Trailer Loading Success

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Every night after work I’ve been going to the barn and working on trailer loading with Baron. The repetition is paying off! A few days ago, he walked right onto the trailer on the first try. He stayed for a few minutes and I let him get back off when he was ready; I didn’t push him to stay any longer than he felt comfortable. I could not, however, get him on the trailer a second time. I tried for about a half an hour before giving up. I got him to put his feet on the ramp and then let him quit. I kept practicing every day, and finally on Saturday he loaded onto the trailer on the first try, and then loaded again about 10 minutes later. I was a little more forceful the second time; I used the training stick and tapped him on the rump to let him know I meant business. Now that I know he can do it, I feel I can be a bit more forceful when I ask. Now it’s a matter of not wanting to versus being unable to load. My goal is for him to be completely comfortable in the trailer and willing to load with no hesitation. I want to be able to point at the trailer and have him hop on. That will take loads of practice, but I enjoy the groundwork as much as the riding, so it’s not a problem for me. I realize that a lot of people get bored with groundwork and would prefer to get on and go riding, but I feel that the groundwork is where you make the most progress in the relationship with the horse. I’ll spend as much time as it takes to have a reliably quiet, confident horse.

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4 thoughts on “Trailer Loading Success

  1. ANGIE July 21, 2009 / 8:57 pm

    I HAVE A THOROUGHBRED MARE THAT I CANT EVEN GET HER TO COME CLOSE TO A TRAILER WHEN I BOUGHT HER THE LADY HAD TRANK HER AND PUT HER IN THE TRAILER, NOW SHE RAERS UP AND PUTS HER FEET ON TOP THE TRAILER WHAT SHOULD I DO PLEASE HELP EMAIL ME AT TANNERANGELA@YAHOO.COM

    • juliaeverheart August 1, 2009 / 1:32 pm

      I am not an expert on this, and Baron really wasn’t terrible to load. No rearing, just refusal. My advice is take it slooooooooow. Park the trailer in a pasture and hand graze her next to it so she gets used to being near it without being terrified. Then I would open the trailer door and graze her next to the door without asking her to get on or get nearer than she’s comfortable. Eventually ask her to put her front feet on the trailer. Keep at it and as she learns to trust you, she’ll try to do what you ask.
      This is basically the Parelli method. Don’t push the horse too fast and build the trust between the two of you. Clinton Anderson’s method is to run the horse into the ground until finally he gets in the trailer just so you’ll quit running him. Clinton’s method did not work for me, because my horse can run all day. He was more scared than he was tired.
      Good luck to you!

  2. Mary January 9, 2010 / 10:19 pm

    I am also having problem with my warmblood loading. I just leave the trailer in the pasture hooked up to the truck for stability. The only time the horse is fed is in the trailer. I put the feed in the trailer and he eventually went in by himself. It takes a while for them to feel comfortable, but it does work. Now, I have to keep the ramp closed to the trailer because he wants to go inside the trailer to find food all the time. Never ever force the horse in the trailer because he will think of it as a place of torture. Keep it a happy place for him to load into. I hope that this works for you

  3. juliaeverheart January 11, 2010 / 5:49 pm

    It’s almost impossible to force a horse into a trailer. Even if you’re able to physically overpower them, once they’re in the trailer you run the risk of them flipping out and injuring themselves. Most trailer loading methods are what I already mentioned. Either you run the horse and let the trailer be the resting place or you take it slooooow, like I did.

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