Pony rearing while traveling

tigermoth

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I have been a horse owner for over 40yrs but need ideas on how to help my sons pony.

We have owned the pony for 4yrs & she is 15yrs old. She is fast & forward going but not the bravest.
She has always loaded & traveled well on both short & long journeys. Competes in evening performances with no issues & doesn't mind being on her own.

8 months ago we were involved in a low speed road accident, where a car came out of a side street & struck the trailer. The other driver was charged & has pled guilty.
Luckily neither people or pony were hurt but the trailer need over £1000 of work to repair it.
On getting the trailer back I went to load the pony for a short trip, fully expecting her to be reluctant to load. She was fine, never hesitated, walked straight in & didn't bother when the ramp was closed. She also traveled fine, no sweating or stressing. We did a few short trips with no problems & then a few weeks later we traveled 240 miles to a competition (stabled on site for 4 days). Again the pony was fine, no issues with either loading, travelling or standing on the trailer. She traveled home again & then did a few short trips before we started winding down for the winter, all with no problems.

After a break of maybe 3 weeks we loaded her to travel 30 mins to a local event, again she loaded fine & stood. Unfortunately about 20 mins into the journey i was aware she was moving around a lot & stopped to check on her. The pony was dripping with sweat & shaking all over. I checked her, the trailer & the car, couldn't find anything wrong. By this time she was standing calmly again so we set off. We were nearly at the event when again i could feel movement but this time i could also so see her face in the top window of the trailer (she's only 12.2hh) It was very scary. This has continued on & off over the winter, some days she travels better than others. She arrives at lessons/comps stressed & sweaty but is happy to stand on the box while there & it hasn't affected her willingness to work.

I would say she's reacting to the accident & it's not her fault & l'm trying numerous things to help.
back doors above ramp are left open, as always
small haynet hung
breast/breaching bars shortened so she can't move backwards/forwards to much
tied as normal but also a second rope tied down round the breast bar (she can still move but can't get high enough to come over bar)
traveled in cotton sheet so doesn't get to hot
been giving her a calmer for the last 6 weeks
always drove carefully but now don't go over 40 mph

I have ordered some rescue remedy for her & have an animal behaviorist coming soon.

Has anybody got any other suggestion? I'm at my wits end.
 

DirectorFury

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Have you had the box checked for mechanical soundness since the rearing started? If wheel bearings are going they can make an odd noise, tyre pressure changing can affect (effect?) the ride, and a myriad of other problems.
 

tigermoth

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Hi, yes box went to an Ifor Williams yard for repair & was professionally sorted. I will contact & ask if they could check it over again for me. thanks
 

Tiddlypom

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Get someone to travel in the trailer (without the horse). See if there are any unusual rattles or noises which could be upsetting the pony.

Technically, this is of course illegal but a short trip on private land may tell you a lot. The centre partition pole rattled like crazy in my 510, my spy found this out, we wedged off cuts of cycle inner tube where the top fixing goes and hey presto, a much quieter trailer.

Also check tyre pressures, the brakes for snatching etc.
 

Lgd

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See if you can borrow a different trailer, preferably a different brand.
I've seen a few who suddenly struggle with travelling in the Ifor trailers. My friend's horse started falling over having previously been fine and he has never travelled happily ina trailer again.
He was unsteady in my 7.5t herringbone when we tried that and then fell over when we pulled the partition in to give more support. It seems like a claustrophobia thing with him. He finally settled in a rear facing box, initially tried in a 3.5T and then owner had a 3.9t built for him. I compete him now and he goes happily in a rear facing 5.5t that has very roomy partitions (built for a very tall chunky horse).

Another friend had similar issues with an Ifor and has eventually got hers travelling again in a trailer but it took 12 months. He travels fine in a herringbone horsebox.

My chiro lady sold her Ifor as her horse hated it and she switched to a rear facing equitrek Trekka trailer which solved the problem.
 

asmp

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I agree with Tiddlypom - check for rattles. I didn't realise how noisy my old Bateson was until I bought a new Ifor. Just stand in a field at a show and hear what a racket some old trailers make.
 

meesha

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A cheap camera with monitor in car may help you see if pony is struggling to balance or qwhethwer it's panic/nerves
 

Equi

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How is she traveled? Sometimes they only travel backawards, to the left, upside down etc. My little mare will bounce about the trailer if shes at the front (so facing forward, nothing to lean on) but tie her at the back shes fine (puts her side to the ramp and hunkers down). Shes a mini so i can't recommend you tie your pony at the back but perhaps a sidewards trailer/backwards might make them more comfortable.
 

tigermoth

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thanks folks, box has been back in & checked over, no problems there. Box is an Ifor Williams 506 bought new in June 2015. The local agent has given me a few ideas to try & very kindly offered me the use of full length bars to see if that helps. Keeping my fingers crossed something will help.
 

Diva.no.12

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I'd be interested to hear if you find a solution , I have a similar problem with my mare, always loads, always stands happily at shows and when parked but at least 50 % of time whilst traveling is frantically weaving and stomping getting very tense- changed from an ifor williams to a rear facing 3.5t and still have the problem, other horse travels absolutely fine in same vehicle- there have been no incidents or accidents- I was just about to post to ask if anyone has tried companion goats to try and help ease anxiety if that is the cause-- I put a mirror in but that hasn't helped
 

tigermoth

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Just a quick update for everyone. To be honest the behaviorist wasn't that helpful & really didn't confirm anymore than I already knew. I have started to give the pony rescue remedy on the day before she is due to travel, 4 drops on a bit of apple 3 times a day. The first trip we took she was more settled & not as sweaty. Subsequent trips have been about the same but I have also started to leave the door above the side ramp open, this seems to have met with her approval.
The last trip we took she was perfect on the way over but on the way home was again unsettled but not too trying to rear. I'm happy that we seem to be making slow & steady progress, fingers crossed it continues.
 
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