Youngster putting head under trailer breast bar....

serenityjane

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Recently travelled two youngsters together- one was a yearling approx 15.3hh, the other a two year old 12.2hh. Travelling for approx 45 mins to a show. Breast bar is fixed. We were concerned that the pony would be able to get below the breast bar so tied a really big haynet full of straw to the breast bar to prevent this-it also helped shorten his area as he is considerable shorter in length too, than his companion. It worked really well! You could equally put a couple of bales of straw in front of the breast bar (on the non-horse side)-we did this when we travelled the same yearling last year when he was a foal-he travelled with a companion loose in the trailer but we filled the area in front of the fixed breast bar with straw bales to prevent injuries- the journey was approx 2 hours each way and it was a great success travelling them like this. I personally prefer to travel horses tied, but it does however depend on the horse, it's age and how it travels and indeed ties!- My riding mare has fallen several times in the trailer in the past causing injury, this appears to be caused by a slight loss of balance which then causes her to panic which is then made worse by being tied, so is never tied when travelled. We have a camera on the trailer and she travels really well untied, with or without a companion.
 

Redders

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Or get some rubber matting (a light weight grade) and attach to the breast bar? Could make holes for a fastener and remove when required? No worry about feet getting caught or bales moving around.
 

lornaA

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Putting her head under the breast bar would really worry me I am afraid. A few years ago I witnessed a friends horse getting her head stuck under the breast bar of the trailer and the horse ended up with a broken nose which ended in complications with sinus problems and had to have a hole drilled in her head to release pressure and flush out and infection. It was very nasty and the horse was ill for a long time but thankfully is ok now. This horse had been tied up but had got loose. I always make sure my girl is tied up.
 

soloequestrian

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Thank you for the ideas for blocking the front. I have a grill that is designed to go between the heads of two horses when they are in the trailer together so I will see if I can adapt it to block the front - it is nice and sturdy but also designed to be lifted out easily.
I really appreciate everyone taking the time to read and reply but please do note that I AM worried about this, I AM trying to do something about it and I clearly understand that it is not safe for the horse to travel with her head under the bar. If I wasn't worried, I wouldn't have posted in the first place! I have enough horror stories now!
 

stormox

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I don't tie in a trailer because I don't ever leave a horse with its head fastened to something if I'm not there to supervise. To me, the high probability of their managing to do something with the rope that gives them a scare far outweighs the low probability that the rope will prevent something undesirable. I realise that I might have to alter my strategy in this instance, but I posted on here to see if anyone had had a similar problem and solved it in a novel manner i.e. without tying. I can't see how a rope would stop a determined horse turning around, unless the whole tying system was unbreakable right through from the ring to the horse's head, and in that case the horse would likely damage itself if it started struggling anyway.
I would always tie in the trailer. I teach the horses to tie up at home, and have never had a problem. In a trailer I always tie both sides if I only have one horse and no partition- this DEFINATELY stops them turning around. Ive never had a horse start struggling- why should it? and Ive travelled plenty of youngsters.
 

Tiddlypom

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Thank you for the ideas for blocking the front. I have a grill that is designed to go between the heads of two horses when they are in the trailer together so I will see if I can adapt it to block the front - it is nice and sturdy but also designed to be lifted out easily.
I really appreciate everyone taking the time to read and reply but please do note that I AM worried about this, I AM trying to do something about it and I clearly understand that it is not safe for the horse to travel with her head under the bar. If I wasn't worried, I wouldn't have posted in the first place! I have enough horror stories now!
One of these?



I cannot see how it could prevent your horse from putting her head under the bar.

It is utterly baffling that you, as someone who markets a loading aid device (as per your username), are even still considering travelling her in a 510 untied, after she has got already got her head under the breast bar TWICE. How scary do the warnings need to be before you realise that tying her up in the trailer is much the lesser of the evils?

As previously suggested, if you have a phobia of tying up to travel, then go for a stallion box.
 

FfionWinnie

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Teaching horses to tie up properly so they learn that struggling, jumping about and anything else does not make life better is a far better life skill than avoiding the issue.

You cannot prevent the chance of a horse getting caught by the head ever in its life. FAR safer for them to have the right skills (stand quietly and without panic) in that situation rather than what you are suggesting.

If you are travelling them with head collars and or rugs then there is a high chance of being caught on something whether tied up or not. Using a mesh head partition at leg height is asking for a serious accident.
 

Impu1sion

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I'm afraid I am one of those people whose horse got head under front bar of my IW trailer last year, then I braked and horse slid under the bar and tried to stand up. It was the most frightening 10 minutes of my life and I would not want to go through that again. I now cross tie horse.
 

ihatework

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Teaching horses to tie up properly so they learn that struggling, jumping about and anything else does not make life better is a far better life skill than avoiding the issue.

You cannot prevent the chance of a horse getting caught by the head ever in its life. FAR safer for them to have the right skills (stand quietly and without panic) in that situation rather than what you are suggesting.

If you are travelling them with head collars and or rugs then there is a high chance of being caught on something whether tied up or not. Using a mesh head partition at leg height is asking for a serious accident.
Op I know you started this thread wanting options for leaving untied.
I know you are disliking everyone harping on about tying up.
I know there are many different ways of managing horses.

But in this instance I strongly believe tying up is the way to go and you would be a fool to think otherwise. If you choose not to tie I wish you and your horse all the best and hope you don't live to regret it.
 

Goldenstar

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Horses everywhere every day travel tied up with brestbars to prevent them getting their heads under the bar and turning round ( I have seen turning round once and that was terrible ) .
I really don't understand why you are making heavy weather of an issue that's has a simple fix .
I would not use one of IW head stalls if there's any chance of the horse getting its self into a position where it could raise its head onto it I chucked mine after I spilt my head open on it .
 

rara007

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No brainer for me- either cross tie or normal tie. I find the scariest things about trailers when they try to turn and get themselves wedges, horrible to deal with. Tie her up just long enough she can't bite her companion (or imaginary one), for this issue from the higher ring. A quick release tie onto thinned bailer twine should be enough to dissuade her without actually being much of a firm tie, should something drastic happen.
 

soloequestrian

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A quick release tie onto thinned bailer twine should be enough to dissuade her without actually being much of a firm tie, should something drastic happen.
The reason I'm interested in ideas other than tying up is related to this. If a horse decides it wants to turn around in a trailer, that's a fairly serious decision given how difficult that move is - why would a few strands of baler twine stop it?? Equally, if one decides that it wants its head under the bar and is determined to do it, a breakable tie is not going to stop it. Hence I am looking for ideas that will discourage the behaviour that are not dependent on having the horses head anchored to some part of the trailer. I may tie up, but I know how to do that - I am after solutions that I haven't thought of yet. I've had several helpful replies that have given me some good ideas and I am very grateful for those. I note that at least one horror story involved a horse that was tied but got itself undone, which if anything underscores my desire to have an alternative or additional safety mechanism in place. I also note the correlation between tying up and not having problems is not necessarily evidence of causation!
 

Red-1

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The reason I'm interested in ideas other than tying up is related to this. If a horse decides it wants to turn around in a trailer, that's a fairly serious decision given how difficult that move is - why would a few strands of baler twine stop it?? Equally, if one decides that it wants its head under the bar and is determined to do it, a breakable tie is not going to stop it. Hence I am looking for ideas that will discourage the behaviour that are not dependent on having the horses head anchored to some part of the trailer. I may tie up, but I know how to do that - I am after solutions that I haven't thought of yet. I've had several helpful replies that have given me some good ideas and I am very grateful for those. I note that at least one horror story involved a horse that was tied but got itself undone, which if anything underscores my desire to have an alternative or additional safety mechanism in place. I also note the correlation between tying up and not having problems is not necessarily evidence of causation!
The tying up is not to prevent the horse from turning etc, it is to prevent the thought in the first place, as in if the horse is randomly moving its head, and gently stopped before it is turned, then the horse will not see the 'gap' behind, as in an escape route, therefore the thought will not happen. The same with a breast bar, if he is never randomly in a head down position the thought will simply not occur.

It is about directing the attention, not physically lashing the horse to the side of the box.


It was me who suggested a stallion box. There is no breast bar to even be concerned with, and although they *could* still turn round, there is no gap or view behind then to want to move into.

Having said that, I have a stallion box, and Jay stands cross tied. Attention firmly on his haynet ;-)
 

9tails

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You carry on being pig headed, SoloEquestrian, I really hope you're not the next horror story with a badly injured horse because you think you know better.
 

Dowjones

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The reason I'm interested in ideas other than tying up is related to this. If a horse decides it wants to turn around in a trailer, that's a fairly serious decision given how difficult that move is - why would a few strands of baler twine stop it?? Equally, if one decides that it wants its head under the bar and is determined to do it, a breakable tie is not going to stop it. Hence I am looking for ideas that will discourage the behaviour that are not dependent on having the horses head anchored to some part of the trailer. I may tie up, but I know how to do that - I am after solutions that I haven't thought of yet. I've had several helpful replies that have given me some good ideas and I am very grateful for those. I note that at least one horror story involved a horse that was tied but got itself undone, which if anything underscores my desire to have an alternative or additional safety mechanism in place. I also note the correlation between tying up and not having problems is not necessarily evidence of causation!
Of course a piece of baler twine will stop it turning around! Providing that the horse has been brought up correctly to know the very basic essential skill of being tied up.....
 

Dowjones

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You are very rude - have you read anything I've written?
The reason 9tials is responding in such a way is because she HAS read what you have written.

Do you realise that by chancing trying these silly methods of travel and allowing the horse to try a new way of getting under the breast bar could cause a panic in the trailer resulting in loss of control from the vehicle and potentially killing someone else on the road?!
 

soloequestrian

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The tying up is not to prevent the horse from turning etc, it is to prevent the thought in the first place, as in if the horse is randomly moving its head, and gently stopped before it is turned, then the horse will not see the 'gap' behind, as in an escape route, therefore the thought will not happen. The same with a breast bar, if he is never randomly in a head down position the thought will simply not occur.

It is about directing the attention, not physically lashing the horse to the side of the box.
But what about the argument presented by another forum member, which I agree with, that some horses will want to stand with their heads lowered. I'd like mine to have the option to do that, just obviously not under the bar!


It was me who suggested a stallion box. There is no breast bar to even be concerned with, and although they *could* still turn round, there is no gap or view behind then to want to move into.
I'm not sure what one of these is - can you point me at an example? Obviously I'd like to solve the issue with the box that I have, but it that's not possible I will look at alternatives.
 

Dowjones

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If you want to travel with your horses head on the ground buy a lorry. A trailer is designed so that the horse must stand in the position that it does with its head raised over the breast bar. It baffles me that this is rocket science.
 

soloequestrian

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The reason 9tials is responding in such a way is because she HAS read what you have written.

Do you realise that by chancing trying these silly methods of travel and allowing the horse to try a new way of getting under the breast bar could cause a panic in the trailer resulting in loss of control from the vehicle and potentially killing someone else on the road?!
Oh please stop. I am not chancing silly methods of travel. I am looking for ways to make travel in the box that I have safer. If you can't add anything helpful to that please stop posting!
 

Red-1

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But what about the argument presented by another forum member, which I agree with, that some horses will want to stand with their heads lowered. I'd like mine to have the option to do that, just obviously not under the bar!




I'm not sure what one of these is - can you point me at an example? Obviously I'd like to solve the issue with the box that I have, but it that's not possible I will look at alternatives.
This is mine, and I highly recommend it, but many other firms do them too....

http://www.bloomfields.co/horsebox_models/professional/

In this one Jay can lower his head as there is no bar to stop him. He is cross tied to keep his attention where it should be, but can lower and raise his head, and touch side to side, which is all he needs to do...
 

soloequestrian

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If you want to travel with your horses head on the ground buy a lorry. A trailer is designed so that the horse must stand in the position that it does with its head raised over the breast bar. It baffles me that this is rocket science.
No it doesn't - it can stand with its head lowered pretty much to the ground with its neck still over the breast bar...... Most lorries are much worse at allowing freedom of movement of the head and neck.
 

Dowjones

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Oh please stop. I am not chancing silly methods of travel. I am looking for ways to make travel in the box that I have safer. If you can't add anything helpful to that please stop posting!
Trying to alter the way of travel in a trailer is silly. Why not contact Ifor Williams and ask them for a solution?!
Playing around trying to attach new gadgets to the breastbar is foolish and dangerous. I have lost a family member from a travelling freak accident involving a trailer that lost control, so I am entitled to give my opinion to try and prevent someone else being a complete moron and potentially causing another death.
 

ljohnsonsj

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It's madness to travel not tied up, especially as you say your horse is short it could easily try to turn around on top of other things! Crazy, I'd never dream of doing it!
 

soloequestrian

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This is mine, and I highly recommend it, but many other firms do them too....

http://www.bloomfields.co/horsebox_models/professional/

In this one Jay can lower his head as there is no bar to stop him. He is cross tied to keep his attention where it should be, but can lower and raise his head, and touch side to side, which is all he needs to do...
Thanks - its a bit difficult to tell from the pictures, but it basically looks the same layout as a trailer but with a solid partition at the front where the breast bar would be? And you load from the side so never need to move that front partition? How do you get the horse back out once it has its head over the front partition? I realise this is probably a really stupid question but the photos don't make it very clear!
A few of the ideas on here have been about blocking that space under the breast bar, which would give a similar effect at the front, and I'm really keen on that.
 

soloequestrian

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Trying to alter the way of travel in a trailer is silly. Why not contact Ifor Williams and ask them for a solution?!
Playing around trying to attach new gadgets to the breastbar is foolish and dangerous. I have lost a family member from a travelling freak accident involving a trailer that lost control, so I am entitled to give my opinion to try and prevent someone else being a complete moron and potentially causing another death.
Thank you, that's a good idea to contact IW. I'm very sorry for your loss, but please believe that I am not being careless on the road with my horse/ trailer/ other people - as before, if I wasn't worried, I wouldn't be posting.
 

Dowjones

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It would also be an idea to see where your insurance would stand on you altering the breastbar etc.
It's all well and good trying to find solutions, but at the end of the day a trailer is designed to travel horses in a specific way, and the easiest and safest solution is to tie.
But I shall stop waffling on as it is falling on deaf ears.
 

soloequestrian

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The good ideas are not falling on deaf ears. What I am baffled about is why many of you seem to think that tying up is the ultimate solution despite evidence to the contrary. I keep saying that I may tie up so I really don't understand all the yelling that is going on.
 
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