Another little horsebox and loading question!

poiuytrewq

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3 April 2008
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Cotswolds
My big horse is adamant he's not going to travel in my new lorry.
He's never had travelling or loading problems in the past. Ive had him 3 years and never been anywhere with him except one odd moment when he strode confidently onto our trailer (first and last time)
He had a short travel then i hacked him round the land of his old owners and up their gallop, then home with no problems.
I assumed he just didn't like trailers and he was border line too big for our 505 so i left it at that.
I can get his front legs onto the lorry fairly easily but the second he feels or even hears anything behind him or the leader applies any pressure he reverses out at speed.
Its not essential he travels but would be nice now and then.
He will stand on the ramp for ages and i think maybe its just a waiting game. My O/H however says that ramps are not designed to be stood on for any period of time and I'm going to break it by trying to play nicely with this problem.
When i collected him from his previous owner i marched him straight on a very similar lorry with no hesitation so dont really understand whats gone wrong!
Any idea's? Will the ramp break?! Hes a fair size.
 

poiuytrewq

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He's very much a horse who will become frightened and more stubborn if i get too tough with him.
 

*hic*

village idiot :D
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13,989
If he "strode confidently onto our trailer" why did you assume he didn't like trailers?

If the ramp won't cope with a horse standing on it perhaps that's why he won't go onto it. That begs the question, if the ramp won't cope with a horse standing on it why on earth buy the lorry?

If the conversion is a decent one then of course it will stand having a horse on the ramp, if it isn't then would you trust the rest of it to be suitable for a horse?

Assuming that your OH is talking rubbish and the ramp will cope with the horse then you have various options: You can teach him to walk forwards and back at your command (the horse, not the OH) then ask him to just step on the ramp and then tell him to walk backwards BEFORE he takes the initiative and goes backwards of his own accord. Then ask him for two steps up the ramp etc.

You could use plywood panels to set up in a stable to make an enclosure of similar dimensions and show him that he can walk into what looks like a dead end to him, and once he's used to that try him on the lorry.

You could make a solid earth step that mirrors the angle of the ramp so you can load him with the ramp dropped down level, or lie the ramp on the earth bank to make less of a slope.

You could try making him walk in circles at the foot of the ramp until he's bored enough to go in, this never fails but can take hours.

You could drop the ramp right outside his stable so there are two options, stay in his stable with no food or go into the lorry for a tasty treat - you'll want to give him hay to last until about six hours before you try this so that he's good and hungry - lots of people won't like that idea.

Whatever you try you need to be cool calm consistent and make sure that you keep on doing it until it's second nature. You also need to examine the driving style and abilities of the driver. If the horse has been in too small a vehicle and has been bashed around by a careless driver then it's not altogether surprising he does not wish to repeat the experience.
 

unicornystar

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5 February 2014
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OXON
If your OH thinks the ramp wont withstand your horse, then firstly, get rid of lorry!! A ramp should easily withstand a horse standing on it for however long!!!

Mine does this, plants on ramp of trailer halfway, trick we use is NOT to pull, not to let anyone go behind him (he also panics and reverses, even if tied up :/ ), we simply go the old fashioned way of waiting it out, carrots, and pony nuts and bucket. Even once he is ON board the whole way I must have someone at head end with bucket before installing breech bar behind him gently.

This took up to an hour at first, but by not making an issue and waiting it out, however long, he loads within 10 minutes each way easily. Quite simply it woudl be nice if he walked straight on but it's doubtful in the next 6 months this will happen. I would rather do this way and have an unstressed trusting horse than push push push just to have a fight with a ruddy great horse that will always be stronger than me.

Incidentally, Michael Peace came out to this horse before I had him and worked with him!!! This is the best we are going to get, so patience is key! Also remember once they are on to give them the most pleasant steady drive.....I wonder how many drivers of bad loaders realise what they are putting their horses through!!!
 

Gracie21

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9 March 2011
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Sunny Bournemouth!
Have the same sort of issue but mine is only 14.2hh!

Luckily our lorry is really airy and so inviting. I use a pressure halter and thick heavy rope, only apply pressure when he tries to go backwards and NEVER apply pressure when he's in the box. I started by literally spending hours sat on the ramp waiting for him to walk up to me. This didn't work so I was a little more pro-active and had him walking in circles infront of the ramp until he was walking over it. Cue going back to sitting/standing on the ramp, 4 feet on=praise and a few nuts. Then I'd ask him to go back down and we'd go again, repeated about 5 times.

Then this evolved to 2 feet in lorry, same repetition. Then there's a big leap from 2 feet to all 4 in the lorry. This took real patience but I put my headphones in and minded my own business, pretending I didn't care if he loaded or not, he loaded after 20 mins, had food then I took him off. Repeated. Now we're down to 10mins loading time a night, practising loading, standing sideways then putting the partition over. It's all patience, honestly. He's a flightly type and hates being put in situations he finds uncomfortable, now he trusts me and it's going pretty well! We even had an outing and he loaded after 10 mins to come home. Be patient, stick to your guns and don't let anyone try to tell you to force him in, it has to be his decision and ultimately he has to want to do what you ask of him!
 

el_Snowflakes

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28 May 2009
Messages
3,315
Firstly a ramp is made to withstand a horse standing on it. If for any reason its faulty the ramp/lorry needs replacing!!
I also wouldnt be applying pressure when the horse is on ramp.....If your inexperienced with loading, I would advise that you seeked expert help as its something that needs to be done correctly/safely IMO. I will not advise further as I am only experienced at loading my own horse.
 
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