In addition to my OTTB eventer Dorado, I am the proud owner of an American Warmblood mare named Sadie. I got her shortly after her fifth birthday when I was still a freshman in high school ... the fact that she is now 14 and I now have a full-time office job makes me feel old every time I think about it!
Sadie is very opinionated about trailering.
Sadie's a nice girl. She's got great conformation, great bone, and she's got one of the most feminine and attractive faces I've seen on a horse (and I'm not just saying that because I'm her mom!). She was born to do dressage and she's got paces to die for. She was a little slow to mature mentally (I'm not entirely sure she's reached "mature" yet...), but for a mare, she's (relatively) agreeable.
There's just one drawback to Sadie--she DOES NOT load in the trailer. Since she arrived at my old trainer's barn many years ago, she has successfully taken one additional trailer ride (and even then it took longer than I care to admit to convince her to give it a shot). She'll stand all day with her front feet planted on the back of a step-up trailer, and the same goes for a rig with a ramp. But getting (and keeping...) the hind end in is the struggle.
We've tried everything to help her. Really ... I mean everything. After a while, there's little more you can do than keep working at it and crack a few jokes along the way. Staying too serious about everything just makes a stressful (and somewhat irritating) problem worse.
For years, my parents and I joked (and I stress that we joked...) that we were going to fashion some custom roller skates for Sadie's feet, strap them on, and snap a rope to her halter. Then, as the truck and trailer went down the road, Sadie could just roll along behind! She wouldn't have to put her hind legs in the trailer and we would no longer be bound to my parents' farm.
Unfortunately for the horses in this news story, our jokes about essentially towing Sadie behind the trailer became a scary reality, to say the least. Apparently, the driver of a truck and trailer forgot that two horses were tied to the trailer when departing from a local veterinary clinic and, literally, towed the horses down a street (in the company of other vehicles on the road...) until other drivers were able to alert them to the situation.
The good news in this story is that neither horse was hurt. In fact, these two kids seem like very good eggs ... eye witnesses said the horses walked, trotted, and even cantered to keep up with the trailer, presumably because they felt the pressure on their ties. (I don't know about you, but very few of the horses I know would be that agreeable!)
There have been no suggestions ventured as to how or why the driver forgot that the horses were tied to the trailer, however this should serve as a reminder for all who trailer horses to check (and double check) that everything is securely where it should be before taking off--horses included!
Do you have any stories about the joys of traveling (or not traveling, in cases like Sadie's...) with horses?