Sunday, July 25, 2010

Well that didn't work

The trailer arrived this morning to take the quarters to their new home. Coriander got on after about 10 minutes of coercion, then we tried to get Gwen on. She walked up to the trailer, stuck her nose in, sniffed around, and refused to step forward any further. She took long enough that Coriander decided he needed to throw the biggest fit in Fitsville and I was forced to get him off. After that he wouldn't even stick his nose back in. We kept trying to get Gwen on but she rebelled from the pressure and started rearing.

At that point we gave up. It was either do that or someone would get hurt. But all was not lost. The awesome guy who came to move them, who lives next door to where they're going, is bringing over a trailer and leaving it at the barn for a few days so I can do some intensive trailer loading practice. How great is that? There really are some truly fantastic people in the world.

So the horses aren't currently living it up in their new home yet, but at least I can work with them and make it so getting on a trailer isn't a traumatizing experience. Good news is, as soon as they are walking on and off the trailer I can have them moved the next day. I'm hoping it won't take longer than a week.

I'm planning on grabbing a cold beverage and some floor to just wait them out, clicking and treating when they make forward progress. I'll probably throw some hay into the mix and let them eat off the back of the trailer for a while. Any other suggestions?

Monkeywrench Addendum: Just found out the horses have to be out Wednesday because that's when the new occupants are arriving. No pressure.


  1. "Any other suggestions?"

    yes. but I probably won't have the time to type them out until this evening.

    One question first--
    what kind of trailer do you have to practice with?
    (small/large, ramp/no ramp, etc?)

    Also, what's their (brief) past history with trailering and loading?


  2. OK, I have heard that apples work. Hay is normal food, but apples...well! So maybe over the next couple of days you put some apple slices at the opening and inside the trailer and let them get used to being in there....

  3. Do the target well? That is how I get Bodhi into trailers that he does not like. Use something with high "value" like carrots, apples, or grain and click away (like you say). Allow them to back up if the want and just go back to the last place they were comfortable and work from there.
    It may take a session or too with Gwen but if you set your mind to the goal and take time it will work. :)

  4. Slow and steady will get you there - good luck!

  5. Thanks everybody. I think I'm borrowing a two horse side-by-side to use. I doubt it has a ramp. Gwen's first trip on the trailer was from FL to NY last year, I have no idea how they got her on. Coriander has been on maybe one or two times more than that.

    I plan to use targeting but I need to find just the right treat to entice them. They don't like apples or carrots, I've tried both and they won't eat them- even mixed in their grain.

    Now there's really no way I can get them out by Wednesday. I'm begging the BO right now to let me put them in the big pasture so they can stay outside and the stalls are freed up.