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Horse Help Center

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Help! Horse bolts out of trailer!

I am from Cleveland, Ohio and missed your seminar a few months ago. People that attended at MayPine are still talking about your teaching methods.

I have a young horse started under saddle about 6 months ago. We have come a long way and enjoy the mare both on the ground and under saddle.

We are having a problem with trailering. We have a 2-horse straight load Merhow trailer with 2 front man doors and a ramp. This quarter horse will walk in calm but won't stay in long enough to safely put up the butt bar. We have spent hours reassuring her, allowing her to exit when she felt the need, rewarding her attempts with treats, calming her with stroking and verbal praise. We can practice every day and then when she really needs to load for a horse show or some other outing she bolts out every time.

Last week end after several hours of trying to load her to come home from a show, I ended up using medication to get her back on the trailer.

Please if you have any advice contact me.
thank you in advance, Nancie Lynch

Hi Nancy,

Sorry to have missed you at Maypine. Perhaps next year. Thank you for your kind words.

Try this with the mare; as soon as she bolts out of the trailer put her to work going around you in small circles in both directions. Be energetic but not too pushy as you will be close to the horse and there is potential for you to be kicked if you put too much pressure on her, especially if she is frightened anyway. Another word for what I am asking could be having the horse 'yield her hind quarters, both directions energetically'. Make it somewhat more uncomfortable for the horse to come out of the trailer by putting her to work immediately. The only peace she should find is standing in the trailer. You must be committed to the process. If the mare gets any rest as she bolts out of the trailer, she has won. Do you understand? This is a basic tenant of gentle horsemanship...make the wrong thing hard and the right thing easy. It may take hours and hours of doing the same process. But it will work if done correctly and consistently. Stay with the process and do not let the horse rest anywhere but in the trailer. Make her circle, circle, circle and then into the trailer for a rest. Good luck and keep me posted.

Sincerely, Franklin

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