Moving the entire float and car

Discussion in 'Horse and Rider Safety' started by Leon, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. Leon

    Leon Well-known Member

    Any suggestions from fellow stockies would be helpful or if experienced it before would love to hear your story **)

    My 3yr old who I have had from day one as a floating issue that I am scratching my head with what to do.

    We started float training him early on, took him with a buddy, small trips, nice bright/roomy float.. he was good, first time a bit unsettled but no issues. He continued on like this for a while. Then took him to the Royal- mistake on my behalf. He was two and it was the longest he had gone in a float, first time travelling in the dark and also he was alone. Got him to Perth and he was lathered in sweat. Least to say he didnt load well coming home that day.

    After that we had a few loading issues but I managed to overcome them and now he self loads.

    He has always pawed a bit when the float's been at a stand still but nothing too major. Now the most recent issue which he did occasionally before but never too bad is that he literally throws himself around the bay.

    Back/forwards/side to side.. he leans on his bum and paws as high as he can with one foot then swaps to the other and continues.

    This is what causes the rocking around of the float and car plus he is destroying the floor of my float whilst making a racket and causing me to be anxious.

    Now the tricky thing is he is not consistant. Sometimes he does it, sometimes it's not as bad.

    Things I have done:
    -Travelled with another horse
    -Travelled alone
    -Short trips
    -Longer trips
    -No hay
    -Swapped sides
    -Tied him
    -untied him
    - left him in the float and only paid attention to him when he stops crashing around
    - he has been leg restraint trained and hobble trained.
    - a trainer has taken him for a drive in his float and no issues?

    I am sure I have done more but just cant think of it. When I unload he comes flying out of the float.

    It's a straight load double and an old Loadstar so not big but a the same time my 16.2hh TB fits in and stands quietly whilst my 15hh terror bashes the crap outta it.

    I haven't tried an angle load yet or other floats- this is my next thing. However it's all when we are NOT moving.

    I am not sure what to do, I dont have the luxury of buying a new float at the moment even though I am not even sure if the float is the issue. I would like to take him places but I am thoroughly hating floating him anywhere.

    Ideas? :eek:
  2. NaeNae87

    NaeNae87 Well-known Member

    I would send him somewhere for float training. Maybe you can show them the problem with him using your float (or even leave your float with the trainer) so they can work through his issues. You have tried every thing I would have suggested.
    I don't know enough or have the experience to do it myself and would much rather have a pro teach my horse that the float is ok as it can very quickly become dangerous to both you and him :)
  3. Blackbat

    Blackbat Well-known Member

    One thing I see is not on your list- driving style. Coupled with an extended trip in unaccustomed traffic with tailgaters, lots of fast corners, having to continually brace against accelerating and braking and turning, all with no buddy to turn to in the turmoil. Could you try going back to basics and slowing your driving and cornering right down? If he was initially fine with his float loading and little local trips, it's a possibility?
  4. Leon

    Leon Well-known Member

    Thank you NaeNae.. yes it is something I might have to look into further. I will email his breaker and see what he suggests, he was only there four weeks ago to be started which is when the breaker took him for a float trip and had no issues but it's worth speaking to him about it.

    Thanks Blackbat, I will consider my driving style as well. I use to tow a scrambler though (actually she no longer scrambled after I started towing her) and learnt to take cornering very slowly and wide.. combined with slow breaking and accerlation. I think Lauren on here can atest to just how slow I go.. probably too slow at times! But yes you are right driving makes a massive difference and I see alot time and time again people flying into grounds at the particular show then wonder why the horse wont load at the end.

    It's all new to me as well NaeNae- had a few difficult floaters in the past but nothing like this before.
  5. kiraSpark

    kiraSpark Gold Member

    Boom. What was the trainers float? What was different about it, or the way the trainer drove?
  6. Leon

    Leon Well-known Member

    Trainer's float is a white metal one- not 100% sure if a particular brand- will need to find out.

    He does it whilst we are stationary though, moving he is fine.
  7. cupcake

    cupcake Well-known Member

    Shana does the float maybe rattle when standing still?

    Windows different? Tail gate higher or lower? Wondering if he is watching cars come up behind or something? That he can't see in Fred's float??
  8. sollywolly

    sollywolly Well-known Member

    Is it impatience? Or he might not just like the float, but doesn't move when travelling as he has to balance himself?
    Do you stick him on and shut the back straight away? Have you tried just putting him on and taking him off a few times?
    Put him on, ask him to stand and when he does take him off. Do that multiple times and ask him to stand there a little longer each time. You can teach him to come off slowly while doing this as well.
    Just another idea :)*
    Oh and I can vouch that Leon is a very good driver with float in tow!
  9. taeliesyn

    taeliesyn Well-known Member

    I agree with Kira. Try taking him for a drive with your car and your trainers float if you can. Heck take the trainer along as a passenger to compare your driving style to his.
  10. Leon

    Leon Well-known Member

    Ok so float rattles a bit when moving (30yr old float) but not when stationary. It has smallish windows but not minature.. should put a pic up of the float. Tail gate isnt that high, he isnt a fan of cars coming up behind, hence I put him on the left side and he is better travelling but all the issues are when stationary.

    Impatience could very much be it, have left him a while though before I unload but still continues the behaviour.

    Thanks SW.. yep done what you have described as when we were having loading issues I did all that, it's how I teach horses to load.. lately if he rushes off we load straight back on and unload slowly to reinforce the need not to fly out.

    Thanks guys, I hope you dont see my answers as chucking your ideas back, it's more just to answer what I have tried in the past... A different float could be it, trying to arrange with a friend to borrow her float one day to see and also wouldnt mind trying an angle too.. but hard thing is not in a place to get a new float in the near future so a bit stuck if that is the case.
  11. Leon

    Leon Well-known Member

    It might come down to this taeliesyn but means a drive to Bakers Hill and I have to get him up there in my float anyway. Just strange as coming back from Bakers Hill on his own 3 weeks ago he was perfect and didnt move a muscle..
  12. Gamby

    Gamby Well-known Member

    If its Fred float im pretty sure its an Olympic with open sides
  13. Freestyle

    Freestyle Well-known Member

    My mare is exactly the same. the only thing that works with her is regular floating! She seems to get quite anxious if she hasnt been anywhere for a while and as soo as the float stops she bangs and crashes. actually, it pretty much starts as before we take off, stopped at light, parking and stopping at a service station can be a disaster!

    I noticed that the closer the float rides were then the better she was. so if i remember, i load her up a few times before an event and drive around the block. it works everytime. I forgot before gossy a couple of weeks ago and my monster returned, so i floated her a few times this week and she's good as gold again :)
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2013
  14. GoWelshCobs

    GoWelshCobs Well-known Member

    my boy does this while the float is moving on longtrips when he runs out of hay(read pull it all outonto the bloody floor), for him i think it is an impatience thing, the whole float moves.

    when he has company or a full haynet he dosent do it.

    give me a scrambler anyday over this aslest u only have to worry about corners.
  15. Leon

    Leon Well-known Member

    Thanks Gamby **)

    Interesting Freestyle! thank you for sharing, how old is your mare and breed? When I floated my fella he hadnt been on for two weeks so could need more consistancy.

    I did some float work yesterday with the help of a fellow stockie. It was after a ride so he was tired and he actually pawed just slightly then stopped.. no rocking around. Didnt drive him anywhere, just loaded/unloaded etc.

    Interesting to have another set of eyes on the ground as she observed that he looked anxious and thinks it's more of a confidence thing. So now to work on his confidence in the float and see if that helps.

    What have people done to make their horse more confident and less anxious about being in the float?

    If you have any photo's of the inside of your float I would love to see some pics, just curious as to whether my float is too dark and small for him. Crazy thing is he is the smallest horse I have owned or been in my float but seems to feel the most closed in.
  16. ZaZa

    ZaZa Guest

    If you bought him home in your float without issue then I don't see your float as being the problem. I think it's more of patience issue and perhaps nerves.
    How far into his time at Fred's did he take him for a drive ? Maybe because he was in regular work up there, when he was floated he had more patience and less pent up energy ? Since he's come home he's not doing quite as much do he's got spare energy and becoming a bit of a fidget. Just a thought :rolleyes:
    My mare is a generally a great floater. The only time she fidgets is when you're stopped at the lights and she gets nervous about other vehicles. Then she dances a jig (jogs on the spot almost). It's frustrating but it's how she deals with it and I know as soon as I get going again she'll settle. My young one is also a fidget and she tries to surge forwards and back. She's had dozens of float trips (unfortunately too many of them were to the vet which wasn't a pleasant experience) but in time and with more km's under her belt, I'm hoping she'll settle more.
    I have no answers for you but I do wish you luck. :)

    Just read your last post - there you go. I think some of it is work related.
    Maybe lots of small trips might help him though. Start out with nothing more than a drive around the block. Do you give him any hay in the float ?
    I know a lot of people are against it, but for some it helps occupy them.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2013
  17. nannygoat

    nannygoat Gold Member

    Exackerly. I dont think the float/travelling is the issue.

    Does he tie up in the wash bay quietly for a long period of time?

    What about to the side of the float?

    I never rush to the back of the float to undo it nor do I rush to do the ramp up when they are in. Sometimes we create our own problems lol

    I am a stubborn creature lol and I would make this horse spend more time standing on the float than travelling for a while. On and off on and off boring.....
  18. Lucksta

    Lucksta Well-known Member

    Yup.. Leon is one of about 3 people I'd ever allow to tow Bess.. my horse who was a scrambler.. but never scrambled with Leon as she towed so slowly and gently around corners. Definitely don't think driving is a factor.
  19. Blackbat

    Blackbat Well-known Member

    That's why I chose a wide body float for my guys. It's two horse angle load converted to a straight, extended length and height. They love the room to reposition during a long journey, the bays are like traveling in a stock trailer. Ive watched them, and they travel like solid rock when they can shift their weight around every 10 minutes or so. But others here say their horses are more secure when wedged in.

    I did have an upset early on, after a long horror drive along the SW highway one night. It was four hours of potholes, thunder, lightening, torrential rain, tailgating roadtrains with high beams on, twisting roads, jamming brakes (I couldn't see the road or cars braking in front of me), then unloading in strange place to a scary mini underfoot and pacers training beside us. In the months after that, my horse travelled on his tail, bracing against the bumbar and losing confidence. But I was able to reverse this before it became pawing or a loading issue.

    But we had a great start to our float training. He had all his seven games going well, and would hop on the float by himself and stay on. Then I reinforced it for a few months with good repitition- open gate, he would jump on open float himself, and eat his meals there. Then he would hang out on the float for fun, bumbar off. This horse likes to jump on other peoples floats to search for carrots :)

    Then I kept the trips short at first, and took him to places he knew, then to places where we got out and he just relaxed and played with friends, always making sure he has a pleasant time at the destination.

    A secret was to monitor his confidence though, I think if you rushed or demanded of an obedient but worried horse, they would become anxious. The pawing while stationary is likely to be anticipation of the journey, and maybe anxiety bubbling over about being on the float in the first place. Floats are really frightening places, and you need to balance this with a huge bank of good experiences to overcome that. Maybe his Royal experience had a bigger impact on him than his few training trips. Good luck building some future new ones.
  20. cupcake

    cupcake Well-known Member

    Leon happy to come with my older olympic with parts out the side, very open. Pretty sure you know the float. You can take him a spin around the block in it?

    Someone mentioned above freds float was an openside olympic?

    Has he always done it?
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013

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