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Help asap... surgery tomorrow and trailering issue

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dizze98765

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Hi everyone. I'm not new, but haven't posted in a LONG time. Our minis have always been really easy keepers and healthy. One of our mares has locking patellas and is going in for tendon surgery tomorrow. Here's the issue...

We don't have a trailer. Our vet recommended a lady who works at his barn who also has minis. We found out she has a 3 horse "big horse" trailer. Precious (our mini) has never been tied and only trailered once when she was a baby coming to our house. What would you do? Would leaving the 2 dividers open and having one big area that she could get a pretty big momentum in be safer than tying her and risking flipping or getting stuck under a big-horse partition? My gut says yes, but I thought I would check with people more familiar that I.

We're guilty about it, but had an accidental birth (Precious's) about 2 years ago. We never officially weaned her from her mom. She's not nursing, but has been in the same stall since. So it's going to be hard on both of them. Anything you can recommend to help keep the daughter sane for the day her mother is gone? It's another reason that I'm afraid Precious will be more upset in the trailer.

Please help! I'm worried.


...and I do want to follow up by saying that I understand how this post makes me sound.
We really aren't incompetent horse owners! We started into the mini world with hopes of breeding and showing, but were poorly guided in the beginning and have ended up with conformationally flawed pets.
We love them to death and they all stay in stalls and go out every day and are loved. They're not just wild pasture horses that aren't trained at all! I just didn't want anyone to think that we're completely irresponsible.
 

HGFarm

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I would not say you are incompetant, but I must ask, why has she never been taught to tie, and other basics, etc... ? This has not done her any favors and now when these things need to be done, it's not the time or place to have a crash course and learn in five minutes under stressful conditions.

I will never haul a horse loose in a trailer- I have known of way too many accidents by not being tied- a couple of them fatal.

Does the horse know how to lead on a halter? If so, then she probably knows how to tie as well. If tied properly, she will not be able to 'flip'. No matter what, by not weaning properly, and being taught the simple independance of being apart at times, they are going to have a royal fit no matter what you do with them. If the trailer is not FULLY enclosed, you are asking for a problem by not tying her... I have known a couple of folks who have had horses jump out (yes, Minis too!!) of a trailer, and if she is loose, that may just be what she tries to do.

By not teaching the basics, you have now put yourself, and your horses most of all, in a dilemma and I dont really have any recommendations. Having Minis as just pets, even if you dont show or breed, doesnt mean they should not be taught manners and basic training, so when other things or an emergency arises, you dont have to deal with more issues than you already have.

Sorry if this comes across as harsh, I dont mean to, but I would not have let this get to this point...
 

dizze98765

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I do realize this... and as I said previously I know that it is an issue, but not something that can be resolved within the next 7 hours before she leaves. I understand what you are saying, but criticizing my failures as a horse owner doesn't help me before she leaves. Yes, I understand that I should not have "let her get to this point".

She is a trained horse and not a wild pasture pet who we've let stand for 7 years. She leads perfectly, lunges, stands perfectly still for the farrier and vet. She is groomed and has her hooves picked regularly. She is a trained horse. We have simply never had them tied for anything and until this point didn't realize the negative implications this would have. I have heard of many accidents of untied horses, but I have heard of many accidents with tied horses. With a full-sized horse trailer my concern is the partitions. Again, I am worried that even if she were tied she would still be able to swing her butt around and be too close to the bottom of the partition which is big-horse sized.

and to reiterate as far as having "manners and basic training". Yes, obviously she is lacking tying, but she HAS manners and basic training and is a fantastic horse who knows everything BUT trailering and tying. I would say she's far from lacking training. I don't mean to come across as defensive, but she is not a pasture pet who knows nothing as I get the feeling I came across.
 

Relic

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We had someone not long ago pick up a mare who has never been in a trailer...they had a 2 horse and had attached a 4x8 sheet of plywood on one side of the dividers so she wouldn't slip under into the next stall. She was also tied. l have never trailerd untied personal preferance. Sometimes if a horse is sick and needs to trailer to the vet l make my husband stay back there with them it's usually only for an hour and makes them feel not as scared if someone they know is close by..
 

dizze98765

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Thank you very much.

We had someone not long ago pick up a mare who has never been in a trailer...they had a 2 horse and had attached a 4x8 sheet of plywood on one side of the dividers so she wouldn't slip under into the next stall. She was also tied. l have never trailerd untied personal preferance. Sometimes if a horse is sick and needs to trailer to the vet l make my husband stay back there with them it's usually only for an hour and makes them feel not as scared if someone they know is close by..
 

Miniv

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There may be a number of people who will disagree with me........but I would either securely tie back the dividers or remove them. (Preferably remove them.) Bed the trailer very thickly with shavings - NOT the sawdust type because that flies around too much. Leave the halter on her and keep the lead with you. Do not tie her inside the trailer. Let her be loose. Be sure to bring a bucket of water with you that is either half or 2/3rds full and set it in a corner of the trailer with it half buried in the bedding for security. And lastly, place a nice flake of hay in the trailer -- make sure she sees you doing it! (Do NOT grain her either before the trip or during it. This can give a nervous horse a sour stomach.)

Once she is safely in the trailer, have someone close the door. The person walking her or boosting her in can slip out after. She will have thick soft footing with the shavings, water to drink, plenty of hay to munch on and keep her occupied, and plenty of room to work with for figuring out her balance. The driver just needs to remember to drive in "slow motion". Take the curves slowly and wide....... and hit the brakes gently. She'll do fine.

And when she gets home from all of this.......Teach her and her daughter about being tied.
 

dizze98765

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Thank you. She can't have any food that morning because of the surgery (angry horse!), but we will definitely make sure the driver understands. It's only about a 1/2 hour so luckily it's not too far of a trip. I just didn't realize how different it was with minis. I had a "big horse" that I showed for about 10 years. Our hauler had a stock trailer with one divider in the middle. My horse and his buddy always just had their own half of the trailer and were perfectly fine.

There may be a number of people who will disagree with me........but I would either securely tie back the dividers or remove them. (Preferably remove them.) Bed the trailer very thickly with shavings - NOT the sawdust type because that flies around too much. Leave the halter on her and keep the lead with you. Do not tie her inside the trailer. Let her be loose. Be sure to bring a bucket of water with you that is either half or 2/3rds full and set it in a corner of the trailer with it half buried in the bedding for security. And lastly, place a nice flake of hay in the trailer -- make sure she sees you doing it! (Do NOT grain her either before the trip or during it. This can give a nervous horse a sour stomach.)

Once she is safely in the trailer, have someone close the door. The person walking her or boosting her in can slip out after. She will have thick soft footing with the shavings, water to drink, plenty of hay to munch on and keep her occupied, and plenty of room to work with for figuring out her balance. The driver just needs to remember to drive in "slow motion". Take the curves slowly and wide....... and hit the brakes gently. She'll do fine.

And when she gets home from all of this.......Teach her and her daughter about being tied.
 

hobbyhorse23

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Boy have I been where you are! :DOH! As you may know from reading my posts my gelding Kody has had locking stifles ever since I got him and we've wrestled with what to do. The third year he got so bad I couldn't wait for the end of show season to have the splitting procedure done on him. It was performed lying down (so no food beforehand, just as in your case) and I was frantic over getting him home. I figured he'd have all sorts of trouble in the trailer and was so worried he'd fall and hurt himself. We have a full-sized two horse slant load and have always shipped him tied with the divider open and enough lead that he can ride backwards with his rump tucked in the front corner as he prefers but the lead will support him if we have to brake suddenly. Like most on here I worry about which is safer, tied or untied, but finally made the decision based on the fact I didn't trust him not to bust out the door the minute I cracked it open!
As soon as I load him he "assumes the position" and I know from video monitoring and riding with him that he doesn't move out of that position until someone opens the back door again. So for us, it was going to be "tied."

I realize I'm babbling so let me shorten this up: he was FINE. I was afraid he wouldn't be able to load so soon after the procedure...he hopped right in with no ramp and a pretty good jump. He rode home fine. He unloaded fine. No problems traveling that I could see. The splitting surgery actually made things worse so just five weeks ago we had the ligament cut. This procedure was done under local anesthetic so he was able to eat beforehand and again hauled home just fine despite the fact it was a two hour trip.

In your situation I'd say you either need to leave her completely untied and all the dividers open, or tie her and close the dividers. Do NOT leave her untied in a big horse stall that does not go all the way down to the floor. That's asking for major trouble! Been there, seen that. If you must tie her, use something elastic in the middle of the tie to provide some give for her if she pulls back and have someone ride with her. Give the stowaway a two-way radio to the driver in case of trouble and don't use a bungee as the metal hooks could recoil in her face. Above all, drive like you've got something glass in the back especially on the way home.

I have a couple of questions I probably should have asked before all that advice. 1) Why are you having it done now rather that waiting until after you've resolved these issues? It sounds like you've already waited just like I did, unless something has changed she could wait a little longer. 2) Will your vet not come out to your barn to do this? The splitting is generally an inpatient procedure from what I understand but most vets will do the cutting standing up at your home. That would solve the trailering issue and completely remove the stress of separation on mare and daughter. If it MUST be right now, have you considered taking the daughter with you to the vet's? Unless she's the kind to push Mom around or mount her frequently it would probably be easier on both of them and reduce the equine stress level tremendously.

I would not give her hay in the trailer on the way home either. I know it's comforting for them but if she's not fully out of the anesthesia yet she could choke on it. She really doesn't need water for a 30 minute trip either and I'd be wary of the bucket possibly spilling and rolling around underfoot when she's already unstable from the procedure.

Good luck, I can tell you my gelding is already much happier after having his ligaments cut and is doing well. I would not hesitate to have the procedure done on another horse if, God forbid, I should have one with this problem again.

Leia
 

Lena1

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We have a two horse trailer with the normal large horse divider, I ALWAYS remove this for the minis. I have travelled many times with young ones untied. Have never had a problem.

Good luck to you and your little one. Hope the surgery is a success


Karen

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Nathan Luszcz

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If the dividers are low enough, and she tall enough, I'd leave the dividers closed and tie her. That's what I do when I use my friend's 3H slant trailer. If I'm using my trailer, I leave the center divider closed and leave them loose (individually) in each 8' compartment. They can balance better being loose. Unless you hit a brick wall head-on at 50mph they will be safer in an accident if they can maintain their own balance. Drive safe and keep your distance up and speed down and you'll be fine. If in your case the dividers aren't low enough or the pony not tall enough, remove them completely and leave her loose. For a half hour trip I don't think I'd worry about hay, especially if she'll be riding back sedated.
 

targetsmom

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I had to trailer a mini 2 hours to the hospital in an emergency situation a few weeks ago and our trailer was set up for 2 big horses at the time. The vet and assistent helped me to remove the dividers and make one big box stall, with nothing the mini could jump over once back doors were closed. We trailered her loose in there (even though she does tie fine, but she was going down all the time) and she travelled just fine. (Hey, we were thrilled she was still alive when we got there). She actually came home the same way.
 

Debd

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If possible, I'd remove the divider or have it attached to the side. When I bought my two mini's, they delivered them in a two horse trailer with the divider in. One wanted to get to the other during the short ride and went under the divider scraping his back. It wasn't bad, but I think accidents can happen with dividers that aren't low enough.

I also do not show my mini's and have not had any need to trailer them, so they have little experience in being trailered, but they are both good at being tied.
 

Laura

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There may be a number of people who will disagree with me........but I would either securely tie back the dividers or remove them. (Preferably remove them.) Bed the trailer very thickly with shavings - NOT the sawdust type because that flies around too much. Leave the halter on her and keep the lead with you. Do not tie her inside the trailer. Let her be loose. Be sure to bring a bucket of water with you that is either half or 2/3rds full and set it in a corner of the trailer with it half buried in the bedding for security. And lastly, place a nice flake of hay in the trailer -- make sure she sees you doing it! (Do NOT grain her either before the trip or during it. This can give a nervous horse a sour stomach.)

Once she is safely in the trailer, have someone close the door. The person walking her or boosting her in can slip out after. She will have thick soft footing with the shavings, water to drink, plenty of hay to munch on and keep her occupied, and plenty of room to work with for figuring out her balance. The driver just needs to remember to drive in "slow motion". Take the curves slowly and wide....... and hit the brakes gently. She'll do fine.

And when she gets home from all of this.......Teach her and her daughter about being tied.
[SIZE=12pt]Amen to all of this. I don't think you're a bad horse mom because your super loved and well cared for girl doesn't tie. She sounds like a lucky horse.[/SIZE]

Personally, I don't tie my horses while trailering unless some is being rotten to their neighbors.
 

HGFarm

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As I said, I didnt mean to come across harshly- and I know you love your horses, that shows.

I hope things went well... one thing about the 'big horse dividers' in a trailer, sometimes they are JUST at the right height that the Mini could get stuck under one and cause damage to their back/spine. Like just a couple of inches below their back. I usually take mine completely out- cause mine is easy for me to do, rather than take a chance. Also, since mine is just an old 2 horse trailer, it's also the right height with the divider in, for a mini to lift it's head and really whack it on the bar that is the divider, so I usually just leave it a 'box stall' and use it that way....

I hope the surgery went well?? Is your mare home? I hope everyone is ok?
 

Katiean

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When we went to pick up my show mare she had only been in a trailer as young baby with her mom to go to the vet. I have a 2 horse TB height trailer. To get to the escape doors the manger has to be lifted and latched in an up position. I was afraid that my mare might panic and try to climb up into the manger so I fastened it in the up position and fastened the front of the manger in the full open position. That reduced my tack area but, I didn't care about that. I then tied her in the manger area and provided a hay bag full of hay and there were no problems coming home 175 miles. Oh, I did check on her every chance I got. I always tie in a trailer. I don't want to open the trailer door to check and have the horse charge out.
 

Keri

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I haul in a big horse trailer. I tie them up front, but keep the dividers tied back. So there's an open space and they can't slide under the dividers. Also, I put them in the front corner. And since its generally an angle, they have a hard time causing trouble. I also have little tie hooks in the middle (not sure why they are there), but I tie them there. If you tie them up high, they will rear and cause problems. If no tie hooks, tie them where the dividers would lock into. Works for me. I am converting my big horse trailer to a mini one this year.
 

Elizabeth Pannill

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I have seen several posts where it has been suggested to have a person ride in the trailer with the horse. This is illegal and very dangerous so please don't risk serious injury . Have good rubber mats in the trailer , bed with shavings and check the divider height to be sure the mini can't wedge herself under neath .

I have 2 mini weanlings that I will admit are not experts about being tied ( yet ) but the 4 times they have been trailered they did just fine with being tied in the trailer.

My friend has a big horse slant load trailer and the dividers were not to tall for our older 32 inch mini. but each trailer is different .

Good Luck and let us know how things go .

Elizabeth
 

mizbeth

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Hi

You sound so worried. Bless your heart. I would take out the dividers though and let her loose in there. I think for a short trip like that she would not need shavings so long as the floor was cleaned out prior to her being in there.

Good luck, horses much prefer being lose to travel and in fact if you leave them lose they will travel backwards, butts facing front, rather than the way we usually tie them when we tie them which is facing front.

Let us know how she does, she will load just fine too just open the door really wide and she will jump right in.
 

Charlene

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for someone not familiar with trailing, it's hard to judge how much lead to give a horse if it's tied. my suggestion would be to haul her loose. i think it's the lesser of 2 evils. i have always hauled both minis and biggies loose in a trailer. i had one big mare who rode backwards. left to their own devices, i think this is rather common, it's easier for them to balance.

most importantly, make sure your hauler knows what they are doing. SLOW SLOW SLOW especially around corners!!!!!

the trailer should not have solid dividers that go all the way to the floor, as some trailers do. a horse must be able to "spread" its legs in order to balance.

good luck, hope all works out well for you!
 

dizze98765

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Precious ended up fine. We had the dividers chained and tied back and she went in and stood up in the corner. When we opened the door she was still up in the corner. We did have problems getting her in and out, but the hauler neglected to tell us that she didn't have a ramp. She's barely 28" so with sore back legs it was a mountain for her! The surgery went well. The crappy part is that now the vet says she has to be in her stall for at least 2 weeks, most likely three. This includes no hand walking even! I'm a little confused/surprised by that honestly. One of my big horses absolutely shredded his stifle. (Tore the ligament and took part of the femur with it). He was on stall rest for 4 months, but I was encouraged to hand walk him every day. She said as long as he stood and grazed nicely on the lead he could stand outside as long as he wanted. But this vet said she can't even leave the stall.
With her daughter still stalled with her we have NO idea how this is going to work out. I feel horrible making her stand alone inside all day for three weeks, but I think she'll end up killing her daughter. The other minis are "paired" if that makes sense. They've claimed their buddies so just leaving another one in won't really work either. Ugh, we're in for a long few weeks!

Thanks for all of the advice and support.
 

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