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Argh-Sprite!!!

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Fledgesflight
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Argh-Sprite!!!
Okay, so on Saturday we were suppose to move Sprite to her new adjistment as it is closer to home and I'd be able to spend more time with her...well NOPE! She wasn't going in the float!!! She's been floated before and floats easily enough with a little hesitation and sniffing she'll go in...but not this time! She dug in her heals and and would do a little rear and turn to the side each time she was half way up the ramp. It did not help that it was wet and the ground she dug up quickly became muddy. Working her in circles proved fruitless as she was not even interested in being threated to be slapped on the bum with the rope!! She didn't care and moved so sluggishly/stubbornly that she reminded me of a draft cross I used to ride as a kid! After 2 hours of lunging and trying to get her on the float, we rang for some assistance- to no avail...2 bum ropes and ropes either side of the trailer as guidelines were not helping! So we took her back to her paddock where she happily put her head down and started eating. Agh!!!!! Sprite!!! IMAGE(http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b276/Spiritedsprite/DSC00015-2-1.jpg) IMAGE(http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b276/Spiritedsprite/DSC00014-1-1.jpg)
TwinCreeksFarm
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Re: Argh-Sprite!!!

I think she knew you wre moving her... :lol: Hope the next try is a little more successful!

Maigray
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Re: Argh-Sprite!!!

Oh bother. I'm sure you will get her right in no time, it's a simple fix, it will just take a little longer. Then she will be closer! I'm really happy to see her again. How are her feet?

lipigirl
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Re: Argh-Sprite!!!

hope you get her sorted next time - is she at all food orientated as you could try feeding her in one for a few days to get her used to it - or have you got a be nice halter?

vneerland
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Re: Argh-Sprite!!!

I remember those kind of antics from a stud that used to live here. Nobody could get him into a trailer. He'd jump out sideways every time, regardless of the approach (fast, slow, friendly, pressure, ropes, chutes, food, etc etc)
Eventually a real cowboy showed up and it took him 15 minutes and the horse was in the trailer. :o :shock: It looked like he just did what all of us had already tried. Apparently not. :lol:
If all else fails with Sprite...he lives down the road from me. :rofl

NZ Appaloosas
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Re: Argh-Sprite!!!

Sometimes it just takes someone whose body language says "you're GONNA do this or else"...

Diane

Jodi
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Re: Argh-Sprite!!!

No advice, I just wanted to say nice butt!!! LOL she looks good. :D

Fledgesflight
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Re: Argh-Sprite!!!

Yeah, I feel so worn down by it, that I'm not in a big rush to try again anytime soon- she really got to me!
I said a few choice words that day! - she definitely knew we were going somewhere and she wasn't going to be apart of it!

Maigray, her feet were improving but now aren't so good with all of the sodden ground from all of the rain we've been having lately. I need to look at ways of trying to keep her feet dry. Thanks for asking :) PS I do promise I will take photos of her- I haven't forgotten! Would have gotten more if she'd co-operated- will take some when she is moved.

NZ- I won't tell you what I was thinking! :twisted:
Lipi- we have a rope halter- it works off of pressure points is that the same as a be nice halter?
Vneer- send me your cowboy! :twisted:
Jodi! Good to see you again! and thanks!

lipigirl
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Re: Argh-Sprite!!!

FF, try backing her up then walking her forward...keep doing it till she follows you anywhere, do this not near the trailer. Then walk her right up to the trailer and right passed it, keep walking her up to the trailer, over the ramp then sideways over the ramp... infact any way but in to the trailer....then when she seems ready start to ask her to go up the ramp, then ask her to back off it....eventually she should see sense and go in but it will take time. - Pressure halters do help as long as the person using them releases as soon as the horse moves in the direction you want it too.

Hope it goes well....don't give up she's cute !

xx

rabbitsfizz
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Re: Ah-Sprite!!!

First off, take everything out of the trailer, chains, front bar, everything.
Then get your mindset right.
When you tell her to walk on, she walks on, do not argue about whether or not she will go in the trailer, argue about whether or not she will walk on.
May seem like the same thing to you, but it is not the same thing to a horse!!
NEVER argue when she is facing the trailer.
As soon as she puts a foot on the ramp tell her Whoa.
Turn her round and walk her firmly away telling her what a good girl she was to stop when you told her.
Walk he back up the ramp, tell her Whoa before she stops.
If you keep doing this, stopping her every time before she stops anyway, and backing her off and taking her away I can guarantee that when you walk her on she will go straight in.
AND THEN YOU MUST TAKE HER OFF AGAIN!!!!
You absolutely have to, in order to bang it home in her tiny horse brain that she is at your command, and when you say walk on that is what she does, and going in and out of the trailer is completely incidental to everything else.
If I can do this with a brainless Warmblood and a much steeper ramp than yours, you can do it with Sprite.
From the horses point of view there is a bear in the trailer.
She won't go on so she gets bum ropes and force (albeit very gentle force)
Now, honestly, would YOU go on??
Cos I would not.
Once she has gone in and out a few times you can put the front bar in and she should be OK.
If you make it all about going in the trailer it will become a battle.
If you drop it back a notch and just make it about doing as she is told and obeying the "walk on" command she will go anywhere so long as no force is used.
Trust me, I'm a Granny!!! :laugh1

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Andrea
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Re: Argh-Sprite!!!

You don't need to play that game Rabbit. You can just pick yours up and put them in :laugh1
I agree though. It's a mind game with the horse. Butt ropes and what not don't work as well as using the day to play the mind games. Otherwise it'll become worse and worse each time to the point that when the trailer doors open the panic button goes off.
At any rate... Good luck!

hoofpick
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Re: Argh-Sprite!!!

Great advice Rabbit! But this is priceless..."If I can do this with a brainless Warmblood" :rofl

rabbitsfizz
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Re: Ah-Sprite!!!

The thing I always say ( I do this to earn pocket money!!) is "You would not say, 'that horse is four' walk up to it and slap a saddle on it and expect it to be able to be ridden, so why do you expect it to know how to load???"
You have to teach them to do it, and then they know for the rest of their lives.
You can force a horse on once the next time you will need to use more force, and more the time after that.
Stop know, teach the horse to load, and you will never have trouble again.
The first horse I ever taught to load took four hours, at a show, but when he went on he walked in willingly and came off again and wandered up and down the ramp as happy as larry.
I met his owner at a show (he was the first Pinto "arab" [7/8 and well bred too] to be successful in the show ring over her) ten years later.
He had been impossible up to the day I took him in hand, and he loaded without trouble every time afterwards.
It isn't magic, you all know that, it is just common sense.

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Morgan
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Re: Argh-Sprite!!!

This may sound silly but try lighting the trailer. My gelding is claustrophobic and wont go in if its even a little dark. :lol: Nearly got stuck at his first show cause I didnt know he wouldn't load at night. :hammer And he will quite literally start sweating and shaking if you put him in a stall with no window.

Sara
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Re: Argh-Sprite!!!

One of my students' horses truly has fear issues with the trailer (he had a panic attack inside one once and you can still see the damage inside that trailer) and my method for calming his fear was the most boring thing ever but it worked.

I put him on a long lead, tossed a flake of alfalfa in the back of the trailer around dinner time, and I went in and sat next to the alfalfa with the lead in my hand. His owner had tried feeding him in the trailer before but it did not help with actual loading. So... I sat there. I did nothing. He pondered the alfalfa. He would put one foot on, take it off. One foot on, take it off. And so on... until he would load himself and take one bite of alfalfa and back himself back off. I think it took an hour for him to get all the way on and eating calmly so I patted him, backed him off, and put him away. Repeat the next day. and the next. I think it was several days before I ever closed the trailer so it was always low key, low drama, nothing to fear. Always before with him loading had turned into a circus with multiple people, ropes, whips, etc but all alone and with plenty of time I was able to get him over his fear. he does load now... you still have to take it slowly.

all the other methods that usually work for loading (which all essentially put the horse on the aids and that's why they work) did not work with him.

Sometimes you have to be a little creative and work with each horse's situation and reason for not loading. No one method will work for every horse! Good luck!

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Sara
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Re: Argh-Sprite!!!

This may sound silly but try lighting the trailer. My gelding is claustrophobic and wont go in if its even a little dark. :lol: Nearly got stuck at his first show cause I didnt know he wouldn't load at night. :hammer And he will quite literally start sweating and shaking if you put him in a stall with no window.

This is great advice. With the gelding I described above his owners actually had to buy a trailer that was a little wider and brighter inside than their old one. There was NO WAY he was ever going back in his little dark straight-load trailer -- not in one piece anyway!

[url=http://www.myrewyn.com/]Myrewyn Equestrian[/url]

[url=http://myrewyn.com/sales/]New! Updated sales list.[/url]

Morgan
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Re: Argh-Sprite!!!

One of my students' horses truly has fear issues with the trailer (he had a panic attack inside one once and you can still see the damage inside that trailer) and my method for calming his fear was the most boring thing ever but it worked.

I put him on a long lead, tossed a flake of alfalfa in the back of the trailer around dinner time, and I went in and sat next to the alfalfa with the lead in my hand. His owner had tried feeding him in the trailer before but it did not help with actual loading. So... I sat there. I did nothing. He pondered the alfalfa. He would put one foot on, take it off. One foot on, take it off. And so on... until he would load himself and take one bite of alfalfa and back himself back off. I think it took an hour for him to get all the way on and eating calmly so I patted him, backed him off, and put him away. Repeat the next day. and the next. I think it was several days before I ever closed the trailer so it was always low key, low drama, nothing to fear. Always before with him loading had turned into a circus with multiple people, ropes, whips, etc but all alone and with plenty of time I was able to get him over his fear. he does load now... you still have to take it slowly.

all the other methods that usually work for loading (which all essentially put the horse on the aids and that's why they work) did not work with him.

Sometimes you have to be a little creative and work with each horse's situation and reason for not loading. No one method will work for every horse! Good luck!

Lol, this reminds me of how I train the babies that I've raised:

We walk up to a trailer. They puff at trailer, trialer does not bite. We come closer. We touch trailer, trailer does not bite. We mouth and nuzzle all over trailer, then we get bored and walk away. We walk up to trailer and mom gets IN it :shock: OMG it didnt eat her!
Mom then jumps around in trailer and gets in and out 500 times.
Horse follows me in. The end. :lol:
If they are particularly bright they may follow me in within just a few times and get the bucket of feed that was waiting at the end.

Sara
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Re: Argh-Sprite!!!

If only every baby had trailer-training like that!

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[url=http://myrewyn.com/sales/]New! Updated sales list.[/url]