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[RC] Re [RC] Trailering - Donna O'Gara

It's a learned behavior I've seen several times before.

Sometime in the past he was going downhill, and he wasn't happy about it, since it wasn't as comfortable as going on level ground. He stamped his foot. Maybe because he was unhappy, maybe a fly bit him. Just after he stamped his foot the trailer started going on level ground. Cause and effect, he figured. Pretty smart horse.

Next time he felt the trailer going downhill he stamped his foot again. He had to do it several times, but eventually he got the result he wanted. The trailer started moving on level ground again. It worked, he figured.

So he has learned, every time the trailer starts going downhill, he should carry on like a wild thing, and eventually it will stop. Works every time.

From a human point of view, it's silly. But from his perspective, he's found something that works. And he'll teach it to his friends if he gets a chance.

I don't know how to fix it, but I would guess that's how it got started.


>> We are having a trailering problem with a 9 yo gelding we've owned a little over a year. Our trailer is a two horse slant load with a divider between the two horses. The problem is that when we haul him and go down even a slight incline he panics and scrambles with his feet. It is hard to explain but he is actually scraping up the front wall ( wall in-between living quarters and hauling area). I rode back with him to see exactly what he was doing and he is throwing his body against the divider (on his left) and his feet are climbing the wall on his right side. Sometimes it is so violent that his left rear leg gets scraped up bad. We have tried wrapping legs and shipping boots and it just seems to make it worse and he gets them loose enough to try to kick them off too. He doesn't always do this... I would say that he did it a little when we first got him, then quit for several months, but has been doing it for on and off for the last several months. The problem is that I can't figure out what is causing it or what might be different when he is or isn't doing it. He loads very well... doesn't seem to dislike the trailer, and stands fine when we aren't moving. The only time I've seen him do this is when we are going down hill.... even slightly. (And in east TN there is allot of hills). I have tried creeping down hills and when I hear him panic and start banging around, I stop let him get his composure and then creep again. No luck. We are considering moving him to the back slot, but am concerned that he would try his maneuver and end up on his side! Or we are considering taking him in the trailer alone with the gate latched open so he doesn't have anything to lean against. Or maybe hauling him backwards, is that a possibility? We really feel sorry for this guy, when he gets in these panic modes he is really scared! We haul this guy quite a bit... and like I said, sometimes he can go months without it happening. Has anyone ever seen something like this or have any suggestions?

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