Saturday, August 7, 2010

Back in the Trailer Again

Back in the trailer again, but not back in the saddle again. I had hoped to just slap the shipping boots on Bombay, load him up in the horse trailer, and go trail riding this morning, but it quickly became apparent that he wasn't ready for such a big step. As soon as I got those hind boots on, he started bucking and trying to kick them off. He succeeded in kicking hard enough to get them to slide down so that he was stepping on them.

I could use some advice here. If he slipped and fell in the trailer twice without shipping boots, having these boots slip down underneath his hooves is not going to make matters any better. I'm fastening the Velcro straps as tight as they will go, but they still slip down. Any suggestions on how to avoid this? Use garter belts?

I also discovered that his trailering accidents did traumatize him enough that his heart rate went way up, he started sweating and breathing heavily as soon as I asked him to approach the trailer. I knew I had to cancel the trail ride and just concentrate on easing him back into the trailer so he can regain his confidence. He kept pawing at the mat and looking at me as if to say, "Mom, this mat is too slippery."

I don't know if putting shavings in there makes it any less slippery. Do shavings help horses have some traction in trailers? I've learned to clean all the hay and manure out of the trailer before loading horses, because those make for slippery footing.

I regressed to basic training, rewarding the horse after it just faces the trailer, then after one foot goes in, then two...

I couldn't get Bombay to put all four legs in the trailer while I was inside it. I think he was partly worried about squashing me and partly worried about how he was going to get his hind legs in with those big, black things attached to them. I'm sure it felt like he had a couple of cats wrapped around and clinging to his hind legs. So, I moved to the outside of the trailer and encouraged self-loading.

One foot in...

Two feet in...

Four feet in!

And I didn't even have to crack the whip behind him. By the time he had stopped trying to kick off the hind boots and loaded in the trailer, an hour and a half had passed. It was hot and we both needed water, so I cut him loose. The next step is to actually take him for a trailer ride.

I think I did a pretty good job of ignoring my neighbors during Bombay's shipping boot desensitization and trailer training. As I was getting the trailer ready, the neighbor who lives on the other side of my nosy neighbors drove up and delivered some flowers to their doorstep, then walked away. The woman came outside and yelled thank you to him. Then she saw me and yelled even louder to him, "You're a good neighbor!"

I knew that was a jab at me, but I didn't care. They started this feud by spying and eavesdropping on me. Had they just respected my privacy and space like "good neighbors", I wouldn't have to be such a witch. Right on cue, as soon as I caught Bombay and started attaching his shipping boots, my neighbor threw open her front door to let out the beast. He came out on a scooter and immediately started accosting the painter who was working on a neighbor's house with 10.000 questions.

My vacation starts next week, but I don't know if I'll be able to take it. Two of my neighbors have started big construction projects. One neighbor hired just one man to hand-scrape and hand-paint his garage, which is going to take all month to complete. If he had hired a professional painting crew, they could power wash the old paint off and spray paint the new paint on in a lot less time.

Also, the neighbors outside my bathroom window had a bunch of people out there hammering something at 7:00 AM on a Saturday morning. I know they are trying to beat the heat, but can't people sleep in on the weekends? All these people are retired and could just as easily get this construction work done on the weekdays when people have to wake up early to go to work anyway. I'm not sure why they wait until the weekend to start the racket.

The things my neighbors do around me would have never been tolerated in the neighborhood I grew up in. They would have been stoned and run out of town if they pulled any of that B.S. back in the 1970's and 80's. We had spoken and agreed upon rules back then. No visitors or phone calls between 6:00 PM and 10:00 AM. No noise before 10:00 AM either. Everyone got along really well, because everyone respected those rules. I guess the world is changing, but in a not-so-pleasant way.


Sydney_bitless said...

If the boots slide down they are too big. I had this issue with my shipping boots I exchanged them and got a smaller size that fit better. Although shipping boots are convenient I still wrap my horses legs with quits and bandages. Takes longer but they stay on better.
Shavings/bedding in a trailer should be used for if the horse poops or pees so it does not splash back up on them. If your trailer has mats (by the looks, it does) I would leave without shavings. They can move around and cause a horse to slip. We found straw or shavings in our trailer caused too much dust, windows open or closed which is a big nono with Indigo and her allergies so we have always trailered without bedding.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Sydney - Thanks for the information. Unfortunately, these were the smallest shipping boots for this brand. Maybe another brand would fit better, but it's too late to return these. They have hair all over them, have been stepped on and pooped on. I'll consider wrapping instead.

allhorsestuff said...

I have not read the entire post yet...but wanted to comment firstly on those boots!
I too have has a mishap with them...last camp trip. I have not even post it from 4th of July...cause it was such a bummer almost all the way around!

I put those on Wa mare , to avoid injury...and she imeadiately fell down backwards...not knowing what -the-heck-had taken over her hocks!
Then...stupid me...loaded her in the trailer anyway...(after she showed signs of being able to walk).
Abouf half way to the camp, which was an hour away...I heard a commotion...I stopped and got out to see-she had KICKED off the L hind boot! Some amazing when I got her out...her leg was all tore up-again- from the divider of the trailer. She kicked so high- she hit it repeatedly so.

ALL THIS TO SAY..."standing wraps" are the best- I have found- for trailering.
Yea, they take longer to administer...but they DO NOT BUDGE and are like second skin to the horse.
I never have had a problem...during injury healing overnights with them or now, trailering with them!
...okay reading the rest of your post now!

allhorsestuff said...

Oh man -again- Your neighbors.
I had neighbors like that once...I called the police and found out the noise ordinances/rules for my area. Then I armed myself with the local dispatch number(not 911) and proceeded to call everytime he welded before 9am or after 10pm. The police came everytime..and he's stop for about 10 minutes..then start up took the fine they gave him..for him to quit!
Sorry..I hope you can take your Vaca!

Breathe said...

Muz sounds like Bombay is willing to work through it, I'm glad you had a chance to give it to him.

As you may remember we've done a good deal of trailer work, now both horse load like pros. Still back out in a mild panic, but we are making promise.

duffylou said...

I have the opposite problem, the boots are too small. I also prefer thick quilts and wraps. My horse also wears a head bumper because he's tall. He looks pretty goofy, but I know he has fewer bumps and bruises. We always use shavings over our mats. I don't remember if you've said, but we also use head ties. But they are quick release.

Reddunappy said...

We have always used polp wraps, I know some people say they come off too, but I have never had one come off in 19 years! If they need more padding, cotton quilts underneath, and if for some reason they seem to get the velcro undone, use vetwrap over the velcro. They dont protect the cornet band on the hoof, Bell boots would help with that part, they make some pretty inexpensive velcro ones to, a pain if you were to ride in them LOL but for hauling they might be ok.
Good luck, we just have to figure out what works best with each horse.
OH and if I use shaving when I haul, flymasks help with the dust issue, and I wet them down.

fernvalley01 said...

I have never used those type of boots, just a polo wrap as well, maybe it is just a trail and error thing. what about traction stipls on the mat? Mikey had a wreck in her trailer a while back and I think that was her solution

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I can always tell when my neighbor has his 3 horses at home and not on pasture or out for roping events, because I get to hear trucks honking at the horses all day long. Saturday morning, the firfst honk of the day woke me up at 7:30am!!! Hellloooo!
What do construction trucks think they are accomplishing by honking at horses that are grazing inside their own pastures.....that early in the morning? Stupid idiots! The horses don't even care. Are the truck drivers hoping to get a reaction from the horses? A hoofy wave? bleh! I'm fed up with the honking at horses crap. I really am!

I hope the neighbors don't screw up your vacations plans. And I hope you and Bombay will be able to get trailered up and ride the trails soon.
I wonder if Lostine will be jealous, though :-)


Anonymous said...

Yes it does sound like the boots are much to big, polo wraps would be a good solution if your are having a hard time getting the proper size. I actually think having the mats with no shavings is more dangerous as if they pee or poop it can make the mat slippery and they can slip on that...We always use pine shavings when hauling in a trailer with mats.

Good luck