Has anyone found switching trailer styles solved some of their hauling/loading issues? TLDR at the end.
I’m at my wits end with this horse, but he still is terrified every time I haul him (sweaty and shaking). I have a 7’6” tall, 7’+ wide 2H straight load BP with a ramp, and have hauled with the divider out as well as swung over. It’s very light inside, and I’ve wrapped all the noisy metal I can reach in vetrap, floor is solid and matted, no wasps or bees (I always check). I drive as slowly and carefully as I can, almost obnoxiously so. I have a very nice WD hitch and just had fiance redo the wiring. I’ve ridden in the back and there’s nothing I can tell is out of place - but it is, after all, a metal box on wheels. Not exactly an air ride van.
We practice loading and unloading as often as I can, but he never really settles. He won’t eat hay, even when just standing there, and if there’s one variable he doesn’t like he won’t load. No amount of feeding on the trailer, boring reps, or making outside the trailer ‘hard work’ has overcome his lovely combination of fear and stubbornness.
I’m wondering if the straight load is making this an uphill battle, if maybe it’s hard for him to balance or something? He spends the entire ride when we do haul screaming and trying to turn around. When I have the divider out he basically sits on the passenger side wall, not even in the corner or on the butt bar. Almost like he wants something to sit on or is just trying to face the rear and that’s as close as he can get.
I’ve heard of plenty of horses hating slants, so I bought this trailer trying to do right by him. But I’m starting to think maybe he would rather stand on the slant and have the wall to sit on (easier to balance with dividers to lean on?) or maybe ride loose and backwards in a stock? I don’t know how to test these theories, since all the trailers at my barn are literally the same model as mine and the smaller straight load I had before (same issues).
TL;DR when you’ve tried literally everything to get your horse comfortable with hauling, how do you know if it’s worth trading a straight load in for a slant or even stock? Or should I just resign myself to never going anywhere?