The equestrian lifestyle community.

Back to feed

My horse hates trailering! She hates other horses, and she is near the trailer, she gets worried and anxious. I don't know what to do! Do you have any advice? Thanks!

My horse hates trailering! She hates other horses, and she is near the trailer, she gets worried and anxious. I don't know what to do! Do you have any advice? Thanks!
Haha you’re welcome! Most ppl don’t really think into depth about how slaughterhouses affect the horse. The first thing they really think about is saving the horse but not how they could be difficult to train Bc of trama. I’m very happy that u are one person that has saved a horse from slaughter and are seeking to help her problems rather than give her up!!
@abbiegarber thank you so much! I had never thought much about how trailering them and the workers at the slaughterhouse would affect her. I will let you know what happens!
It cut off me being able to write the rest but here it is. If u get mad or frustrated with her she will most likely turn her bad experience to u. Or think it’s going to happen again. She associates the trailer and horses with some very bad experiences. She probably thinks that going into the trailer will lead to her going to the same place again. U just have to take it very slowly with her. Give her many treats when u are working with trailers and horses. If a horse were to walk by tell her that it won’t hurt her. Let her know that nobody or anything will hurt her when she is with u. If she feels safe with u she will open up to the idea of liking or even being around other horses. With trailering no horse likes doing it. They go in Bc they trust us not to hurt. The slaughterhouse ruined that trust. U have to rebuild it. Think of it like working with a baby. She is new to having other horses around and being trailered. Take it slowly. Work 5 minutes a day with her and trailer and being around other horses. Give her treats for the little things she does good. I know that u will be able to help her! All u have to do is believe in yourself and in her! I hope this helps and I would love for u to let me know if anything changes. Best of luck!
Well seeing that your horse was at a slaughterhouse explains a lot. She was most likely abused by the workers, as for they don’t care about the horses that much. For the trailer part she was crammed into a place that she was not familiar with, with horses she didn’t know, and ppl yelling at her and most likely hitting her. She was put into a situation that I don’t think any animal should be put in. Inside the trailer all of the horses are crammed tightly onto each other, some of the horses were most likely not trained, and aren’t use to ppl or having other horses around. The horses were probably biting and kicking each other inside of the trailer. At the slaughterhouse once again she is in a place she doesn’t know, with even more horses she doesn’t know, and ppl hitting and yelling at her. All of the horses are again on top of each other trying to save there own lives. Her fighting other horses is Bc she learned to do that at the slaughterhouse. She learned she had to fight for her own life and food. I’m actually very surprised that she isn’t mean to humans. Some horses are different when put into that situation though. They will blame all humans for it or forgive the ppl that saved them which is clearly what she has done for u. I am guessing u guys have a pretty good relationship since u have saved her. Now that ik her past a little more helping her certainly is not going to be easy. All I can say is that u CAN NOT get mad or frustrated with her when u work with her.
I just deleted my whole answer my accident and I feel like a idiot lol
@abbiegarber I do not! We rescued her from a slaughter house, so we don’t know who owned her before.
Lots of trust building groundwork. And when you are able to load her on the trailer leaf her there for some time. You can for example feed her, brush her, make it quality time. And suner or later she will be comfortable with the trailer itself. Then try driving her for short distances like one time around the barn or something like that till she's ok with that. Then you can work your way up to loading her with an other horse.
MOST important is that you take your time. Some horses gain trust to the trailer in no time, other need weeks or months.
Hope this helps...
Well that is very hard. Do u know if she had any previous abuse with another owner or horses?
I had this with a horse before we gave him his feed on the ramp of the trailer and every day brought him in further it is important tomake it a positive and pleasant experience for them
Thank you so much! And @abbiegarber she tries to kick the horses and bite them even if they are just standing near her! She loves people and is sooo sweet but she HATES other horses! I wish she would be nice to them! Thank you for the advice though!
also I don’t know if u have had your mare her whole life, but she could have had some bad experiences with trailering or other horses. If u have a really nice and calm horse u could introduce her to that would be good. Whenever a new horse comes to my barn the first horse they meet is our head horse. He’s very calm and great with all animals and humans. A baby could be on his back and he wouldn’t move a muscle even is something was trying to attack him. A horse like that would be great for her to meet. Don’t go too fast with them meeting tho. Have the nice horse walk by her or something first. Or while your horse is stalled have the nice one come and stand in front of her stall. Or have them be in stalls next to each other. Let them be close but with something blocking them from hurting each other. If u have two small pastures together them out one horse in both pastures so they can graze but still be kind of close together. Once u feel that they are comfortable with each other, then let them go in a pasture t
Always take it slow wit horses and things they don’t like. I would recommend having your horse walk by the trailer a couple times a day. If she is anxious with it just reassure her that it’s all okay. Don’t be afraid to bribe her with treats either. If u can walk her by the trailer and she doesn’t freak out then that’s good. I would then start feeding her by the trailer. If she does good with that then bring her up to the trailer to investigate it. Let her smell it and know that it won’t hurt her. Horses tend to be scared of trailers Bc they are claustrophobic. They are such big animals and trailering is scary for them. It’s always really dark in them. If your horse trusts u a lot then it will trust that u won’t hurt them. Horses only trailer Bc they trust us not to hurt them. If u can somehow make more light come inside the trailer that could help. If u need to sit in the trailer and put some grain on the end where the horse enters and have her eat the grain there. It will help boost her confidence with trailering. I don’t know if this made sense or helped any but I hope it did!
If you have a lot of time then I recommend taking it slowly. Literally just clear your schedule and spend time training. If she doesn’t like going in the trailer don’t try putting her in it the first session. Try walking her round it, let her sniff it if she wants, lots of treats! If you could get it into an arena and let her loose for a while that would be good. Then you can move on to loading. Open everything up so it’s nice and bright. Take down all the bars and walk straight through, in the back and out the front. Do this loads of times til she sees it’s not scary! Again treats and reassurance. Then you can progress to standing in it, putting up the bars, putting up the ramp and eventually short journeys. It takes time but it works!
I don’t know where you are based but we used a really good guy called Mike Peace who cured my horse of her phobia of being clipped. It was all basic techniques and we can now clip her without sedation. He also helps with stuff like the problem you’re describing. Maybe try him or someone similar in your area. Hope this helps :)
She hates other horses, so I can't have one already in the trailer. If you can get her in the trailer at all, she will stay for like 15 seconds before backing out really fast and bolting. When she is near the trailer she gets worried and anxious. When you try to lead her in she doesn't move at all and ends up bolting. She is a rescue so I don't know her past with trailering. She may have been in an accident with a trailer, or just had a bad experience the first time she had to get on it. I don't know what to do! Help please! Thanks!