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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 2011
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    374

    Default Pawing in trailer causing injury - help!

    I'm at an absolute loss on how to handle this. Mare paws in the trailer. But we're not talking normal pawing. We're talking full-on cabaret high kicks. The trailer is a slant load. Mare is too long to close in with the divider, so I have to haul her tied, with it open.

    She's good for the majority of the ride, but when we get closer to home and she starts recognizing where we are, hell breaks loose. She reaches so high she's actually hitting the window (and I've photographic proof, if anyone is dying to see the damage). I've pulled her out with little cuts on her legs; now she is hauled in hard shell open front boots.

    She paws while she eats, too, and does it just as high.

    I've thought about teaching her to hobble, but I have no clue how to safely do that, and wouldn't hobble her IN the trailer, so would it translate into trailer time to make a difference? If I got a straight load, surely she would just keep pawing. Help?


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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 1, 2002
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    Indiana
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    Default

    Have you tried leaving her loose in the trailer? Or brake checking her when she paws? What about kicking chains? You can also try turning around when she starts to paw or pulling in at home then going out again without unloading her.


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 27, 2011
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    The Land of Buggies and Black Bumpers
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    My horses are hobble broke and I have one who was hobbled every time we hauled him as a young horse. He eventually quit pawing and then we stopped hobbling him.


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  4. #4
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    Mar. 11, 2011
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    I've tried brake checking, have not tried leaving her loose (worried she'll get hurt turning around b/c she's so long... thoughts on that?). I've hauled her backwards, and I've passed my house before (a few times... I can go different ways).

    I thought about kick chains, but if she's already slicing her legs up, will she really mind them???


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  5. #5
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    Mar. 11, 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by cutter99 View Post
    My horses are hobble broke and I have one who was hobbled every time we hauled him as a young horse. He eventually quit pawing and then we stopped hobbling him.
    I can probably find someone to help, but what's the safest way to teach a horse to hobble? She's 10, as far as I know has never been hobbled.



  6. #6
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    Mar. 27, 2011
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    Find someone with experience. Many western trainers have hobbling experience, but check the person out thoroughly before letting them work with your horse. There is a process to it and horses can be hobble broke safely but safety must be the priority.

    If you are going to haul her loose, the trailer should be one big box stall with nothing in it she can get hung up on.


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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 4, 2013
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    House at Pooh Corner
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    Default

    In case, you feel alone in it (like I do), let me tell you I am in the same boat, except, he is not "mostly good," he is still mostly bad.

    He does not like to travel in general (never did), so hauling him loose did not work, because he just kept running around. It made for a couple of interesting drives.

    You can try it though, for many people say their horses settle that way. I would let her turn around before taking off (safely!) to see, whether and how much she "gets stuck" when turning.

    In our case, removing divider and just hauling tied has helped a little, but you are doing it already.

    I, too, used front shipping boots, but he frequently pawed them half way off and then it was a nightmare to get him off the trailer, so I stopped using them, which only works because of no divider (he is more spread and does not bump himself so much).

    If you decide to do hobbles, get a good instruction and apply a lot of common sense.

    So far, I decided against it, because our horse is a claustrophobic animal that is troubled about confinement of any kind. While he was taught to give to pressure and not fight ropes and such, he is not the type, who will ever be 100% about it.

    I would not have guts to stick him in the trailer with hobbles on.

    Also, break check did not work and made things temporarily worse.

    Hay does not work either.

    What I am doing so far is that I put him in and stay around to praise him/treat him for being quiet and correct him for pawing.

    It is time consuming and slow process.

    It would be great, if some other COTHer could suggest a miracle cure.
    Don't underestimate the value of doing nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering. - A.A.Milne


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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2007
    Location
    Montana
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    we only haul our horses tied and my horse is the pawer in the family. He actually does more of a strike on the side of the trailer-the steel trailer-so it sounds like a freaking gun going off back there most of the time! I finally hung a square of rubber matting at his place in the trailer so he at least has something softer/quieter to strike.... I don't know what I would do if he was striking high enough to stick a foot out the window though.... if I hauled him alone I'd probably turn him loose. I think in your case turning her loose might be the safest route. We don't pamper our horses and part of me wants to say hobbling is an option but the majority of me would be really leery about it. I'd feel better about hauling her loose; they do really well with that. They can turn around in the tiniest places, don't worry about her length at all.
    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO
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    I am all about hauling horses loose, and I would try it here.

    But I might also try that new equine pheromone calming thing. I have NO idea if it would work, but they offer a free sample and hey...why not?

    http://vetmedicine.about.com/cs/pets...equinemist.htm



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 7, 2004
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    New Zealand
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    I have travelled numerous horses over the years in hobbles. I train them when I am starting them, usually roping or strapping up a front leg. Horses learn to tolerate the restriction very quickly. Once they are used to that, I can safely hobble. I'll hobble when I want the to not paw while feeding, while waiting for me etc. I've had a few horses who cope WAY better hobbled than loose.

    And if they paw while I'm transporting them, happy to bout hobbles on.

    Get someone to work with you to train her to hobbles and see what happens.

    Or you could black out the window so she can't see where she is.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 28, 2007
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    NY
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    I'm not experienced, but I would pay people with different trailers to test haul her. A camera in the trailer and monitor in the car. If you find a trailer she doesn't paw in (consistently)then I'd buy that model, used if $ are a concern.
    That seems easier than training her.
    I had a poor trailer riding Arab who'd be covered in sweat after every ride.
    He got in a four star trailer, which had 4 feet of free space in front of him and fans.
    He was the best passenger ever in that trailer, it met his needs.


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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 2011
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    Thank you so much for all the kind and very helpful responses. I will try hauling her loose, and I will begin a search for someone who can help me teach her to hobble.


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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec. 28, 2009
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    639

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    Here's another vote for the safest way to teach a horse to hobble is to hire someone who knows what they're doing. I meant to do it with my horse and kept forgetting. Now the guy I wanted to do it has moved. Guess I need to find a new cowboy.

    Also, my horse, who also paws, is much better in my straight load than he ever way in my trainer's slant load. He still paws if we aren't moving, but once we get going, he is pretty good.



  14. #14
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    Nov. 14, 2011
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    Add this to the list of reasons I do not use slant load trailers.

    Hauling loose is probably the best solution available right now. At least when she is loose she isn't facing the wall with the window, hammering on the same spot of the trailer wall over and over. I'd haul her with wraps on all four every time, if you are confident in your wrapping abilities.

    "Pat the horse; kick yourself" - Carl Hester


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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2012
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    Vermont
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    Yep, haul her loose.

    My gelding will paw on the wall as well (slant load) if I close the divider; If I leave him loose, he does not paw, but still stands in the same spot as if he were tied with the divider closed
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


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  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2007
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    Montana
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    goofy horses
    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


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  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct. 13, 2007
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    703

    Default

    I would also see if you can try her in a different types of trailer - stock & straight.

    It might just be that she does not like a slant (and I know most horses are fine, but those bigger ones sometimes just get claustrophobic with their faces right up in the corner.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct. 7, 2010
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    1,224

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    Teaching a horse to hobble, even with the very best of trainers, is still a risk. That said, I'd rather risk the hobble-breaking than not, because any horse can get his foot/leg trapped in a stall or out in the pasture, and rip his leg in half. The hobble training makes it much, much more likely that the foot-caught horse will just rub a bit of hair off, and wait for you to come let him loose.

    So find a great trainer. At some point the horse probably WILL have to have an 'ugly' moment. The tantrums do better when the horse has only one leg tied up, to itself like this:
    http://208045758153812943.weebly.com...582042.jpg?168
    The horse will also do well to learn to give to pressure on all of his individual legs- mine learned to lead by a front foot, then stop (I mean STOP, and NOW) with pressure applied to a hind foot.
    Also good to have a horse 3-way hobbled at first (2 fronts hobbled, with a hind leg attached on a line to a front leg), so they don't learn how to travel when hobbled- mine came to me having learned this trick. I don't know if he'll ever un-learn it. And when he got mad enough about the 3-way hobbles, he laid himself down, twice. Yes, they can lie down and get up with the 3-way hobbles on!

    My horse paws when he's alone in the trailer. If he's loose, he becomes a whirling dervish. I hobble him if he's uptight, but mostly now I can brake-check him. If they have to concentrate on their own balance, they don't worry so much about pawing. Before hobbling my gelding in the trailer, the brake-check just upset him more.


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  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by RLastInstallment View Post
    Thank you so much for all the kind and very helpful responses. I will try hauling her loose, and I will begin a search for someone who can help me teach her to hobble.
    Just a thought...years ago we had hobbles for stall running TB race horses that were very different...a single, fleece covered web strap with a snap closure went around the horses mid forearm and was held in place by a "suspender" strap that went over the withers (like the old ice boots). The horses could walk slowly - sort of like Geishas - but not run or dig. We never had a horse panic with this rig even the first time they were put on. I'm not adverse to the ankle hobble concept, but they would definitely inhibit a horse's ability to balance himself and loading or putting them on in the trailer might be dicey. We used to buy them at race track supply places, but they are not hard to fabricate at home.
    www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
    Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


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  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec. 4, 2013
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    House at Pooh Corner
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fillabeana View Post
    ,My horse paws when he's alone in the trailer. If he's loose, he becomes a whirling dervish. I hobble him if he's uptight, but mostly now I can brake-check him. If they have to concentrate on their own balance, they don't worry so much about pawing. Before hobbling my gelding in the trailer, the brake-check just upset him more.
    Our horses could just as well be twin brothers separated at birth.

    This is interesting.

    So, Fillabeana, when you would first hobble him in trailer, how did you go about it? Were you not afraid he would fall and trash and terribly injure himself?

    I really worry about that, because, despite all the training, I think, in trailer, he would just panic and, if he slipped and fell, it would not be just like slipping on grass or arena (We did not do the training in tight places, always plenty of space, so maybe practicing in smallish areas would be an in-between step?).

    I would not know, how to help him in that little space.

    Our horse has a little volatility to him. It is getting much much better with age, but he can still have a moment.

    On the other hand, one time he got caught in a loop of some sort, I was able to stop him immediately and he would just wait until I got off him and untangled him.

    So, I do believe in hobble and rope training. I am just really uncomfortable about the idea of using it in the trailer, so I am trying to understand it better.

    Thank you in advance, if you can reply, Fillabeana.
    Don't underestimate the value of doing nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering. - A.A.Milne



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