Wednesday, June 22, 2016

What Do Wednesday: Trailering

The update on B is depressing AF and consists of possible weeks on stall rest, packing with magic cushion and lameness. Literally what the fuck. I have NEVER in 18 years had a horse go this lame or be this problematic all of a sudden, with shoes. Farrier came out yesterday and said he was too sore and had no foot to attach a shoe to...which I suspected. And now I am le sad.

Moving on from that bullshit, my question this week was spurred by a conversation with a barn mate regarding trailering protection. Meaning, the discussion of "to wrap or not to wrap" when trailering.

I have the tendency to do more than less, which is not the norm around here. Most toss their horses in with just a halter and thats that, regardless of the length of trip.

However, I am paranoid, and have been in 2 trailering accidents (thankfully not horrible BUT could have been) so therefore I stress when trailering. Bacardi also is a special snowflake. While he flails less than he used to, he still occasionally kicks and or behaves badly. Therefore, I don't care if we are going 5 minutes down the road, they are essentially bubble wrapped.

If you've been with me long enough, you know that B's favorite thing is NOT trailering. He's made huge steps in getting over his fears and now will go in after about 5 minutes staring and thinking. The hardest part is getting him out when he's in my trailer. In Supertrainer's he can spin around and walk out, but mine is a straight load. Always something with him.

Bringing him home, be fore I knew he hated trailers and wraps 

Regardless, I take several precautions now when trailering, especially with B. You never know what could happen in the trailer or, in an accident. I try to keep them as safe as possible, while also taking in to account comfort (weather, length of trip, etc) and safety.

For any short trailer ride, they get boots. I don't care what anyone else thinks, all it take sis one misstep, one kick or even an accident to shred some leg. I've seen it happen. They get boots. Always.

I prefer shipping boots, but summer can be a bit hot so on days that are 85+ they get bells and regular SMB boots all around.

If its a long distance, they get shipping wraps. When I brought Yankee home from MO, I used the equiflex sleeves under stable wraps and it worked beautifully. I recommend that set-up for horses whose legs swell up.

B DOES NOT tolerate wraps on his hind legs, ever, so he always gets just boots. I hate it, especially since he will kick on occasion, but he kicks more with wraps. Whomp whomp.

B also gets a super special shipping halter and shipping cap. I like to call it the dunce cap. I don't have a picture of it, but its a thick wool and leather cap that attaches to their halter and protects the poll.

Without special hat. This was before I knew he needed it.
This bitch WORKS. I swear it saved his life once.

Last spring? Remember when he ripped his face open to the bone? Yeah. He was halfway in the trailer and decided he didn't want to be in there anymore and reared (IN THE GODDAMN TRAILER) and fell out backwards, bashing his face on the way out. terrifying to say the least, but without the dance cap, I am sure he would've been dead.

Stitches out!
So he gets that special halter every time.

I didn't pay $200 for a custom halter either. Took an old leather halter and added sheepskin tubes to it ($60/set on ETT) and BAM, shipping halter.

In addition, I ONLY ship in leather halters and lead ropes stay ON in transit. This has been handy in so.many.situations. I ship with two halters usually; one attached to the tie in the trailer, and the other with the lead line, untied. This way if the tied halter breaks, there is still one on the horse. Ask me how I learned this trick.

A lot of people scream "UNSAFE", but as long as the lead line is out of the way and looped/tied in a loose release knot, I see no issue with it.

I think of fires too, and in that situation, the lead  line is RIGHT there, no need to freak out and try and get one, attach it and get the horses out. SO many instances where this is handy, and has been handy for me.

Additionally, Yankee rubs his tail in the trailer. He sits back on the butt bar and cruises right along, effectively rubbing all the hair off. So he gets a tail wrap too.

See tailwrap

So to recap:
1. Boots/shipping boots & bell boots always. Wraps if long distance.
2. Two leather halters, one with fleeces.
3. Lead line attached
4. Special hat for B
5. Tail wrap for Yankee

I am always fascinated by everyone's answers, and I would really love to know what ya'll do when trailering! How do you wrap your horse? Do you? Do they wear a special hat like B? Tell me dear readers, what do??

25 comments:

  1. Regular halter, no lead rope, never tied. Occasionally I put boots on Nilla, but very rarely. Even after she broke her leg kicking it through a trailer door. Had she been wrapped, her leg would have just been stuck in the door and then she probably would have torn tendons and been in worse shape. Sometimes I try to protect her tail, but she tends to rub off anything I wrap her trail with, so I quit even trying.

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    1. I have never thought of THIS situation. Commence overthinking.

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  2. I always shipped Don to college naked with a regular nylon halter. About a 350 mile journey.

    I brought new pony home (45 minute drive) naked with just a regular halter. That is likely how I will trailer him back to the vet for lameness rechecks (yes, I purposely acquired a lame horse. It's a long story).

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    1. Yeah. Not my soundest financial decision.

      Anyway, I'll be trailering the giant beast sans wraps. He could probably use a head bumper because he's not too bright.

      I considered starting a blog about him but for now he's mostly a secret and I hate to ruin that.

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  3. When they are going far I wrap tails and use shipping boots. For short trips mostly nothing though sometimes BOT stable boots if I like them

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    1. I've always wanted to try the BOT stable boots...

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  4. I am so sorry B is still ailing. I’m sending healing thoughts his way for you. For shipping, it depends. I live in an area that most of my trailer rides are 15 minutes tops. So typically she’ll be naked. If I’m schooling off property, I’ll typically put on my jumping boots before she gets on, just to save me time when I get there.

    I guess I’ve become much more minimalistic since HS when I would wrap everything, and was the designated wrapper of the barn.

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    1. Thank you for the healing thoughts, I appreciate it!! And knowing how to wrap can be a curse that's for sure haha

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  5. My horses travel naked, but I only travel very short distances. For longer trips I would bundle the shit out of them.

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  6. My shipping setup is pretty similar to yours. Shorter trips (under an hour) get bell boots and open-fronts all around, and we only use leather halters in the trailer WITH lead attached. Anything over an hour gets bells and standing wraps on all four, same halter/lead setup. My trainer/BO's philosophy is never shipping naked ever, regardless of where we're going, and I'm absolutely on board with that. Luckily, because Roger was a racehorse, he is extremely good about all things trailer-related: he LOVES the trailer, always loads and unloads without fuss, and is perfectly happy hauling alone or with other horses as long as he's got hay in front of him. If he ever has to hang out on the parked trailer for a bit, he usually falls asleep.

    Sending healing thoughts for B your way :)

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  7. That's how Yankee is! Walks in by himself usually and can stand for hours.

    Very much for no nakedness regardless though haha

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  8. Mine ships in bell boots and that's it. He kicks like HELL if he has anything on his legs... to the point where I thought he was going to break himself or kick the ramp clean off the trailer. So in his case it's safer for him to travel naked, since he's retarded. Otherwise, with other horses, I usually prefer standings or shipping boots depending on the horse/distance/temp, but all of my horses that have been long-hauled by professional shippers have gone naked. Most shippers actually won't ship one with wraps, since they can slip around and the shippers don't want to be liable for that. I always put horses in a halter that will break if necessary and I don't tie them unless I have to (usually to prevent Henry from eating whatever horse is next to him). I don't like using halter fleeces or head bumpers unless its a horse that doesn't ship well. Luckily Henry is a very good hauler, as long as you don't put anything on his legs. ;)

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    1. I HATE that pro shippers don't allow wraps, but I understand why for sure.

      I so feel you on the boots thing. Though Henry takes it to the next level haha!

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  9. I'm like you, pony is wrapped up ALWAYS! At the very least I throw jumping boots on all 4 legs if we have a short trip, but most of the time I do shipping wraps. God forbid we should get in an accident, I want his legs covered. He also ships in a leather halter with panic-snap trailer ties. It's important to have the quick-release snaps on the tie ring, not the halter, so that in case of emergency you just grab the tie, pull, and you have an instant lead rope!

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    1. I have to say that I've had enough horses freak out on me over the years that I've never been able to get my hand in there safely to activate the safety snap! But if they aren't thrashing its def a wonderful thing and I agree! My trailers have it for sure! Must. Bubble. Wrap. Ponies.

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  10. On long trips or when going xc, they get wraps for protection and to help reduce any possible swelling. Short, local trips without going XC gets shipping boots. App has done way too many stupid things over the years to make me think not wrapping is a good idea. Everyone has a sheepskin lined, cheap leather halter. Not typically tied in my slant load, lead rope not attached. There are trailer ties, though, so if one is needed, it is right there.

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  11. I couldn't wrap Penn when I got him- he didn't tolerate it because he had general trailering issues and it would compound the problem. He has always had his sped-head head bumper like B. He got that when we tried to load him to bring him home and he decided to rear out of the trailer and wack his pretty little noggin on my steel trailer... As he's gotten better, I use shipping boots and bell boots for close trips, and no bows/track bandages for long trips. Always tied in the trailer (the tie is held with baling twine).

    I always put something on their legs- ALWAYS. My previous horse, who was excellent loading/hauling/unloading, slipped on some poop while backing down my ramp (straight load), and slid on his knees down the ramp. He had shipping boots on and they took the damage and his knees didn't. If my pro hauler almost damaged himself, then any of them can. I wish there was knee/hock protection with no bows and track bandages! Penn needs the support because he's wiggly and shifty in the trailer (I have cameras so I watch him splay his legs and I'm like OMG he needs support!)

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  12. Growing up my pony self loaded and we always had him in wraps, tail bandage, and bumper. Last year for shows I did standing wraps and fleece halter. If it is a short trip of 30 min or less I just go naked.

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  13. Head bumper, fleece-lined halter, tail wrapped, tied quick release and bell boots - no-bow wrapped on longer trips. He wrecks himself with shipping boots - I have never seen such ridiculous acting out - thrashing like he thinks he's going to die. ;D

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  14. Bobby is seriously the quietest, easiest traveler in all the land and he still gets wrapped all around for every single ride, and I only haul in a leather halter. WRAP ALL THE THINGS!!

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  15. Seriously if I could afford all of the stuff (and actually hauled enough to make it worth the money) I would totally have him completely bubble wrapped because I am so anxious and paranoid about hauling... however, we rarely haul and when we do it's not far, so I haul him naked and not tied (stupid me never taught him to tie in a trailer because I was too scared)............ I never thought about the needing a halter and lead on during an accident though. I'm always so scared of them hanging a halter or rope on something in the trailer that I don't put anything on him, but if we were in an accident and he got loose.... that's scary. The overthinking and anxiety is why I basically try to avoid hauling as much as possible, but that fear really limits what we can do so I really need to work on it. I really want a head bumper and fleece halter though... the two halters are a great idea!! I never thought of doing that. A breakaway tied to the trailer would keep him from hanging himself if he fell, but he would have the other for catching him if he got loose. Thanks for sharing this. Definitely a lot of things for me to think about if we ever do start hauling more frequently.

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  16. My travels are typically 20-60 minutes, and my horse goes in a leather halter (usually a shipping halter), and front bell boots. For longer trips I do standing wraps and bell boots on all 4.

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