Wont back off float

Discussion in 'Problem Horses' started by Nae Nae, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. Nae Nae

    Nae Nae Well-known Member

    I purchased a young filly a few months ago who had come from over east and i than purchased her from the person who brought her over. When i picked her up she walked straight on the float no problems and was happy to stand in there on her own for the 30min trip to mine. When i got home was when the issues started, she wouldnt back off the float!!! In the end we moved the middle divider and she turned around and walked out (she is only tiny). Since than i have done work with her backing and she backs fine on the ground, but i have tried float training her and i still cant get her to back off the float. Its almost as if as soon as her back foot hits the slope of the tail gate she refuses to budge and shoots forward. Its becoming frustrating as she is getting bigger and not able to turn the way she use to lol. I am under the impresion that maybe she has only been on a truck and not on a float. Any suggestions to help, as myself and a few other experienced ppl have tried to no avail.
  2. Lacey

    Lacey Well-known Member

    Have you tried putting only her front fet on the ramp then backing off then moving up slowly till she has 4 feet on the ramp etc so she gets the idea that she can back down the slope.
  3. NumidianHorse

    NumidianHorse Active Member

    ... couple of suggestions:

    1. Try backing her onto the float and having her stand (with rewards if necessary). Then let her come off (walking forwards). I've seen several horses (including mine) become more confident in general about the float when they get the "other" perspective on it by walking backwards up the slope.

    2. Create a little walk brigade in open space with a slope up - flat section - and slope down. Then you can walk her forwards and back wards up and down until it becomes more ho-hum. When she seems confident with that try throwing in a back or forward approach to the float (clicker training works well on this) ... and see how she processes it.

    3. Teach her to move backwards towards you (on open flat ground is fine) in response to a smooch sound and you gently lifting the end of her tail. Use is as a clicker training exercise. Then work up to smooch / tail touch with one hand / other hand on her hip to "guide" her. My horses seem to be more confident if I'm at the side of the float ramp guiding their bottom to ensure they don't fall off the edge. Then try transferring this new game to the float (again with clicker training / rewards).

    Hope that helps **)
  4. Tallarook

    Tallarook Well-known Member

    Not an overly big problem, i would guess she has been trucked or floated on angle load where they turn and go off.

    No big deal, make sure you have all your ground work in order, forward, backward, turn on haunches on forehand etc. I teach all mine to go backwards by voice and using a push with my thumb and index finger in the chest, once they get the hang of it all you will need to do is say back applying a little pressure on halter and often just pointing your finger towards the chest will prompt them to back up.

    Make sure they horse understands back up, dont stress him if he doesnt. Get someone to help if needed.

    If he loads up and stands well, the hardest job is done, just some fine tuning and you will have a great floater........:)
  5. Nae Nae

    Nae Nae Well-known Member

    Thanks guys, i've put alot of ground work into her and she backs no problems on the ground and even on the float till her back legs hit the slant of the tail gate and she goes WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOA no way am i going backwards down a hill... i know its not a huge deal its just frustrating and puts her at a higher risk of injuring herself if she tries turning around in a straight load float, which is what i have to float her in, and cant really afford to get an angle load just for her lol (all though i would like a new float :D) will have a play with some of these ideas and see what we can get happeing.
  6. samm

    samm Gold Member

    Drop your tailgate onto a mound of sand/hill so it's level.It doesn't have to be much to bring the ramp up a little.
    Gradually start the angle on the tailgate when she starts to get confident backing off with the ramp level.;)
    Just make sure it's stable and wont shift when you put weight on it.

    I would say she's most probably been angle loaded or trucked.I had the same problem when I first got my stallion from the east.
  7. Nae Nae

    Nae Nae Well-known Member

    i think she's only been trucked... and it doesnt help that she is stubborn...
  8. cleo

    cleo Well-known Member

    May not be the case with yours but mine all of a sudden didn't want to back of the float anymore, his back was out.

    May be another thing to consider.
  9. wattle6180

    wattle6180 Gold Member

    Nae Nae, there is a fine line between "stubborn" and "I don't respect your instructions Mummy" :)

    I do like samm's suggestion of equalizing the slope of the ramp until she has confidence :)

    I'd also suggest (if you haven't already), using the following pressure point to move her backwards. I find if you place your palm against the chest muscle where it joins the shoulder and press your thumb in deep, the horse will move back off the pressure. You can practise outside the float - but this always works for me (even with giant youngsters) :)

  10. Bushmanwatts

    Bushmanwatts Well-known Member

    We have a horse that won't back off the float either he will turn around in float if we move divider over...not happy with him doing that as he is a big horse... We now place a long lead rope on the side the divider is not and then stand on the ground and gentle pull and ask him to back out and bingo he came out as his head is being pulled away from the big space in the middle...he is still unsure about walking backwards off float but he is getting there....

    We also have found that he goes on the float better on the passenger side.
  11. samgard

    samgard New Member

    One of the exercises I was taught by a float re-educator to earn the trust of the horse (my old horse used to load fine then when I tried to unload, would stand and stand and then run off in a panic), is to have the horse go backwards over trot poles at a walk with the command of lift until she learnt that I wouldnt back her into danger and that she was able to negotiate what she couldnt see behind her. We then did float loading 2 feet onto ramp. Stop. Unload. We just increased the number of steps on when she calmly backed off. Big rule - don't go any further into the float than the spot at which they will back off calmly. It takes lots of time and patience but once fixed seems to be fixed for good. Hope this helps.
  12. Caroline

    Caroline Well-known Member

    She is not being stubborn. She is just scared and freezes.:)
  13. Arnie

    Arnie Gold Member

    Another stockie had this issue.

    She put him on the float and straight to Watkins (and I went with her so I can vouch for them) and it took a bit to get off but Fred soon had him walking on an backing off nicely.

    I admire this stockie for heading straight to a trainer (after it only happened once) and had it seen to by a professional.

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