Please help me figure this out!
TLDR: Horse that has not had issues before, is now scrambling in trailer even at slow (10-20mph) speeds on wide sweeping turns.
My coffin bone horse is struggling a lot in the trailer. We have had our Brenderup Baron for 3 years now (prior to that we had 3 different steel 2 horse straight loads, though a long LONG time ago she rode in a friends slant) and I have been the only person to drive her for the past 10 years. I never noticed any issues prior to the past year, but we have only had a camera in the trailer since we bought the B’up. When she was going to/ from the vet prior to the coffin bone surgery she was having issues as well (in the trailer), but I attributed it to being severely lame in that leg. She is now as close to sound, if not sound, as she will get (trots up well in her hoof boots and plays in the turnout just fine). However, she is all over the place in the trailer. The slightest deviation from a straight line and she is letting her whole body lean/ bump into the wall or divider and her “inside” front leg will occasionally buckle. It doesn’t appear to be slipping - the floor is rumber with aggressive tread and is coated in non slip spray, she has Cavallo boots with tread, and generous amounts of shavings to keep the trailer dry. The only things that have changed in the setup are: trailer floor (replaced the original with rumber) and the tow vehicle (replaced a small under powered SUV with a Suburban). While not insignificant, I don’t see how either could be contributing to this issue. My other horse does fine in the same set up. While I am happy to take the blame, I have been driving her, without incident, for over a decade now. She is leaning/ falling/ scrambling even at extremely slow speeds (10-20mph) and on wide turns. I took it as slow as was safely possible today and still had to call it quits as I was concerned for her safety.
My current ideas are:
- get full length chest and butt bars so I can remove the divider and give her the full stall. I saw this video and thought it might help but am also worried it could be worse if she doesn’t have anything to lean on. ETA video link, divider less portion is at the end: https://fb.watch/d2cSqftJ2Y/
- A different trailer. This isn’t ideal, of course, but I HAVE to have safe transportation for my animals. My thoughts are different styles - slant load (I dislike slants myself but if it helps her) or a box stall situation (but the above solution should tell us if that would help) or a trailer where she can ride backwards like an EquiTrek or Balanced Ride. But before I sell the B’up and invest in something new (that also may or may not work) I’d want to “test drive” one with her and outside of the slant load I’m not sure how I’d do that.
- A vet work up. She seems 100% otherwise, but isn’t in any sort of work so I don’t have the benefit of being able to feel anything from her back (and with her not being in work since the surgery it will be hard to tell what’s new new and what is new since the surgery). My thought would be some sort of neuro issue.
Photo of the trailer after unloading (note the holes in the shavings where her hooves where) and of the tread on the floor.