Help float training

Discussion in 'Problem Horses' started by JAFEICA, Jan 16, 2013.


    JAFEICA Active Member

    I have a 4yr old thoroughbred that has developed some floating issues. When he was bought home he we t straight on, the. When he was to go somewhere off the new property it was a major drama. Running back, pulled shoes and so in.

    What exactly do I do with him to teach him it's ok?

  2. dpjg

    dpjg Active Member

    Have a search on float loading in the search box, you will find a wealth of info on this topic. Good luck with it, it is a right pain when they are not loading and travelling happily.
  3. ClubIgnite

    ClubIgnite Well-known Member

    Id recommend getting the help of a trainer before the problem gets any worse.
  4. cupcake

    cupcake Well-known Member

    If he floated fine coming to you- Then somthing must have happened between then and now for this horse to now be scared of floating. Maybe he was driven to fast? Not put on correctly, doesnt like your float or not confident with it- Could be dark, steep ramp, to small etc.

    I would suggest a float trainer to show you how to float your horse, and address any issues your horse has and help you work through them before you get an even bigger problem.

  5. JustJam

    JustJam Well-known Member

    What cupcake said. I also wondered if he had been floated to your place incorrectly... taking corners too fast, accelerating too hard, not loaded/unloaded calmly & confidently etc can really upset a horse that has previously floated well.

    Just as an aside, all people new to floating an animal should hop in the float and be taken for a ride at the pace floats should be towed at (not on public roads obviously :D). People are always astonished at how bloomin' fast and scary it feels! :eek:

    On the other hand, he may just plain out love being in his new home with you and he may just not want to go back to his old home so is refusing to get back on the float! :) :lol:
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013

    JAFEICA Active Member

    I know who bought him to the property so it certainly wasn't that. Think it might be JustJams idea of he doesn't want to go. He came from racing stables sand yard and is now in a massive paddock with my mare
  7. ellechim69

    ellechim69 Guest

    We have a ottb and he has floating issues but they are random some days he is perfect and other days something would trigger him and he would throw himself over backwards. We have a gooseneck angle load truck now so he dosent go on the float so not sure what he would do now if he needed to go on float. I have spoke to a few trainers and others with the same breeding as him have the exact same problem. but I too suggest you get a float trainer in. Good luck and let us know how you go.
  8. JP Red

    JP Red New Member

    my thoroughbred who is fine floating will sometimes do this. I find if im walking him up to the float thinking "please get on the float, don't back up, walk on, walk on, walk on" he either senses my nervousness of pulls the wool over my eyes (not quite sure haha) and plays up. If I chat to my friend and don't think about it he pretty much self loads. I'll pm you about some other training I've found helpful.
  9. celestialdancer

    celestialdancer Gold Member

    Haha ;)

    As to the above post ^ I had no idea that Red doesn't usually float well. i was walking towards the ramp, threw the rope over his neck, and on he went. J was like :eek:

    Because I knew nothing of his issues, I had full confidence and a high expectation for him to get on the float.

    Biggest thing I've found for nervous/bad floaters, is to give them plenty of time. If you need them loaded in ten minutes, you'll be there for an hour. If you leave yourself an hour, you'll have him loaded in ten minutes ;)
  10. Blackbat

    Blackbat Well-known Member

    Re the floating away from home. Could it be a coincidence that on the way out, we are pressed for time, low in patience, and high in anxiety for coming trip, and have just pulled a horse out of it's comfort zone and routine to face one of the most demanding tasks we can ask of them?

    And that on the way home, you've spent the day together, in a strange place, the action is all over and the horse has spent a bit of adrenaline?

    It's fascinating to observe the success horses have at out-persisting and changing their handler's focus. Float loading can be very revealing.
  11. Elanda

    Elanda Gold Member

    I am always amazed at how a horse goes back onto a float! Especially those that go in open floats. Having to deal with trucks coming up behind and alongside. It must be terrifying for a prey animal.
  12. horsey4me

    horsey4me New Member

    Is is better for a horse to have open space in a float (eg windows) so he can see the traffic alongside and behind or is it better to have float closed so he can't see?

    If he can't see but can hear traffic (say trucks), wouldn't this make him more nervous than if he could see them?
  13. cupcake

    cupcake Well-known Member

    Personally I think having a more open float- with windows is better for a horse if they are claustrophobic.

    It ligthens the float up and makes it appear more open and appealing for a horse that doesnt like closed spaces.

    As for being able to look out- my horse is more interested in his hay that whats around the float. I like my big window so I can see him, and i like the windows on the side for light and ventalation.
  14. SMW

    SMW New Member

    I had a horse that use to travel better in a float with a closed back, but all horses are different. I put my float out into the paddock with my young horse to get him use to it. I started by putting a haybag or feed bin in it and on his own free will he can go in and out when ever. Now all I have to do is throw his rope over his neck and he self loads.
  15. Leon

    Leon Well-known Member

    You said you picked him up from a racing stable- has he ever been floated before? Alot of them are trucked hence when it comes to floating they may have never been on one before!
  16. barragirl

    barragirl Active Member

    Just an idea, he might have always had floating issues and the trainer of whoever gave him some ace before you picked him up. That could also explain the easy loading coming to you. Seen this happen many times unfortunately...

    JAFEICA Active Member

    I have had him for a bit longer now and have a bit more of an insight into the way he floats. Once on the float he is rock solid and it doesn't faze him. I am starting to think he may not have floated a lot and been on trucks instead, we have also discovered that it seems to be if be thinks he can get away with it he will. He is a very solid boy standing at 16.3hh and I think it is more of him trying to push his weight around. Once he realises you mean business he walks straight up, never the less I would still like to get him to the point were he will cut the crap and self load.

    Looking into finding someone to do some work with him...

    Thanks everyone for you great advice :)*
  18. RVP Horses

    RVP Horses Well-known Member

    I'm in Bunbury and this is what I do. Go to my website with a link to the forbidden site. My rates are reasonable and as an example the last horse I float trained had previously taken the owners 4 hours to get on, within 30 min he was self loading and the owner has been able to self load him to and from shows since. Needless to say she is very happy. It doesn't always happen quite this fast but it sounds like your boy shouldn't take to long. I guess I should add that no force was needed it is all done gently.

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