Weekend.....frustration and advice needed

SSM

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This Saturday was the last show of the season for us. We were going to do the Novice and Open Hunter classes at Southwell Ploughing match - was is the operative word.

Friday night scrubbed her up, got everything ready, Saturday morning at 5am (she was still cuddled up dreaming of carrots) plaited her up and was ready to go. My first class was the second of the day so we estimated we needed to be there for 9am. So at 7.30 we went to load and this is where it all goes downhill - she would NOT load - we pushed, lunge lines, lunge whip, broom, food trailed along the trailer - It took over 2 hours before she decieded that she would go in. Arrived to find that I had missed my first class (surprise surprise) My class was next but by the time I had tacked up found my way to the main ring they were stripping down and it was too late - they charged through the classes.

The thought of loading her was too much for us so I hacked her home (about 12 miles) that was the only highlight of the day as I went along some lovely bridlepaths I have never ridden on.

Sunday pm thought I would walk her out just to make sure she would'nt stiffen up - the sod had pulled all the nails out of one side of her front shoe - so much for stiffening up!

So the advice I need is as follows:

1) What do I do to get her in, presently we have been borrowing a trailer so feeding her in it is not an option - pressure halters? any advocates of them and how do I use it.

2) We are buying a trailer - which one? ramp or barn doors? - once we have her in we have to slam the door shut or she is back out. Thought I might contact our local trailer dealer and see what they can let me test. We have been using an Ifor, is a little older and rattles etc so wonder if that has upset her.

3) She hates her hind moonboots (travel boots) - can you buy good old fashioned hock boots (or anyone want to sell me an old pair?) what does everyone else use?

.....And yesterday to cap it all 'sick note' at work called in sick again, oscar winning performance of a chest infection and was off to the doctors to get antibiotics (funny that her hubby had just come home from being away for 4 days and is at home this week)!!!!!!!!!! Mondays are always our busiest day and yes I had to do her work and mine -

Onwards and Upwards is all I can say - I am too old to sit on a ramp with a beautiful but very stubborn horse crying my eyes out (yes I did in pure frustration!!)
 

sleepingdragon10

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Oh honey!
frown.gif
So very sorry that things didn't go well....

Have you tried putting her in a chifney when you load her....might stop her pulling back?
Perhaps,if you were nervous about competing,she was picking up on that then using it as an excuse to take the p*ss?

Really hope you get it resolved soon

Bethxx
 

pottamus

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Oh dear...feel for you as have been there too with my boy! The Ifor are good as you can let the side ramp down and they can see daylight in the trailer...it certainly encouraged my boy to load better. I have an Ifor and found that I needed to take the partition out and he travels really well now as he can spread himself (he is a heavy built Welsh D).
With mine it was a matter of doing it every week, week in week out. My boy is very strong and can get away from you in pressure halters, bridles, so I loaded in a chifney (probably get shot down!), but it worked and he learn't to go forwards rather than trying to fight and get away. The lunge lines IMO don't work because it just stresses them and puts pressure on them and stops them from thinking about the job in hand.
Once my boy was comfortable coming in and out and standing in the trailer I then took him round the block in it and back home, lenghtening the time each week. I would then hack him somewhere and my husband would meet me and we would trailer him home. He soon got the hang of things and it probably only took me 5/6 sessions for him to load within 5/10 mins and then after that he loads fine.
Can't help with the boots issue but if your horse does not like them, that won't be helping, so I would get rid at least whilst trying to load her up.
With the backing out of the trailer thing, again it is time and patience and practice. Perhaps get her in there and then give her a small feed, rather than trying to bribe her in the trailer with food (which never seems to work because they are to clever)!
Good luck, but it really is down to practice and patience and the biggest piece of advice I can give (though personal experience) is not to get stressed, not be in a rush and not loose your rag! Hope it works out.
smile.gif
 

miamibear

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Bless you. The way we got a bad loader in was to get 2 lunge lines up around their bum and attatched to trailer, get 2 men one on either rope and pull - like a pulley. Keep the pressure up until they decide to go in.

Thats the only advice i have and i dont know if it would be too much use seing as it was used on a pony. It worked though, no more problems at all after that!! But he was a stubburn old goat and definately not scared!!

Dont give up hope though, it will get better, just persevere. Get the trailer in the yard when there is no show to do and practice then there are no time limits and you dont get stressed as you dont have to rush.

Good luck hun xx
 

K9Wendy

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At a show on Sunday, horse next to us wouldn't load, loads of people flapping about with lunge lines and sticks. In the end I brought a bucket of feed over to the girl, asked her to get the people to stop flapping around and take him for a quiet walk round the field for 5 mins, when she came back to the lorry, we enticed him with feed on the floor of the trailer as he really needed to keep his head low to get it. Really there was not enough headroom on the trailer and I think that was a lot of the problem. Blindfolding can work too, used it on a horse at the yard a few weeks ago, but some get smart to it!

As for the travel boots, I would put them on in the trailer, if you can, from behind. We do that with tail guard as it is easier, and sometimes take the boots off on the trailer as she can be too excited once unloaded to undo the millions of tabs on them!

She shouldn't be able to back out of the trailer if you can get the bar up immediately she loads, are there two of you there? Hubby will get bar on while I tie up at the front of trailer.

It is very frustrating, to the point of tears! Sorry I can't be of any more help, these are just my experiences..
 
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Poor you - been there too. Like Pottamus, found lunge lines sent horse (previous horse - Welsh cob again!) upwards rather than inwards and the Chifney worked - after a time. But have to say that was a quick 'remedy' when like you we did not have regular transport. With present horse, I put all ramps down on Ifor Williams and used food and following another horse through over and over again. Re backing out - daughter's cob does this unless he is fed once in trailer and then stands like a lamb whilst you shut ramp. Re travel boots - on Ifor W the back bar can be moved forward away from the ramp, diminishing the need for cover on the hocks - i normally use bandages at the back for short journies for the same reason. Hope this helps!
 

_April_

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The thing I've found with loading is that every single horse is different... some horses can be pushed in with ropes wheras others go mental when you try to force them but can be persuaded with treats. No one method will work, its about finding the method that works for you.

In the meantime Pottamus is totally right, you should start loading every single day if possible and making it a part of a routine instead of something that only happens now and then. Use the bar at the back to stop her running out if poss!
Scrap the boots until she is calmer and then work up to them. You could put them on whilst she is in the stable and not going to be loaded to get her used to them without the additional stress of loading her.

One other thing I thought of was that maybe she is getting stressed by the thought of going to shows... you could maybe try boxing places just to go for rides. That way you won't be thinking of classes etc, will be more calm and this might rub off on her!

Hope this is somewhat helpful, its such a frustration when you are all ready worked up about going to a show! Totally understand!
 

kick_On

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Have you try loading her in a lorry?? You can hire them for a day just to see if she's better. Some gg just don't like trailers and if you only going to do a couple of shows a year it works out cheaper that buying trailer, plus towing vechicle and insurances
But well done for getting her in
I like Ifor williams cos of front loading and the option to have fron ramp down etc... Ifor Williams sound bad, BUT cos they have double wheel they are MUCH MORE stable that you think.
Instead of travel boot what about bell boot and old fashion stable bandages????
 

Halfpass

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Sorry to hear your dilema I know how frustrating it can be.
I have never tried this before but someone i know uses this method and swears by it.
They use a lunge line and wrap it under the tail behing back legs then it crosses over on the neck and the comes down and through bit rings this is said to a) stop the horse charging back and b) stop horse rearing and keep head low to stop them hitting it. Hope this makes sense and may be worth a try. Its a handy one for when you are loading with no help.
 

the watcher

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Unfortunately regular loading is the only answer and there is nothing that replaces that. I have resorted to all kinds of things in the past (including a blindfold in a moment of real crisis) but they are not the solution
 

Weezy

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BIG hug SSM its horrible having a non loading horse
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Personally I use the backing up method - make a horse stand at bottom of ramp (not on it) and I back the horse up then immediately walk forward - if the horse stops on the ramp I stand quietly, reassure then take a couple of steps forward hoping horse will follow me - thats the basis of what I work on and if there is any silly business I come back off the ramp, back up again and restart - YES some horses will respond to lunge lines, but some will not and its terribly frustrating

TBH, I would go the pressure halter route WAY before I went the chiffney route - practise backing up in it and do lots of ground work getting respect and concentration from your horse and then go from there - also if this is a new prob it may be worth having some "expert" help sooner rather than later - it is, with all good intentions meant, pretty impossible to give advice when none of us know exactly how she was misbehaving and what her state of mind was like

BIG HUGS xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
 

icestationzebra

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What a shame.....
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Apart from what everyone else has said about lunge lines... it would be ideal if you could borrow the trailer for a day and park it on the yard. And you spend all day if necessary loading in and out - feed her in there too. Is there anything you could load on the trailer before her? A lot of horses will go straight in if a friend is on already - you can then take friend off. What Ifor is it - is it the 505 or the 510. Wonder if she is finding it a bit tight for room - have you tried with the partition out? I am also looking to buy a trailer (when I have saved enough!) and am hoping to get a Bateson. Lots of headroom - will take 2x17hh horses and OH has studied the suspension system and thinks it will give a very good ride - it is a pullman system but he is an engineer and I am not! You can go for the option of barn doors which some horses prefer to a full ramp. I know how frustrating it can be - you have my sympathy!
 

Toby_Zaphod

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What a horrendous day! I'm so sorry everything went wrond, this problem has obviously got to be sorted out or each time you want to go somewhere you'll always be stressed out.

Trailer type, Ramp or Barn Doors doesn't really matter, but definately get a walk through type. Do not go for a rear in / out because you are asking your horse to go into a dark cave which is against all his instincts. Ifor Williams, Bateson, Wessex, it matters little.

Get yourself a pressure halter & a poll guard. The poll guard just incase he goes up when entering the trailer. Do loads of ground work with the halter before going anywhere near the trailer. Lead him forward, stop him & reverse him. Eventually when he's comfortable with that open the trailer up fully. Open both ends, release the center partition to make it more inviting. Lead him up using the pressure halter. Hold it firmly if he backs away. when he moves foreward release the pressure as a reward. Keep doing this & eventually he will realise it is more comfortable to move forward than pull away.

You can also try leading another horse through the trailer & try gettig him to follow. Once he's on, praise him, stand him for just a few seconds & walk him off. Then do it again. keep on at it until he just does it without problem. This could take minutes it could take hours even spread over a few days but it must be done. Sometimes it's good to have a friend there for support & also to prevent you horse stepping sideways off thre ramp.

Apart from doing this the best advice is PATIENCE, & resist the temptation to get wound up because it will only make your horse worse.

Good Luck.
 

SSM

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Everybody....thank you so much - I know with her it will just be perserverance, patience and practise. The lunge line winds her up, it is just a matter of waiting for her to get bored enough to go in at the moment - Once I get a trailer (which is very soon) I will do it on a daily basis and start taking her on nice hacks in it (well I want to hunt her) and you don't get much better for horses than that!

We do have the front open and I like the idea of putting the boots on after!

PS Sick note called in sick again today
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so will not get much 'playtime'
frown.gif
 

Heidi1

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Oh honey it is such a shame, but talk to Lucy and ask to try her Easy Loader, she will be more than happy to show you how it works, also I will talk to Kim at our yard (Pirelli Person sp?) and get some tips off her, if she comes to help you she will charge and also she spends all day at it, but that is up to you, I have watched her in action and she is good, don't really like the person, but she is good for things like this. Also I will arrange to come up with one of my girls and Billy Bedford and you can try her in that......... Keep smiling honey, it will get better honest.......
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Heidi1

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No it's something that you put on the horse, not really seen it in action and it works them forward, but as soon as they move it releases the pressure. The device you are thinking of has the same sort of name I think and that is brilliant, one of the girls at our yard has it, she struggled for years on her own loading her horse and then bought this and hasn't looked back, it's great......
 

ljm

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Sorry to hear you didnt have a very good day. Those hook over mangers are great for hooking over the breast bar so she could have a little breakfast when she gets in. Sorry cant be much more help. L
 

flyingfeet

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My recommendations would be this:

1. Unlikely to be the trailer

2. Buy a copy of Monty Roberts "Load Up" & a Dually Halter

3. Change moon boots for thinner travel boots (Shires do Travel Sure for around £12). These don't restrict the legs like shaped boots, however I do general put tendon boots underneath just to make sure!

I don't like suggestion above of putting them on once in the trailer - if they prat around they are more likely to damage their legs whilst loading,
 

Oaksflight

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Let the side ramp down so the trailer looks more open. Practice circles, making her back up, etc. To begin with, walk in at a quick pace, and look through the trailer, not at the ramp (believe me it def. works). Once she stands on the ramp, praise her, then push her back off the ramp, walk away, do circles, etc. Keep repeating it gradually putting one more foot on the ramp, and then walk very quickly (almost trotting) into it. If she backs off, give her the rope, if you pull on it, she'll just panic. People not giving horses leadrope is where most of the problems loading occur, as horses feel restricted, panic, and possibly rear.

My horse was bad to load, but after taking part in a horsemanship demo where they did this, he now walks in first time, even trots in half the time. In the demo, he trotted in following me without a leadrope or anything. I just walked in and he followed. It was very impressive!
 

Oaksflight

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Don't think thats true. Mine rarely gets loaded. He's been in a trailer twice this year, and horsebox once. I've loaded him about 5 times in total. He doesn't like travelling, he sweats up and gets nervous, but he'll go in first time now after natural horsemanship thing. I'm not normally one to normally believe in all their techniques, but thought I'd give it a go, and it really honestly does work. I was late for a show (thanks to lazy OH) so was in a right stress, last thing I needed was Hal mucking about but he just walked straight in even when he could sense I was stressed.
 

Gingernags

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PLEASE don't try putting boots on when she's in the trailer!

It happened at a hunter trial here several years ago - a girl went into the back of her trailer to do somthing with the horses travel boots and it went mad. The trailer was all over the place and when someone got the ramp down - the girl, and she was only a teenager - was dead from head injuries.

Sorry thats so shocking but it worries me rigid about things like that now, please be careful!

But on another note - my sisters mare hates trailers. It usually took about 2 hours to get her in anywhere - mainly Ifors it has to be said. Now we've bought the big Cheval Liberte 2003Xl which will take 2 x 17.2 and b*gger me if she doesn't walk straight in!

Its so light and airy (all white inside) and there is so much room, she plods straight up the ramp! We are used to this mad rearing beastie on whom pressure halters and lunge ropes make her fight - but she's really taken to this trailer and is fine in it! I swear we nearly fell over in shock the first time we tried her with it, it was so unexpected!

So maybe trying a few different models may help, see if there is one she "likes"?
 
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