Loading A Timid Horse Into A Trailer
I have a three year old that I am training and trying to get him in the trailer. Recently he decided he didn't want to get in any more and it took me about two hours to get just half of him in the trailer. Any ideas on how to get him to load?
Loading a horse into a trailer is often what strains our relationship with our horse the most. It is also an indication of how much he trusts you and responds to your instructions. You should not think of trailering as a new skill to learn, rather an action that requires you to use other skills you have learnt. Unfortunately, horses that have had bad experiences with trailers will find this more difficult, no matter how well trained they are. Take some familiar-smelling bedding from his stall and cover the ramp and trailer floor about 6 inches deep so there’s no chance he’ll slip when he first tries to step inside. Gradually heed him closer and closer until he tries to step into the trailer on his own. It is best to work on this when you do not actually need him to go inside so that you can work with patience. An important thing is to make the horse feel like he can in fact leave the trailer if he wants to: If he doesn’t like trailers he certainly does not want to feel captive by it. Spend an afternoon walking him in and letting him leave if he wants to – and gradually he will become far less worried by it.