TB scared of floating!

Discussion in 'Problem Horses' started by TahliaMatches, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. TahliaMatches

    TahliaMatches New Member

    My orse won't load onto a float, and when she does, she rears, hits her head and takes off out of the float, all before i am given a chance to tie her up.
    We dont have a float to practice in, and i want to teach her to float, but we dont have one, and we cant hire one for practice as it's too expensive for practicing. we have tried food, blindfolding, everything! I took her home from a camp and we had to give her a needle to calm down, and i dont want to do that again because even with the drugs, she was still a problem! I live in a bushfire prone place and dont want to have to leave her behind in a fire because she wont load.
    Any ideas?
  2. Que Sera Sera

    Que Sera Sera Well-known Member

    Send her to somewhere like Watkins for a weeks worth of float training. They will do it everyday, take her for a ride and sort out fear from disrespect. They will do training sessions with you, so that when you go home you can make sure you are doing it correctly.

    Well worth the money.
  3. NumidianHorse

    NumidianHorse Active Member

    Been there! ... had to leave miss monster at home when we evacuated couple of years ago because of this very problem (and I have a float and had practiced - so I thought!)

    since then - have worked myself and horse near to death ... now a reliable self-loader (and stays on without being tied in and while back is open). She is now a joy to float (honestly!)

    I also recommend Watkins - wonderful people - but be prepared to go along and participate in the training, cos in an emergency it must be you who is the confident leader - Fred won't be there to help.

    pm me if you're NOR and want some tips on what worked for us. **)
  4. GoGo

    GoGo Well-known Member

    ditto to that- I had a horse float trained and she did it beautifully- for them.
    I went to put her in and no way was she going, took me as much training as her.
  5. Que Sera Sera

    Que Sera Sera Well-known Member

    LOL GoGo. Fred gave me as much of a kick up the backside as my horse got. He had no fear, just total disrespect for me at the float cause he had worked out what buttons to push with me. Fred gave me the techniques to counteract his buttons so I felt safe AND shuts his behavior down instantly. No more hour sessions of trying to get him on the float! Still tries it on, but quickly realizes it's not working and walks straight up.
  6. ClubIgnite

    ClubIgnite Well-known Member

    Horses often outsmart people..:}
    But in this case I would imagine there is actually fear involved because as a racehorse previously(guessing) she may only have been trucked and not floated. Anyway theres obviously a problem and unfortunately advice over the internet cannot fix this one.
    Ideally you would like to have a float, but sending to a reputable trainer such as the ones mentioned is your best bet and ensure that they train YOU as well. Pulling/pressure on lead ropes causes horse to throw head up, they will rarely ever do it with no pressure on that rope. Anyway get someone to teach you and your horse how it is done.
  7. cupcake

    cupcake Well-known Member

    Blind folding? Really? I would have thought that would have caused more problems than solving any. Sorry but I could see LOTS of things going wrong there.

    Id really say, invest in training the horse, Geoff sandel, watkins, BC... anyone who knows what they are doing really!

    And YOU need training just as much has the horse.

    I have a bad floater that is a work in progress, and 1/2 of the problem is the handler.

    Not only having float training done, but it has me a better horse person and more confident with my horse

    Good luck!
  8. abb77

    abb77 Well-known Member

    my stb all of a sudden didnt want to float and one time took me 3-4 hours to float him. i gently tap his bum with a whip and after a while he will walk on. once he moves i stop tapping :) maybe try it woth ur horse! good luck :D
  9. old_mate

    old_mate Well-known Member

    My husbands horse started out as a good floater but my husband was in love with the horse and let him mess around. The horse gradually got harder to load untill one day he refused to get on the ramp at all.
    I watched for a while, then walked up beside the horse and said "up you go" in a firm voice and gave him a good slap on the bum at the same time. Horse loaded in double time. Now horse only has to see me coming and he is on the float, still tries to give the husband a hard time !

    One of my horses I was told was a bad floater, but by the time I had been told this the horse had already been floating with no problems at all because I had not been expecting any. After I was told she was a bad floater I had trouble due to my self doubt. You really do have to project confidence that everything is fine and that the horse will go on the float in order to get some horses on.
  10. Go the Distance

    Go the Distance Well-known Member

    I totally agree with Old Mate. A lot of floating issues in horses are created by who is trying to load them on the float. If the horse is still not loading and you KNOW you are projecting confidence and your an experienced horseperson etc etc then you need to seek help with float training. This can be either a professional paying situation or someone who is experienced willing to give you a hand.

    Many accidents occur with floating injuring both the horse and handler. Also I would not be trying to tie a horse up in a float until I had the bum bar across and the tail gate up. This is may be how she hit her head, trying to pull back while tied up without the bum bar across.

    Float training takes time, patience and repetition.
  11. TahliaMatches

    TahliaMatches New Member

    thanks for the ideas guys
    my horse wasnt a ex racer that we know of, but she could of been
    funny thing was the day before we floated her home from a camp, me and my instructor practiced going in and out with her on her float and she was fine, but then the next day came and she wouldn't even go onto the ramp, but my mum and dad wanted to get home quick, but i had to take time with my horse, so everyone exept me started getting fiddly as i tried to get her on, but my instructor had a day off so i had to try things without her.i ended up txting my instructor asking what to do and she said blindfold, so i tried that. it made it better until she stood on the ramp and heard the thud of her foot and freaked out.
    i agree that some of the problem is me, but some is also my horse snd her fear.
    mum said we cant go to the clinics as it is too expensive for an option right now, we have a diabetic dog and that is very expensive, but thankyou for the suggestions.
    im going over nextdoor soon to ask if i can borrow their float for practice, and will try to take on board everything i have been suggested
    once again, thanks
  12. Que Sera Sera

    Que Sera Sera Well-known Member

    Dont forget, that if you have been letting your horse get away with it, they will expect to be able to get away with it again.

    People like Geoff and Fred, draw the line firmly in the sand when they begin to work with a new horse, so the horse doesnt try it on as much once the boundries have been firmly set.

    Unfortunately us owners let that line be stepped over, so horses who do have intelligence, know that they can push the boundry with the owner.

    When we went and had a lesson with Fred, I got my daughter to load him up after she had been shown by Fred. She did everything that Fred did, but the horse still started to back out. Fred gave him a tap on the backside to walk forward and he ignored it, Fred gave him a whack on the backside and he ignored it. He got out to the float fully with Fred whacking him on the arse went to do a runner which is his MO with us, then realised that it was Fred who now had caught the leadrope and was disciplining him and seem to go "Oh crap" LOL and promptly walked back up, no questions asked and stood still.

    As he had gotten away with this behaviour with us, he thought he would try it on again. It has taken alot of him walking over the line and me really firmly pushing him back to undo all the bad habits we had between us, and its taken even more effort from my daughter who was even worse with drawing the line.
  13. cupcake

    cupcake Well-known Member

    If you cant afford getting the horse and yourself professionally trained.. I would suggest you go through some of the older threads of people who have posted about having difficult floaters for some tips.
  14. TBPA

    TBPA Well-known Member

    My advice would be beg everyone that is likely to give you a christmas gift to give you some money to put towards training for yourself and your horse. This is something that if you don't learn the right way your horse will get more stubbon and you will have more disapointing days. There is no such thing as a horse that is unable to float even clastrophobic horses and horses that have had accidents can easily be trained with the right techniques (as long as appropriate floats and driving is always used).
  15. Ezza1991

    Ezza1991 New Member

    I have the exact same problem with my Tb gelding. He has only ever been trucked (we were lied to) and when i brought him we floated him home. He went on fine and traveled fine but when it came to taking him off he had no idea how to get off because he was so used to walking out frontwards. He came flying out backwards (after standing still shaking like a leaf) and hit his head. I only trucked him for a while as i never had the time or patients to work with him. We've slowely been working on getting him used to getting on and off. He will stand quietly, UNTIL you go to close him in and then he come out :(
  16. nae

    nae New Member

    I had read that some horses will only like a certain side of the float, Well I found out my boy Spinner only loads on the left side, tried the right hand side a few times, scratching my head thinking "whats up with this horse" moved the divider over and he walked straight on, no dramas! So from now on Spinner calls shot gun on the left!! **)
  17. fishiz3434

    fishiz3434 Active Member

    I'm personally not a fan of paying for float training unless the rider can be there for every minute of it and even get instructed right from the get go. otherwise you get all the problems people are mentioning where the horse continues to be bad for the owner but great for the trainer. I float trained my girl who wasn't bad but just annoying. I decided she had OCD :p and found i had to have a string(could be twine/elastic draw rein/anything) on the left side of the float as a bum rope and she would happily go strait onto the right or left(whichever we wanted). It meant i always needed someone to hold it or something close to the float to tie it too but at least i could get her on every time with or with out a second person. you may just need to try everything until something works then you'll have your method that you know YOU are always the winner with.
  18. domingo

    domingo Active Member

    May I suggest to also have a look at other methods that don't rely on bullying.
  19. Hen

    Hen Well-known Member

    I wouldn't call Fred Watkins a bully ;) There is a world of difference between discipline and bullying.
  20. Hen

    Hen Well-known Member

    I have to say this, I am sorry, but what a stupid thing to suggest!! I would be looking for a new instructor!! That is an extremely dangerous suggestion, unfair to the horse and dangerous for you and all those around you .. stupid stupid stupid instructor #(

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