trailer, then it's ground work. I do question your current ground work because if you truly can move your horse's body wherever you need, then you should be easily to move him onto the trailer. It's not about moving your horse in circles; it's about controlling where each foot goes, and where each body part goes (shoulders, ribcage, hindquarters). So when you say "I don't know what to do when he stands there", sure you do! Move his feet! One foot on, one foot off. Two feet on, two feet off. Etc. He should move forward when you ask and/or move his feet when you ask. Period. 

It's one of those things where perfect practice makes perfect. If you haven't been practicing correctly all this time, then it shows up when a real issue arises.

Emotions are normal but did you stay frustrated the whole time? Horses read our feelings and body language and if you are flustered, crying, and frustrated, then there's no way they will trust your judgement to jump into that aluminum box. If you need to, fake it. But keep yourself calm and confident, and your horse will be too.

And be open to adjust what you are doing. If a few minutes go by and your normally good loader still won't go on, access if what you are doing is working. Dont spend an hour doing the same thing and not making positive progress.

I would NOT have practiced more when you got to the barrel race. You're horse's brain is already fried after taking an hour to load, and then you drilled him more when you got there. A horse's brain can only handle so much and that's too much.

So when you would ask him to go forward on the trailer, how did he respond? And then what did you do? Walk us through it in detail so we can help you. Or, take a couple lessons from a trainer who is very experienced with ground work.

 

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streakysox
Reg. Jul 2008
Posted 2019-09-08 11:03 PM
Subject: RE: Trailer loading issue....



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Butt rope BUT everything I ride I raised.  They were all taught to lead with a butt rope. That does make a difference. If the butt rope is not effective get Clinton Anderson’s video on loading. I might add that one of my horses would not load when he had EPM because it hurt him so bad to back out. 



Edited by streakysox 2019-09-08 11:06 PM
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horsegirl
Reg. Feb 2004
Posted 2019-09-09 8:23 AM
Subject: RE: Trailer loading issue....



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Hocks were my first thought while reading your post. My guy got "slightly" reluctant to step up 4" into the washrack, let alone the trailer. I had his hocks radiographed and both needed injected. He is like a new horse again. He still hesitated the first couple of times until he realized it didnt hurt now. May not be the case with yours, but I just pictured my situation. 

 

Edited to add: I know you have a ramp, but walking up hill like that on the ramp can still hurt the hocks if they are sore.



Edited by horsegirl 2019-09-09 11:50 AM
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Silly Filly
Reg. Feb 2004
Posted 2019-09-09 9:18 AM
Subject: RE: Trailer loading issue....


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Any time my horses have refused to load, it was a soreness issue.  Next stop was always the vet.

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FLITASTIC
Reg. Jun 2012
Posted 2019-09-09 11:22 AM
Subject: RE: Trailer loading issue....



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I bought a new trailer over the weekend with a ramp. I was anticipating some issues but both my horses LOVE the ramp! 

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want2chase3
Reg. May 2009
Posted 2019-09-09 11:48 AM
Subject: RE: Trailer loading issue....



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FLITASTIC - 2019-09-09 11:22 AM


I bought a new trailer over the weekend with a ramp. I was anticipating some issues but both my horses LOVE the ramp! 


I've been using our older stock trailer just to haul down the road to my trainers daily and the first time I asked my boy to get in it after we'd been hauling in the slant with the ramp, he looked at me like I was crazy .. like, wheres that nice ramp at??!  My horses love the ramp, I kinda didnt think theyd be into it at first but they like it and trust it way more, especially when backing out. 

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madredepeanut
Reg. Aug 2017
Posted 2019-09-09 11:48 AM
Subject: RE: Trailer loading issue....



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The OP advised her trailer does have a ramp, so her horse doesn’t have a sudden step up or drop down. I’m not sure if that changes anyone’s though process on the issue. OP, hopefully this doesn’t continue to be an issue and you get some answers from your vet!

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Liana D
Reg. Sep 2008
Posted 2019-09-09 4:06 PM
Subject: RE: Trailer loading issue....


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Location: Claremore, OK

madredepeanut - 2019-09-09 11:48 AM


The OP advised her trailer does have a ramp, so her horse doesn’t have a sudden step up or drop down. I’m not sure if that changes anyone’s though process on the issue. OP, hopefully this doesn’t continue to be an issue and you get some answers from your vet!


It doesn’t ??

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emricmacy
Reg. Sep 2016
Posted 2019-09-09 6:16 PM
Subject: RE: Trailer loading issue....



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We also have a lq step up trailer that we hauled him in two weekends ago and he loaded perfect. So, not sure why he didn't want to load in the ramp load last weekend. I use the ramp load bumper pull for short day trips and the lq step up for overnight trips. Vet is coming out Wednesday so will talk with him about what's going on. 

I guess it could be hocks, but I don't see any other signs of hock soreness when I'm riding, but will mention it to his vet. 

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blackhorse1
Reg. Mar 2008
Posted 2019-09-10 3:51 PM
Subject: RE: Trailer loading issue....


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I am in the same boat -Loads in the 4 horse but not in the 2 horse..... but I know what the issue is.....

Mine would jump in my little 2 horse and no issue.  Then one day after loading my husband was mowing.  I heard some stomping in the trailer and thought he had gotten too close and scared him.  Got to where I was going - unloaded - did our thing - got ready to go home... NOT going on... no how ... no way.   I was shocked and getting mad all the while trying to get this dang wasp out of my face.   I turned to get his treats out of the bunk and right above where his head would have been is the nest !!!   Not a big one but 1 wasp is one too many.   He wasn't stung thank God but my poor boy.  I usually do a once over before I load anything but because I was in a big hurry I didn't.  I felt awful ( still do). 

Hope you find out what is going on. 

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emricmacy
Reg. Sep 2016
Posted 2019-09-11 7:15 PM
Subject: RE: Trailer loading issue....



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Had the vet out today for a lameness exam, chiro, acupuncture, laser..and nothing is wrong with his hocks. Didn't really find anything out/sore with chiro. Going to bring the trailer tomorrow and see how he does. 

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madredepeanut
Reg. Aug 2017
Posted 2019-09-11 11:35 PM
Subject: RE: Trailer loading issue....



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emricmacy - 2019-09-11 5:15 PM


Had the vet out today for a lameness exam, chiro, acupuncture, laser..and nothing is wrong with his hocks. Didn't really find anything out/sore with chiro. Going to bring the trailer tomorrow and see how he does. 


Glad to hear it’s not a lameness or health issue! Maybe give the trailer a thorough once-over, as was posted above there could be a hornet or wasp nest in there. I would also check the wiring, etc. as was also mentioned- maybe he’s getting shocked while the trailer is moving? I believe there was an earlier thread where the OP said their horse didn’t like going from the dark ramp to light trailer so they painted the inside to match (something along those lines...).

Keep us posted and good luck!

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CanChaser1013
Reg. Aug 2017
Posted 2019-09-12 12:48 PM
Subject: RE: Trailer loading issue....


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This is most likely a respect issue.  It just takes time, effort and patience. I bought a horse 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.

Search Clinton Anderson/Downunder Horsemanship on Youtube for videos on solving trailer loading issues. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OT4FCaNvX6A&t=1299s

 



Edited by CanChaser1013 2019-09-12 12:51 PM
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