Very flighty horse, won't load

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OwnedByTheCow

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I've had this horse for years and he has always been extremely flighty. He has never been good at loading and to the point he gets extremely dangerous to himself and everything around him. I have a trainer but our schedules never seem to line up. I have loaded him a couple times and it usually takes a couple hours to get him on. I can't ride him at my house as I don't have any land for it and he is also extremely buddy sour and won't go on trails. In all honesty I don't know why I bought this horse. But now I own him and need him to be ok on trailers. Once he is on the trailer and shut in he is perfect, but as soon as I open up the door to get him off he flies backwards off the trailer. I can't drug him... Or can I?? :hide:
An ideas would be worth a try. My trailer it a two horse slant load step up.
 

Rafter S

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Have you tried feeding him in the trailer? Let him eat the feed and then back out on his own time when he's finished? I haven't fooled with horses in 30 years, so someone else will likely have a better idea.
 

Ol' 243

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M-5":alxissxa said:
My way of fixing it is not Something I can share on a public forum. But I can tell you from experience that after a lesson if the door opens he will load and look back at you to shut the gate.

Yup :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

Nesikep

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I think that's a good start.. you're going hungry until you go on that trailer and you're good and used to it.. I did that with a steer I had to ship.. he ate in the trailer for a week and then I shut the door behind him
 

Cross-7

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My 2 cents
Works with dogs, horses, children, grown adults and so on.
Make wrong thing difficult and the right thing easy.
The trailer is his resting spot
Not loading in the trailer is hard work
 

Bigfoot

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Never seen the horse, never met you, so I don't know your skill set.

Here is some things that can be done fro the ground, that might help that horse in general:
1. Separate him from the horses. Find a low limb, away from them, and stake that dude out.
2. I'd load him just to load him, and then I'd load him again. I personally wouldn't feed him on the trailer. Nothing inherently wrong with it, I'd just like him to know, that I load him, and I do it when I want, and how I want.
3. Having not seen him, so this is a shot the dark, but I bet it's true. Sounds like he's eating better than the work that is being asked of him. Calories go down, energy level goes down.
 

talltimber

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Trail horses are cheap right now, or so I hear. I would sell him and get one I could handle. If you don't have the skills to handle him, you would be much better off without him.

With that said, I wouldn't feed him on the trailer either. But, if you are inclined to try that method, then that's the only place he'd get a bite or drink of anything, until he started loading regularly and without much asking. Try tying him out like Bigfoot mentioned. I would take a Saturday for example, catch him and tie him to something stout, with lead rope higher than his withers, with a slip knot. He does lead doesn't he? Does he suck back when he's had his fill of being tied too? I'd leave him tied to teach him some patience first. Sun and patience will take it out of them, eventually. Try him at noon, if not leave him. Try him at dark, if not leave him. Try him at daylight, if not... He needs to come back to you, look to you for direction, then follow instructions. He's not doing that, he is dictating to you what he is gonna do or not do. There are a couple of ways to remedy that, and quitting him when he is doing it is not the way to fix it. So, make up your mind that he is going in to that trailer, and stay hooked until he does, by whatever method you choose to use. I like the pressure/release method over the baiting method myself. It will last much longer, and it's better for you both. But, it takes some experience in most cases for a couple of reasons. One is so you can position your body in relation to his to keep from getting hurt, and Two is to be able to use your position to put pressure on him without being in front of him, eyeballing him, and getting your ears pawed off. If you are scared of him, no shame, just get someone to help. If you are scared of him, it will show, and he knows, and he will try you. You don't have to be mean, most horses are trying to do right, but there are some that need way more "pressure" than others. fwiw
 

wbvs58

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My only tip is to chock up the back of the trailer when trying to load, some don't like the give of the springs when they step on.

We had a warmblood mare that used to load OK until she went crazy when my wife was unloading her one day and went down, she never loaded again, we had an expert out to reeducate her but she never stepped on a float again herself. We gave her a change of address and sold her as a broodmare, new owners expert livestock carrier was defeated by her. I ended up loading her on our truck by anaesthetising her and winching her on and let her recover on the back before taking off loose in the back. The only problem then was getting her off at the other end but she eventually got off when left to her own devices.

More than one way to skin a cat.

Ken
 

Boot Jack Bulls

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I agree that feeding in the trailer is a bad idea. I have a hunch that your horse didn't like the small space in the first place, and now you have reinforced his bad behavior. I would start by borrowing a stock trailer (I had a gelding years ago, who literally was dead broke in everything from heading/healing to huntseat/over fences and driving. He WOULD NOT ever load in a two horse trailer. He simply did not like it. He would load in a stock or slant horse trailer with zero issue). Make sure it is hooked up to a truck or the wheels are well blocked and the step in isn't too far up. Then I would work the horse thoroughly down. Lunge if necessary, until he is good and sweaty. Do some halter work too. Make him break at the poll, tip his nose to both sides and show some flex in his spine. When he can do this for you, you have his full attention. Then load him. Be patient, and let him think it is his idea. Don't pull, whip, prod, etc. You will just give him a reason to mis-behave, and you are back at square one.
Also, Bigfoot touched on the feed vs activity issue. If he is always flighty, it makes me wonder if it is his personality, or high energy horse feed. I've seen a dietary change make a big difference...
 

BRYANT

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send him to the kill pen and go buy you a good Mule, they have more brains than a hay burning horse. I can't help it I'm not a horse person, but I do like a good mule.
 

BobbyLummus1

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I use to deal in horses , and never had the same one around too long . didn't always have much time either . I would take a long lead rope and lead the horse up to the point where it stopped or balked , take the rope through the trailer and tie it off at the back off the trailer with out ever getting in the trailer( dangerous) . then take a rachet strap around the horses rear end and crank him in little at a time, and tighten the lead rope as you progress , some like the pressure like a cow . never have to get in the trailer this way ( safe ) . of course you can take your time desensitizing the trailer first if you like
 

Farm Fence Solutions

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A medium sized loop with a lariat rope around his rump, and GENTLY apply forward pressure when he balks or tries to run backwards. A fair percentage of tie down horses get a little unsure about what the fella standing in front of them is after, and this is a bit of an easy fix. I've loaded a bunch of them in 10 seconds that folks had been working on for days. It should be noted that I had nothing to do with thinking this up on my own. It was shown to me by one of the greats.
 

cow pollinater

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Farm Fence Solutions":grwcl78s said:
A medium sized loop with a lariat rope around his rump, and GENTLY apply forward pressure when he balks or tries to run backwards. A fair percentage of tie down horses get a little unsure about what the fella standing in front of them is after, and this is a bit of an easy fix. I've loaded a bunch of them in 10 seconds that folks had been working on for days. It should be noted that I had nothing to do with thinking this up on my own. It was shown to me by one of the greats.
That's always the first thing I try as well. I had one really good mare that would not load first thing in the morning without a rope draped over her. After a while I didn't have to use it but it had to be there. :lol:
Before I tried to do anything with him I'd wear him down a little as others have said. Saddle him up and make him stand there tied at the trailer for a couple of hours so he gets it in his head he's going to work. On days when you get him loaded, take him somewhere and give him a good workout, load him for the trip back home and then load him and unload him a few times while he's still a little tired. You can put more pressure on when they're worn out than you can at the beginning of the day.
 
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my way might not be good for a public forum either but I "heard " that tying them to back of trailer with gate open and drive down gravel road slowly they will get tired of following the trailer and realize it is easier to ride in the trailer it only takes once or twice they figure it out quikly
 

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