Bucking whilst travelling

13 April 2016
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I recently took my two ponies on a 4 day short break which involved a 3 hour journey to and from the destination. Both ponies have travelled together for the last 9 months but the 14.2 Connemara has always acted quite aggressively to my smaller mare once loaded in the ifor Williams 506 trailer. He would constantly bite her neck and lunge at her in an aggressive manner. To stop this I installed a head guard but this is fairly ineffective unless her is tied very short (which I have done). He can still eat his hay but it doesn't look very comfortable. If the lead rope is any longer though he can move backwards and reach behind the head partition. Usually travelling is uneventful and we travel every week to somewhere but have never travelled for longer than just over 1 hour. He knows the mare well and has been turned out with her for the last 9 months with no aggressive behaviour in the field.

On the way to the destination, the Connie started bucking whilst we were stopped at traffic lights. As we were only 5 miles from the end of the journer I continued and he did a couple of more times whilst moving but nothing more. On the way home, he started bucking after 1 hour of travelling. It started whilst moving on A roads and continued when I joined the motorway. He looked like he was just double barrelling the back ramp with both legs. After 30 minutes of this behaviour I had to pull off the motorway and find a place to stop to check him. When I opened the ramp he was a cool as anything, not sweated up, not even desperate to get to off. I ended up calling out an emergency vet to sedate him in order to get home safely.

It was an incredibly stressful situation being so far from home with this pony behaving in such a way. He can be slightly stressy when not at home but generally is well behaved and I have never known him to do behave like this before. I am now fearful of venturing far from home with him and do not feel comfortable travelling my mare with him incase he kicks her. When I bought the pony, the old owners were very cagey about his travelling and refused to let me take him to an event with my mare and offered to travel him there themselves which they did. I believe he dislikes the enclosed space with another pony and then being tied short is just uncomfortable and hard for him to probably balance but I have no other way to travel him! I will try taking him out this weekend alone and see how he behaves and then try taking him again with my mare but would like to hear if anyone has had a similar experience and if they can offer me any sign of hope that we can get over this. I don't have the option of buying a lorry etc so he needs to be happy to travel with another horse next to him.