Scrambling, help needed

Discussion in 'Problem Horses' started by Bruce the Goose, Aug 14, 2007.

  1. Bruce the Goose

    Bruce the Goose Well-known Member

    Hi, Just had a huge scrambling problem start with my boy and need some help trying to stop it.

    He has never been the best floater, but over the last 2 years has improved 100%, normally he is a little bit difficult to load but after 5-10mins goes on, then he just is a bit impatient if you stop for any length of time.

    Well yesterday I floated him back to my parents to have his shoes done, was a 20 min trip and was turning off highway onto side street and he started scrambling, I stopped the car until he stopped and then slowly moved off again and went to slow down into mums driveway and he started again, I ended up unloading on side of road.

    Last night I had to try and take him home again, he loaded straight away didn't even hesitate, stood quietly for 5 mins. When I went to move off he immediately started scrambling, had only gone a float length. Mum told him off, I stopped the car and hopped into the float and he was still scrambling, ended up giving him a bit of a smack and he stopped, but 5 seconds later he started again, told him off again and he stopped. Left him standing in float for 5-10mins and he was fine. Unloaded him and loaded him again several times with no problems.

    He is leaning into the centre divider really badly with all four legs on the opposite side scrambling in the corner. The centre divider isn't very deep and he can spread his legs easily underneath. He has been floated in this float for the last 12 months will no major problems.

    Sorry for the long post but any suggestions on how to stop him scrambling would be great as at the moment I can't take him home. I am driving back and forth to mums morning and night to feed him.

    Cheers Tracey
  2. I haven't had a huge amount of experience with scramblers but think back to his last couple of trips... has there been something that could have frightened him? Might there have been a loud motorbike scream past, a truck using air-brakes or have you had to break sharply or turn a corner quickly for any reason?

    Have you tried removing the partition altogether?

    Please don't smack or yell at him - scrambling is a fear/stress response and this won't reassure him at all and won't stop the behaviour - it may even reinforce it.
  3. Bruce the Goose

    Bruce the Goose Well-known Member

    Hi Merrylegs

    Thanks for your advise

    I floated him Saturday and had no problems at all, nothing that went past bothered him, no trucks etc. I am very careful how I drive when floating, I always make sure I go slow around corners and take extra time braking etc, max speed around 80kms.

    When he was scrambling I tried to stop him by talking to him and soothing him and tried to pull his head up (he was a lean) so he could get his footing but nothing worked. I gave him a tap/smack on neck, not hard, but this got his attention and he stopped. He seemed to have completely switched off and this was the only thing that got his attention. He was completed shredded my float boots and cut one heal and around the coronet band on another leg.

    I can't remove the divider or put it across to one side in my float as there is no way to secure the bum bars without the centre divider in place. I have previously floated him in mums float with centre divider across and he was fine. As he has been in this float for over 12 months and this has only happened in the last day or so I don't think it is the divider.

    Thanks Tracey
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2007
  4. pso

    pso Gold Member

    Did you check the tyre pressure?
    - if one is slightly different, will cause imbalance = scrambling. mine floats brilliantly unless there a tyre a bit out (doenst take much!)- he'll be scrambling when we drive into the servo- fine when we drive out!
    Just a thought!
  5. Bruce the Goose

    Bruce the Goose Well-known Member

    Hi PSO

    Hadn't thought of that at all. Will check them tonight when I go to feed him.

  6. Blackbat

    Blackbat Well-known Member

    If he is leaning to the left on the divider, what does he do if he travels in the other bay?
  7. Bruce the Goose

    Bruce the Goose Well-known Member

    Hi Blackbet

    Haven't put him in otherside as yet.

    When I first got him he badly leaned to right (when in right hand side of float) and would catch the inside leg on the centre divider when trying to balance (this was in mums float, the base of centre divder is lower) we then traveled him with divider across to side and he was fine. When I brought my float I had it made with the centre divider narrower to stop this problem and he has even stopped leaning to the right when travelling and turning.

    He is now leaning to the left, so bit confused about why he is doing this.

    Will try him on otherside on weekend to see what happens. Will leave him at mums until sorted but just seems really strange that he started doing it with no warning or no other problems.
  8. Shmoo

    Shmoo Well-known Member

    I agree with Rosie, as you mentioned that he traveled well when you have the divider moved over, your horse still doesn't have enough room in his mind. He can spread his legs on the division side but not on the wall side. Move or remove the partition and build a similar bum bar as Rosie has...or beg, borrow, grovel for a space on someones angle float or one of those JR easy travelers with a flared wall before making modifications to see how he goes.
  9. Bruce the Goose

    Bruce the Goose Well-known Member

    Hi, thanks for the replies

    I am happy to adjust float to accomodate him, he is my only horse so not a problem if he has to have the entire float, but it seems strange that he has been fine for 12 months and is now just started to scramble again.

    Who nows what goes on in there minds and why they do the things they do :)
    Cheers Tracey
  10. Webby

    Webby Well-known Member

    I agree I have a horse that does every now and again once done the first time it is very difficult to stop, check the float is balanced, another reason they start is if they are sore and rest legs while travelling, Don't tell them off if may work temporarily but scrambling is a result of pain or fear it is a flight/fight response.

    I too have had a bum bar made that goes right the way across and travel without a divider or divider in and across if horse is prone to turning around,
    I do the same when i tow 2 horses he doesn't do it all the time and not bably but to me its not worth the risk i value my horses peace of mind and his safety as i am sure you do. As i frequently travel with more than one horse I can just bought a float that is made as a triple but converted to a double with 6 inches of padding either side and lots of leg room. Another consideration is how dark is it in your float, horses travel better if the insides are a light colour. JUst food for thought
  11. Bruce the Goose

    Bruce the Goose Well-known Member

    Hi Webby

    Yep, float is really light inside, it is light blue inside with large front window and open sections on the side instead of windows.

    How do you go floating two horses with no centre divider, does the scrambler lean on the other horse or have any problems. I am not too worried at the moment if I have to float with the centre divider across but would like to get a second horse eventually and want to be able to float them at the same time.

    Thanks, Tracey
  12. Webby

    Webby Well-known Member

    my old 16.3 hh scrambler lent on the other so i tried to not really do it, the current scrambler is only 15.3 and travels fine with the large pony and galloway as there legs dont match. Did have issues through with another big horse though, hence why i bought a new wider float. I looked at angle loads but found most arent really great for big horses so decided to stick with the wider bay and a half straight load
  13. Bruce the Goose

    Bruce the Goose Well-known Member

    Thanks Webby,

    Unfortunately I can't change my float, only 12 months old and had enough trouble getting OH to allow me to get this one. Did see one that was a triple width with extra padding to make a 2 bay float. Will float him home in mums (able to move centre partition in hers) and then work it out from there. At least he will be at home with me again.

    Cheers, Tracey
  14. Webby

    Webby Well-known Member

    THats what i have and i understand its taken me awhile- Good luck we make do with what we have. I am sure it will work out
  15. Paint8

    Paint8 Well-known Member

    Just a thought...

    My boy was always a really good floater, one day out of the blue he started to scramble and this went on for about 6 months. All I had to do was start the car and he was off!!

    Turns out he had an inner ear infection! 2 months worth of Antibiotics and he was 100% again.. :)
  16. Bruce the Goose

    Bruce the Goose Well-known Member

    Hi Paint8

    Was there any other symptoms or signs that he may have been unwell or was it just the scrambling.
    Thanks Tracey
  17. Paint8

    Paint8 Well-known Member

    Hi Tracey,

    There was nothing else wrong with him which was why it took us so long to find the problem! :)
    He was fine whilst being ridden he just panicked when we had him on the float cause he never felt balanced enough..

  18. Bruce the Goose

    Bruce the Goose Well-known Member

    Thanks, definitely something to keep in mind if he doesn't stop.

  19. Bruce the Goose

    Bruce the Goose Well-known Member

    Hey, just thought I would let you know I managed to get my boy home on saturday.

    Floated him in mums float with centre partition over to the side, he went to scramble twice before we even left mums driveway but he stopped straight away, and stood still for entire trip. Took him for another drive on Sunday before returning mums float and he was a S&%*T to load but once on he stood perfectly still.

    Now just have to work out what to do about my float.

    Cheers Tracey
  20. snoopydoo

    snoopydoo Well-known Member

    HI Tracey
    There was a study a few years back that found that horses prefer to travel the opposite way than floats allow. Given a choice they'll go head facing the ramp and bum at the front of the float. Something to do with the movement of the float and braking etc pushing the horse towrds the vehicle doing the towing. If travelling the "wrong" way around the can absorb the movement better with the natural movement of the hind legs. I
    In Europe many horses are transported in lorries which stand the horses at a angle so they are nearer this ideal than in a float. There are less problems transporting horses in lorries (in Europe) than in floats.
    Just food for thought - floats are designed to have the horse travelling head first and I Would NOT advocate putting a horse in the wrong way around.
    Glad to her you all got home safely and good luck finding the root of the problem.

Share This Page