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pain in the trailer

This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  theservant 3 years, 8 months ago.

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  • theservant Original Poster
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 1

    2 years ago my horse went from an easy self-loader to absolute refusal to trailer. At around the same time she began to have issues with the farrier. There were several changes, for instance we bought her a farm and moved her, all trailering was alone now instead of always with another horse, etc. spent some time trying to work out “training issues” that others gave well meaning advice about and finally about 6 months ago it was determined by a chiropractor that she might have a pinched nerve in her wither area. Farrier issues were resolved when farrier adjusted for this possibility and no longer tries to stretch her front legs forward for filing. I am wondering if trailer issues are related. Had a trial run of 2 days on bute and tramadol (today is day 2) and unexpectedly had better results with her balance and lowered head over poles. today, trainer and I tried her on a 15 minute around the block trailer ride with trainer’s horse as a buddy. She predictably didn’t want to load and was dripping ALOT of sweat when we unloaded her. Any thoughts on special ways to trailer that might not aggravate a potential painful wither?

    analise analise
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 10

    It could be when you loaded her that she was anticipating pain still. It might take several tries doing what you did today before that works.

    If she’s got pain happening in the withers, wouldn’t riding affect it too? I mean, I assume you’ve talked to your vet about it but it seems to me that riding could also exacerbate it if the actual problem hasn’t been resolved.

    Anyway, what kind of trailer are you using? Step up? Ramp? Straight load? Slant? Might make a difference in how easy or difficult it is for her to get on or off.

    White Horse Dressage White Horse Dressage
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    Slant load trailers do seem to be easier on the horse. You could try giving something to help her overall discomfort. One of my old mares seems to have more trouble now in the trailer, so when I know she is going to travel, I give her Easywillow by Finishline. It seems to work great for general discomfort. You cannot compete on it under USEF rules though, even though the Finishline rep at Western States Horse Expo was telling people it wouldn’t test.

    Other than that, your vet and chiro are good sources for eliminating her discomfort. It could be just a learned response now though.

    Arabian Sport Horses introducing kids to dressage in the Sierra Foothills.

    DapperEquine DapperEquine
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 7

    A few random thoughts/suggestions:

    1) That sounds like a lot of change. Maybe she just needs to go back to the basics with loading into and riding in the trailer – some time with you just walking into and out of the trailer at her own pace, and not for an actual trip somewhere.

    2) Could she be having pain going uphill on the ramp / stepping up into the trailer? Maybe try walking her up a steep hill to see if she moves freely up it or acts like she’s in pain.

    3) If it’s anticipation of pain, as someone suggested, or nervousness due to multiple changes in her lifestyle, it might be beneficial to use a calming supplement (like SmartCalm paste) for a few trailer rides to calm her down enough to realize that she’s ok.

    theservant Original Poster
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 1

    thanks for your thoughts everyone. The trailering issues may very well be a pain and anticipation of pain issue. Took some time, but after a trial of bute, we noticed a difference when riding. For instance, she is more relaxed and stretches her head down now for balance when going over poles. She is not sound at the trot especially when circling to the left. Seems to be a shoulder location and still working with vet, but haven’t figured out the mystery pain yet. I will look up the Easy willow and check on options besides bute. My trailer is a newer straight load, ramp and when I work with her, she will self load at liberty until we actually go for a ride–then we have to start all over again.

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