* click on
all photos to enlarge them.
There is nothing more
frustrating than to experience and witness, the frantic actions of
the horse that climbs the walls of a horse float.
Over the years, I have
floated many unbroken horses and have always noticed that they are
'rock solid' inside the float and are not easily upset. The same
with foals, weanling and yearlings. Having a horse climb the wall is
the least of my worries with these horses. In fact, I have
deliberately tested a few of them, just to see how easily they can
be upset or even worse, turned into 'wall climbers' I have never
really been able to extract much of a reaction from them.
weanlings in one float. Not a problem
Bad Drivers', caused
by the zero training via Pony Club or other avenues. Traveling
too fast around bends or braking too abruptly causing the horse
to lose it's footing.
Often Males who will
not listen to their wives or daughters and are basic petrol
heads at heart. No matter how slow they go, they are going too
Centre divisions that
extend all the way to the floor. These guarantee the ruination
Centre Divisions that
extend down too low. A common design fault these days. Stopping
the horse from spreading the legs. New floats are being made in
South Australia, with this design fault.
Rough Horse Floats.
Rattle Traps with high noise levels or even new floats with high
Dark and dingy horse
floats with poor lighting and small windows.
Doors closed can trigger them through panic and chostrophia.
This float arrived here with the horse climbing the walls and
shoes ripped off. It only had the little window near the front
door. I advised the people to lift the roof and leave the front
and side gaps open. The horse was cured on the trip home and has
never done it since. Thus proving my point yet again.
A lack of viewing options that the Horse needs to cater for the
'flight response' and the natural wants and needs. It has always
been noted by me that Horse Floats only have windows positioned
in the blond spot of the Horse when their eyes are actually on
the sides of the heads
- New and unusual
noises like the wheel bearings on the way out.
Where are the eyes of a Horse? ( on the sides of their head) Where are the
blind spots in the field of view of a Horse? (dead in
front and behind them) Then why is every Float window in the front
and about 2 foot below their heads? In 100% of Australian Horse
Floats and I suspect other Countries of the World, certainly Europe
and Britain, the most the windows will allow is a look at the Boot
of the towing vehicle in front. Here, have a look.
Click to enlarge
VISION VERSUS 'FLIGHT
* With the lack of focus
leading to stress and unhappiness. The No. 1 cause of Floating
problems of most kinds.
Horses are unable to
focus their eyes the way humans and most animals can. Have you ever
seen a horse raising and lowering its head as it looks at an object?
It does that to adjust the focal length, moving until the object
comes into focus on its retina. Also, since the horse’s field of
vision doesn’t overlap—the right eye sees what’s happening on the
right side of its body, and the same on the left—it’s amazing that
the horse isn’t confused all the time by two images that don’t match
up at all.
The horse’s eyes also act something like a human’s bifocals. If the
horse lowers its head and looks up, gazing through the upper portion
of the eye, it can focus on the horizon. However, if it needs to
look at something closer, it will raise its head to regard the
object through the lower portion of the eye, where it can focus more
When you see a horse startled by a sudden movement just behind or
beside it, its peripheral vision has sighted the movement but it has
not yet had time to focus on it. Even when the horse is traveling a
familiar path, such as to the stable or pasture, it can be startled
by something as small as a paper blowing past.
When Horses detect
movement and often perceive it as a threat, due to the fact that
they can't quickly focus, they run first and focus later. Especially
things coming from behind. To take away the natural instincts of a
Horse through removal of view out of a 'Tin Can' is to build
therefore and I submit, highly unfair.
After 10 years of testing on trips
up to 1,000k and a life time of floating around 25,000 Horses, I can categorically say that
the window configuration on all Horse Floats is incorrect and is
stress positive. Testing on hundreds of problem Horses and
thousands of normal horses have shown the benefits to be incredible and many.
Too many for me to describe here. I will write a paper on it when I
- Stress levels markedly down
- Happier Horses in travel
- More willing to load.
- Problem Horses that people
cannot get into Floats will walk into my test Float.
- Horses arrive fresher, more
relaxed and far more able to athletically perform because they
have not been tormented via lack of view, have not been cramped
throughout the trip and are ready to perform far better than
other Horses due to their overall happiness and lack of muscle
soreness and stiffness.
- Happier competition
Horses than others as they are not pre configured into a bad
mood before arrival. (pawing)
- Horses not having to screw
their head and neck around to struggle for a glimpse of a view
to allay their fears because their field of vision and window
positions don't allow them to see. Imagine the frustration?
- Able to choose their own head
and neck height, limit directional problems, relax, nod off, or
go to a heightened awareness with head up high like in their
paddock. Happiness once more.
- Veterinary reasons such as
digestion and choke.
How would you like me to put you in
a mechanics Pit that was too small for you and leave you there for 7
hours??....and they wonder why Horses sweat in Horse Floats?. That
would quickly produce physical problems as it does with Veterinary
HOW TO FIX THEM
- Remove the centre division and
allow the horse to find it's own position in the float. Normally
on the angle. Horses need something to lean against, in order to
get to climbing the walls.
- Sack your driver as the horse must
have completely successful trips form now on. Success makes
repair and over time, the horse will be fixed....or
- Travel the horse in an open horse
float for a few trips and that will fix it. No division but with
my safety belt system on the horse.
- Travel the horse in a 3 horse
float, both divisions in but put the horse in the centre bay.
NOT if the divisions extend down any more than 300mm from the
- Travel the horse in a Truck,
amongst other horses and preferably with no divisions or chains.
- Build bunk beds that
drop down and double as outside wall padding. That will make
them wider than normal. That will get the feet of the Horse away
from the wall and give you a nice place to sleep at an Event :)
'Scramblers' or 'Wall Climbers' are
deeply psychologically distressed horses and ruined by people,
normally their loving owners. If one doesn't take every step to help
them, serious injuries will occur and in the end, the horse will
never be able to be floated again. That normally means death to the
Hypothetically, we can drive horses as
fast as we like and have done so. 160k attempting to beat another
car to the punt at Berri as we were running late for the first race
for which we were entered. :) It has no affect upon them. The bends
are your major danger. Go here and read this:
Best of Luck