Trailering Disobedience?

By Terry Golson

Tonka usually goes right onto the trailer.

The other day I led him from his big paddock to the rig.


Almost at the trailer, Tonka stopped and planted his hooves. I tried to get him to shift his weight and move on. I gave a little tug on the halter. He wouldn’t budge.


Was this a sign of trailering anxiety? Was it disobedience? A time to swing the rope and get him to “move his feet?” Absolutely not.

I know my horse. Tonka always poops when he gets on the trailer (which is great, I scoop it up before we haul out and he gets to travel in a clean trailer.) Lately, though, he’s been defecating before getting on. That’s what he wanted to do. So I let him.


Then he loaded right up. Still with that unworried and calm demeanor.


Do you adjust your handling for your horse’s quirks? Tell me about it in the comments!

6 thoughts on “Trailering Disobedience?

  • MsSueT

    Same scenario here at the beginning of every dog walk.
    Just curious: what is stable etiquette about picking up after one’s own horse?

    • Terry Golson Post author

      The etiquette is that you always pick up after your horse in the aisle and in the ring. When you trailer somewhere you never leave poop piles near the parking area. Trails are another story. If they are well-used in a suburban area, get off and kick it to the side. Otherwise, you leave it. You can’t exactly carry horse poop out in a small bag! Because horses are herbivores their poop isn’t as noxious as dog poop (at least that’s what we horse people think.)

  • Gin

    One of my mares always wants to smell the trailer floor before getting in, so I stand there and let her check it out. She trailers well, I taught her when she was a baby. Whenever she meets someone new, a person, she always wants to smell them all over also, especially their feet. So I let her do that also, Most people think it’s neat.

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