Loading help please

spider

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14 October 2004
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Horse has always been a bit of a reluctant loader, not frightened - just plants. He had a bad experience in a trailer last Autumn and has refuse to go in one since, understanderbly. Will load in a 3.5 lorry but this we have to hire so not too convenient and last time he went in this refused to get on going home for 45mins. have been practising loading him in YO's big lorry as she would happily take me if she is going somewhere. He has been going on every night to eat his dinner and seems quite calm but I can't get him to move and stand sideways so i can close the partition. I have pushed and shoved, tried moving his feet and flicked his legs with a stick. He either won't move or reverses out. So I wondered if anyone else has any ideas. If you start to move the partition he shoots out. Can't put anything like a lunge line behind him.
 

Spottyappy

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Have you tried a blindfold?
We had one who planted and tried all sorts, including Kelly marks (brilliant but didn't quite stop the planting every time). Someone suggested a blind fold, and touch wood pony hasn't been a problem since.
 

AengusOg

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Teach the horse, away from the lorry, to yield his quarters round.

I worked with a mare recently who was being changed from an Ifor Williams trailer to a rear-facing van type vehicle. The owner could get her to walk in, but had to lead from the nearside which meant that she(the owner) ended up on the wrong side of the mare and had to pass under her neck to exit. I taught the mare to be led from the offside first, then to yield her quarters to a touch cue initially, then to a raised finger signal. The mare then loaded easily and stepped round so that the partition could be brought round and fixed.
 

spider

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14 October 2004
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Have you tried a blindfold?
We had one who planted and tried all sorts, including Kelly marks (brilliant but didn't quite stop the planting every time). Someone suggested a blind fold, and touch wood pony hasn't been a problem since.
Thank you for the suggestion. We tried this, he was not a bit concerned about the blindfold but still wouldn't move!
 

spider

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14 October 2004
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Teach the horse, away from the lorry, to yield his quarters round.

I worked with a mare recently who was being changed from an Ifor Williams trailer to a rear-facing van type vehicle. The owner could get her to walk in, but had to lead from the nearside which meant that she(the owner) ended up on the wrong side of the mare and had to pass under her neck to exit. I taught the mare to be led from the offside first, then to yield her quarters to a touch cue initially, then to a raised finger signal. The mare then loaded easily and stepped round so that the partition could be brought round and fixed.
Thank you. That is the annoying thing. He will yield his quarters on the ground and in the 3.5t lorry I just touch his quarters and say over to move him over and have someone push the partition over quickly in case he changes his mind!
 

blitznbobs

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19 June 2010
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Thank you. That is the annoying thing. He will yield his quarters on the ground and in the 3.5t lorry I just touch his quarters and say over to move him over and have someone push the partition over quickly in case he changes his mind!
Try moving his head from side to side so that he is not 'locked' then tap ( think annoying fly) on his side - this can take some time.

. If this doesn't work try backing him down the ramp and then up again - basically anything to keep his feet moving . I'd suggest just leading him up forward and turn to come straight back down a few times once you can do this try halting every fear steps up then down. Then halt on the turn. Each time he does as you say (or tries to) lots of praise... It takes time but if all four feet are locked then you need to get him moving them in any direction ... But with most horses just unlocking their neck with a side to side movement is enough to get their feet moving in the right direction.
 

be positive

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As he is loading ok now, take him in, you leading him on his left but keeping him as far to the right on the way in as you can, once he is in instead of stopping keep moving him turning him towards you and going straight back out, that way you keep him thinking forward and don't allow him to plant himself or give him any way of running backwards.
Do this a few times, it is similar to going straight through a trailer, then when you are ready instead of allowing him to turn and go out stop him as he is turning, he should then be almost sideways, again repeat a few times until you are ready to keep him still and put the partition across, no pushing or shoving should be required, if he is not quite in the right place he should move away from the partition provided you are in control of the front end.
A tense horse who is worried, even if he seems confident he obviously isn't otherwise you would not be having problems, can hold themselves so they will push rather than yield to pressure when they feel they are in an environment they have no control over, he is frightened and having had a travelling accident he has become more so unsurprisingly, you need to build up his confidence and make loading a nice experience for him so he wants to go in every time.
 

spider

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14 October 2004
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Thank you, this makes sense. I have been taking him up the left as worried about him catching himself on the partitions if he pulls back. I think I will get someone to stand that side then try on the right.
 
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