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  1. #1
    Schoolmaster
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    Jan 2009
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    Default Training to stand quietly on the lorry

    Has anyone any successful methods of encouraging a youngster to stand quietly on the lorry on arrival at shows?

    Loading and traveling isnít a problem but once at a show and she can hear other horses she becomes agitated and just wants out. It doesnít matter if the ramp is left up or put down she just starts throwing herself about.

    Obviously Iím hoping this will improve with regular outings but at the moment Iím struggling to get her tacked up as I go to training and shows by myself and she is literally throwing herself against the partition and leaning on it until she is allowed out.

    Iím wondering if clicker training could help in this situation but any other ideas gratefully received as I donít want an injured horse or broken partition. Traveling with a companion is sadly not an option.

  2. #2
    Old nag Alibear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Training to stand quietly on the lorry

    I did some work on this at home with mine, she's only allowed off when she's standing quietly , if she's stomping about she stays on. We practised this at home and she's good now but only once the ramp is down and she can see. I think that's because the ramp stayed down when I did the at home training as I was on my own so couldn't shut it! But it's good enough for shows, somehow she also behaves with the ramp up when we're stuck in traffic or at lights, but at the venues when you stop to open the gate off she goes, thankfully with the training she now stops once the ramp is dropped.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Training to stand quietly on the lorry

    Urm, is it wrong to say I just ignore them and leave them there until they stop creating?

  4. #4
    Schoolmaster
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    Default Re: Training to stand quietly on the lorry

    Quote Originally Posted by ihatework View Post
    Urm, is it wrong to say I just ignore them and leave them there until they stop creating?
    I fear it would only go quiet when either partition or pony breaks. I’d rather it was a more positive experience and training process. Others I have left and they settle but don’t think that is the best option for this one sadly.

  5. #5
    Old nag
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    Aug 2008
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    Default Re: Training to stand quietly on the lorry

    Its a really hard one to crack as the behaviour is inherently self rewarding. Eventually someone will come - even if it is because something broke. And you can't always leave them if they are creating at a show because someone will tell the secretary - and so they should.

    A mirror or a companion might help? Or can you leave her safely tied outside the lorry rather than on it? Because it is self rewarding this type of behaviour is very hard to extinguish once established so my preference would be to avoid it if at all possible rather than confront it.

  6. #6
    Probably skiving milliepops's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
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    Default Re: Training to stand quietly on the lorry

    My welsh used to be a terrible traveller - I had to set off as soon as I had her bundled into the lorry to stop her causing a ruckus and she needed to be unloaded immediately on arrival or she'd start up again. With the force and violence to break something or herself I know that fear only too well, OP.

    Firstly - she is now good to load, travels like a dream and will stand on the box for hours quite happily.

    What I did was stick to the routine that kept her safe and didn't unduly stress her - so got off on arrival and given something to do: lead around, ride, tie up with a net to watch other horses etc. When she was a little bit less fresh, I'd put her back on and stand with her for 5/10 mins or so. Then off, and ride again, or tie up with a haynet. and repeat like that - gradually building to having her on the box while I stood in the back, or sat in the cab.

    When we had that bit nailed, I gradually left it longer and longer on arrival before getting her off the box. I left the doors closed but I could see and talk to her through the window into the cab.

    Don't know if that helps - but I really thought mine would be a nightmare for a long time but these little learning task really helped and she's lovely to take out and about now.

  7. #7
    Just backed
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    Mar 2009
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    Default Re: Training to stand quietly on the lorry

    I did similar to Milliepops, I used to always unload immediately on arrival anywhere as I was getting anxious about him being on when we'd stopped. My pony wasn't especially fussed but did get a bit fidgety. Then I started putting him back on after he'd had a look at his surroundings and leaving him to eat his hay while I got myself organised then I'd get him ready and back off to start. He always goes back on when I've ridden to stand for a while before we leave. It's now progressed that I don't need to unload him on arrival now, I open the ramp and he's quite happy to stand for a while and wait. We still need to work up to longer times of standing but it's certainly so much easier now that I don't have to worry about unloading as soon as we get somewhere.

  8. #8
    Schoolmaster
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    Default Re: Training to stand quietly on the lorry

    Really interesting to read the different experiences and mine does sound similar to yours Milliepops. I’ll try and do more practice at home and keep the stress levels down by attempting to unload before the thrashing around starts. Hopefully she’ll settle with time as yours has. At least it has given me some hope that it is fixable if not allowed to escalate.

  9. #9
    Probably skiving milliepops's Avatar
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    Default Re: Training to stand quietly on the lorry

    No doubt, part of the thing with mine was getting her to engage mentally with what I was asking her to do - rather than just be desperate to get off, I tried to get her to think about the box, think about me, think about her haynet, stay inside the box in her head rather than be totally distracted by the outside... her natural tendency is to just lose the plot and be completely irrational, she does it in all kinds of circumstances but if I can get her to pay attention to the task she is quite good at learning, and this was a good example

    She was the same about loading, she was impossible until I could get her to focus on the ramp and the interior of the lorry and digest the idea - you see it all the time, people trying to load horses who are not remotely paying attention to the lorry but looking at everything else around them. She was exactly like that all the time!

  10. #10
    Sport horse
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    Apr 2011
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    Nottingham
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    Default Re: Training to stand quietly on the lorry

    My OH's horse is a bit of a nightmare like this, think he's just nosey and likes to know where he is. So we tend unload him as soon as we arrive anywhere, take him for a walk around the lorry park (so he knows where he is) and then load him back up. He'll then stand as quiet as a mouse ;-)

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