S i r i asked in PetsHorses · 1 decade ago

Why do HORSES HATE trailer loading?

i see time and again on RFD...they HATE stepping into

the trailer...WHY

13 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Because most horses arent TRAINED how to load onto a trailer...the majority of people just force them on and expect them to get on every time after that and get pissed off when they have to continue to whip, smack and otherwise force the horse onto a trailer...In addition, some people should never be allowed NEAR the driver's seat when a horse trailer is hooked up to the vehicle...however, sometimes this is the case and these drivers suck, Im talking slamming on the breaks, taking off during a turn etc etc....hence why, if you were a horse, would you want to get on that crazy contration when it feels like your going to tip over and die everytime it moves? Finally have you ever seen a 2 horse straight load trailer (which most small farms have) The vast majority of 2 horse straight load bumper pull trailers are clausterphobically small and any horse in their right mind would refuse to get on one...big horse + small trailer + not being trained to go on a trailer + crazy *** driver = Horsie no get on trailer....fact of life right there

    However, we have horses who LOVE going to shows and other places and practically DRAG us onto the trailer, and others who definitely need work because they were never trained how to get on a trailer, thankfully these horses are typically trail horses and they stay at our farm so trailering isnt as huge of an issue as it is with a show horse...

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  • marie
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Like someone already stated, horses are naturally a bit claustrophobic. Trailers are dark, confined places. Horses are vulnerable in a trailer; they are 'trapped' and have no where they can run to to get away from a predator. Then you have to consider a horse's eyesight. Their eyes do not adjust as well from bright, sunny areas to dark areas very quickly so it is hard for them to see into a trailer; so you have a situation similar to 'fear of the unknown.' If trained properly, horses can learn that trailers will not hurt them and they learn to walk into a trailer without any problems. Oh, and don't forget that there are some people that try to force horses into too low of trailers and they horse ends up hitting its head on the ceiling; now you have a horse that has learned that trailers hurt and cause pain. Then there are horses that have been in trailer accidents and are afraid to go in another trailer for obvious reasons; just like a person that is afraid of getting back inside a vehicle after being in a very bad car wreck. Pretend you've come to a very black cave, you've never seen before. The entrance is narrow and you are slightly claustrophobic. Would you jump right into the cave without a second thought? Or would you be a bit hesitant or scared of going into a place that is totally foreign to you and you can't see what may be inside waiting for you? Same thing with a horse being asked to go into a trailer. Patience and proper training can help alleviate this. None of my horses have a problem going into a trailer. Even my mini; I just point him at the trailer and he gives it a sniff and literally jumps right in.

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  • Jules
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    All horses don't hate trailer loading. Untrained horses hate trailer loading. It's against their instinct to put themselves in a small enclosed space. The horses you see on RFD are to show you how to properly train a horse to load. If they had horses on there that were already trained to load and did it well, it wouldn't make for much of a show or learning experience.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Horses are naturally claustrophobic, so if they are in a confined space like a trailer, which has a low ceiling and a solid wall on every side, their instincts all say that something is going to be waiting inside to eat them. Some horses don't even like being confined to stalls, but most do just fine as long as they can see what's going on. Also horses are not naturally inclined to stepping into a trailer so it takes a while for them to see they won't get hurt.

    Source(s): 25 years riding, showing and training horses
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  • 1 decade ago

    It is not a natural behavior that they would ever do in their lifetime if not for the intervention of the human. Anything a horse is not familiar with is, in the horse's mind, something that is going to kill him so he doesn't want to have anything to do with it. Another problem with loading is that the initial experiences of the horse with the trailer is horrifying because the humans do not understand the horse's perspective and they try to force and tie and drag and beat the horse onto the trailer - not a good experience - not anything the horse ever wants to do again - lots of fear instilled here towared the trailer and the humans. Horses have to be sensitized and desensitized dependent upon the activity you want them to be confident in performing. The actual problem is not with the horse, it is because of the ignorance of the handlers. Sad but true. My horses will load up at liberty but they were not this way when I got them. They have enough confidence in themselves and trust in me to do whatever I ask. They know I will not allow them to be hurt or fearful. It is just a matter of understanding, respect, and training.

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  • Greg B
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Horses are prey animals whose main defense mechanism is to run. When you put them in an enclosed space, you take away their defense mechanism. Horses prefer to be in wide open spaces where they can see a predator coming. Going into a trailer is an extreme act of faith and trust on the part of the horse. Their fear is compounded when put into a trailer that is not designed well for the horse - short roof, small stalls, dark, noisy, scary driving, etc. Trailers with partitions that go to the floor can prevent a horse from balancing properly in the trailer and they scramble.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Because in their minds it is a scary dark place, that they will be in closed in and anything could happen to them. when horses look at a puddle they cant tell how deep it is, they might think that they were about to fall 20ft into water. Same as trailers, when they look into a trailer and see darkness they cant tell if it ever ends. Best thing to do to avoid darkness it point the back of your trailer toward sunlight or install lights. Monty Roberts explains how to get your horse trailering easy.

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  • PRS
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    A well trained horse doesn't HATE to load in the trailer. However, horses are prey animals, their instincts are telling them not to enter confined spaces where they can't easily flee. Therefore when a horse willingly follows you into the trailer he is putting all his trust in you to keep him safe.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Not all horses hate trailer loading.

    But most dont like it because its a small space.. i mean it would be like locking you in a telephone booth with other people.

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  • Because everything about their makeup tells them from prehistoric times if you go into a dark enclosed space a saber toothed tiger is probably going to eat you. We can breed a lot of calm traits into horses to serve our own purposes, but ones that rely on themselves for survival (mustangs, ect.) are going to have strong fight or flight response and "street smarts" about what is safe and what is not. Dark enclosed spaces are not safe in any natural situation, so we have to train them to understand that they can trust us that a trailer does not contain a saber toothed tiger and that it is safe to enter.

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