I had a couple of people come into my bookswithspirit website and when I went browsing through, this old question popped up. I wonder how this kid and this horse went, hey? She never did come back and take me up on that offer of a free book.
My name is kelly and i have a 20 year old gelding who wont go in the float. When we get him in , he is fine, he just carries on cause he knows he can. He isn’t scared at all. When we brought him the previous owner had him bluffed but unfortunately we’ve tried everything. Natural horsemanship, whipping him, being nice and getting another horse in before him (which evented in the other horse getting scared and jumping the front bar). The only way we can get him in is to practically use a winch to get him in. Any idea’s? He’s not scared, just a bully. He just rears up, turns his head and runs. Im only 16 and i dont have the strength to get him in the float with the winche, only my dad can and he has just moved to another state and i don’t know what to do know. He’s a perfect horse and we jump grade 2 together but i cant get him to the events! Really need help. When i float train him i back the float into the round yard so he can’t run far. Im running out of patients. He is an EFA hacker and a very competitive eventer. help!
Kelly sunshine, I had to take a deep breath to know where to start.
The last time I heard about someone winching a horse onto the float, the horse scrambled over the chest bar in terror and jumped out the front window into the A frame towing section at the front of the float. I never did hear whether the horse lived or died.
I am VERY glad that you’re here looking for a way to change what’s happening! Good start. Whew!!
First of all, I have helped hundreds and hundreds of horses and riders with all kinds of problems and I absolutely promise you, I promise you set in cement, your horse is not doing this because he is a bad boy or a bully, just for fun or even just because he can. He would MUCH rather do what you ask.
And if he isn’t, then I promise you, there IS a reason.
There are literally dozens and dozens of reasons that a horse might not want to get on a float and I’ve seen most of them.
From the float not being safe, to huge windows that had the oncoming traffic frightening the heck out of the horse, to a badly positioned float vent and car exhaust that had the exhaust drowning the horse in fumes at every traffic light, to an arthritic horse who couldn’t move his legs well enough in the float to feel safe, to deep dividers that stopped the horse from being able to spread their legs and balance properly, to horses who are too frightened to move their legs in the float for comfortable travelling without terror, to floats that bang and rattle really loudly and frighten the crap out of them. And that’s just a starting list.
Then there’s the good old claustrophobia that EVERY horse suffers from, to some degree – and some to a very large degree.
Then there are the really terrified horses that people don’t even realise are so scared because they shut down and go dead in the eye.
Then there’s the things that happen to them after they’ve got on the float. Inconsiderate drivers who go too fast around corners and brake too hard without reason, electric brakes jamming on (I saw one horse go flying towards the front window when his driver stopped the float, no wonder she had a floating problem), and last but not least – if there is ghastly things happening (in their view) whenever they go anywhere – whips, spurs, getting their mouth roughly treated or all kinds of bad treatment – then why would anybody ever want to get on the float?
You’ve made a great start, sunshine, by asking and looking for help. Now you’ve got another decision to make. Are you prepared to do whatever it takes to change it?
Because if you are, Kelly, then I have an answer for your problem.
Make a commitment to your horse that you will not force him on a float again until this is resolved. Then go and get the book and audio lesson set of Zen Connection with Horses right now. And learn how you can listen to your horse and find out what’s going on with this floating business.
Do the eight lessons on the CD. You download them onto your MP3 player and take the lessons out to your horse. In this eight lessons, among many other things, you will learn how to release old trauma from your horse about all kinds of things. Once you’ve learned that, then you can apply that to floating too. I have come across bigger and nastier problems than this, sunshine, and when the people used this approach, they have a pussy cat on the end of the lead rope – even without a lead rope at all! I’m smiling. There’s nothing better than a horse … nothing more beautiful than a horse.
We even have green riders who don’t know anything at all about horses getting beautiful results with this way of doing things. Imagine what YOU will be able to do? There’s a photo in Zen Connection of a kid laying down and cuddling his horse on the ground in his third lesson with his brand new horse. How would you like that kind of co-operation and what could you do with it? Get that book (Or – get the 9 Keys to Happiness with Your Horse free lessons) and change his and your life forever… or scroll up to the top of the page and click on the shop to go and buy the book.
Kelly, if you can’t afford the book, then email me and I’ll arrange for you to get it anyway. Your horse is even more desperate than you are. … Jenny