Saturday, December 10, 2011

Chrome's First Trailer Freak Out - Video

First I'll mention that everyone is okay! And second . . . I got it on video haha.

I decided to work on Chrome's trailer loading since it's such a nice day and I get off work in the afternoon on the weekends. I wanted to get a video so I could show you all what his comfort level is on the trailer since I was asking earlier in the week about this.

So here is a video of us working on loading . . .

Edited to add: I forgot to mention in the beginning of this first video I was spraying iodine on his incisions from his gelding/castration. I included it just to show how awesome he is with being medicated. Everyone I talked to about him (including the vet) was like no don't use the hose, don't medicate, don't pick hay out of the incisions because you'll most likely get kicked . . . I was like, uh, okay. In the video you'll see why I was skeptical LOL. He was totally unconcerned. As I stand back up something by the road startled him. That's like the biggest spook I've seen in a year from him lol. ;D

We worked on more than this video shows, but my batteries died. After I changed the batteries I set the camera back up and got this . . .

Sorry there is no sound. I messed up something in the video editor and didn't feel like going back to fix it after going through all of the effort of uploading it. Here is what happened. This is an older trailer and I had noticed before that one of the old tie rings was broken, but I didn't think much of it because he couldn't cut himself on it where it was placed. Now I'm wishing I'd gotten it cut off lol.

Somehow when I gathered the rope in my hand I must have made a knot in it. Once he was in I dropped the rope because I always just let it feed back out when I ask him to back out of the trailer. I've never had a problem with it before. In the video the knot managed to get hung in the old tie ring when he started to back out (how does this bizarre crap happen??). When he felt the tension in the rope he panicked (we haven't worked on tying in the trailer yet - and no I won't be tying him in a rope halter). I couldn't get the rope loose with his weight on it because I had to pull it toward me to get the knot out of the ring. We finally managed to get him to step forward enough to get the halter off and I eventually managed to get the rope loose while he grazed nearby.

I'll be getting that ring removed ASAP! I didn't want to end the session on a bad note so I worked with him some more. Unfortunately I totally forgot to turn the camera back on. At first I had to click him for every step into the trailer, but within five minutes he was walking on again. I practiced putting very light pressure on his halter until he stepped forward then I would release the pressure and click/treat. I quickly got him stepping forward off the pressure. I've always let him walk on by himself so that was the first time he'd ever felt resistance on the trailer. :( Oh well, no harm done and hopefully since he wasn't hurt this just reinforces his trust in me although I'm sure it didn't help his comfort level on the trailer. Everyone please use this as a reminder to check your trailer carefully for anything your horse can hurt himself on.

I'm hoping this was just us getting all of the bad out of the way right off the bat lol. It shook me up pretty bad, but I'm going to keep working on trailer loading with him (once I have the ring removed), but I'll be more careful with the rope from now on. So, what do you think? He did pretty good considering the circumstances right? And notice at the end how he turned around? He does that in the trailer while it's moving! That's why I have to start tying him, although I'm definitely not looking forward to it now haha!!

Edited to add a video I took a few hours after the above incident . . .

Such a good boy! How many horses totally panic like than and then walk right back on a couple of hours later? I'm so proud of him.


  1. Nice work! Bummer about the broken ring, but it sounds like no harm done.

    You've got good timing with the clicker :) Chrome looks great by the way - such a grown up now!

  2. Good for you Chrome, way to go!!! The humans stayed calm so the equine did too. :) Murphy's law always happens with horses it seems.

    One thing though, and just my point of view so take it or leave it. I would not let him eat out of the back of the trailer as this just builds in a pause in entering. And why go in if you can eat outside? If you watch the first video you will see him pause and duck his head when he gets high enough up the ramp to eat. After dealing with this with Pippi I can tell you she found every excuse not to comply.

  3. Thanks guys!

    Emme, I don't normally have anything in the bottom of my trailer aside from the rubber mats, but I did put old hay in it when we got him gelded to help with traction since he was unsteady from the anesthesia. I didn't even want him eating it because it was old hay (luckily he has a stomach of steel lol). At the beginning of the first video you can even see me pulling it out of his mouth lol. That is a good point to keep in mind though and I'll definitely watch from now on that he's not eating hay or trying to graze outside the trailer. :)

  4. All your handling of him is paying off. I think if it were any other horse, you guys might have been kicked when spraying the incision and pushing from behind. I liked how sweetly he turned around and looked and then nicely walked out of the trailer after you got his halter off.

  5. Holy crap! I was freaking out even without the sound! You must have flipped. Glad it has a happy ending. Chrome was so "I am outta here" when you finally got him turned around.

    Mango Momma

  6. NuzMuz, thank you for the sweet comment. I agree that all of the daily work I do with Chrome has created a strong bond of trust between us. He has never offered to kick (well one time a while ago he picked up a hoof and it brushed my leg, but he didn't kick out) so I wasn't too worried about that. I also know his body language really well and could tell he was fine with the medicating. He's put up with so much handling 'back there' since he got gelded. He's such an angel. I was very pleased with how he walked out too. It's like once the panic passed he thought it over, stepped forward, let me remove the halter and walked right off. I love this horse!!

    Mango Momma, um yeah I was definitely freaking out. I was screaming at my husband for help, but as soon as he got over there to help I started talking quietly to Chrome to coax him forward. I may be a wimp and a worry wart, but in a moment of crises I tend to respond pretty rationally, at least most of the time lol. I'm so glad he's okay. I was terrified he was going to fall or get hurt.

  7. I almost didn't watch as I already have "trailer anxiety" from when I was a little girl... I have seen too many bad things going on with "cowboys" who "knew" what to do...

    I had a recent situation with my little QH which I will blog about soon... Thank God I have James Cooler to help me with situations like these. Oberon was not properly trained to respond to pressure (move forward instead of spazz out) My horror started when I loaded him into a trailer (to go for a days ride in the mountains which we would have both LOVED) but instead, he had NEVER been loaded in a standard two horse trailer. (always a huge slant load) This trailer also happened to be for big horses. So my 14.2 reigning/cattle pony decided to boogie under the butt bar (I put it up when I thought he had been tied). Anyway, I know now he would be good at the limbo bar. ha!

    I actually think that Friesians have a different nature than most horses. I have yet to see my 3-1/2 year old gelding shy majorly... or at all!

    I am following you know and have you on my radar! And I am actually glad the sound wasn't available... it looked bad enough. And also, I'm wondering if he had a break away on, what with the force and all... he might have flipped over backwards - or gone through the ceiling.

    I purchased Blocker Tie Ring II.
    I believe I will use a rope halter in the trailer (I know ... a huge debate is on-going about these) but ONLY because of the Blocker Tie Ring II. I even had these put up at the stable I board at.

  8. Margaret, sorry for spiking your trailer anxiety! I can totally relate. It makes me anxious too.

    Poor Oberon. I'm glad he was okay. Chrome's reaction actually surprised me because when he's tied if he does test the rope it's only for a tiny second and he steps back forward. He rarely ever sets back like that on the rope.

    Friesians are great aren't they? :D They truly are really awesome horses. I love their personalities and calm demeanor. I'm glad you're enjoying your boy too.

    Thank you for following me! I look forward to reading more comments from you. :)

    You know I hadn't even thought of that on the breakaway . . . that would have been terrifying. He could have bashed his head on the trailer. I'm glad I had his rope halter on and that it hung up tight enough that he couldn't get a read leg off the side of the ramp. I was so worried he would cut himself. I'm glad you're considering a rope halter in the trailer too. I think sometimes the break away halters can be more dangerous. I'm definitely getting one of those tie rings as soon as I can! I've been wanting one for a long time, but didn't really need one since my guy ties so well, but I never thought to use it on the trailer. That's genius. That would be a great way to teach him to not panic when he feels tension in the trailer.

  9. Congrats on the accomplishment and I am glad Chrome went back in the trailer after that mishap. You certainly have him going in the right direction!

  10. He is such a pretty horse!
    I am holding a photo contest at my blog, the theme is horses, I would love it if you would enter:)


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