Hard to load barrel horse! Please help!! - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By MangoRoX87
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post #1 of 6 Old 01-09-2014, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
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Hard to load barrel horse! Please help!!

Hey guys I need some help please!! So my barrel horse is use to riding in a stock trailer that's all opened up inside, so me and my friend have started hauling together and she has a nice featherlight trailer with living quarter and and all and the horse part is all closed in, the first time he jumped right up there with no problems at all!! Than last month I went to load him up in there and he wouldn't go, we tried threatening him with the lunge whip, we tried getting some feed and treats, and we finally got him up after 15 minutes by taking her horse out and opening it all up and me in the trailer pulling him and my friend and her dad pushing him!! Then after the rodeo he jumped right up there!! This weekend we have a rodeo that we're hauling together to and we are meeting at a gas station, so is there any easy way of getting him up there if he refuses again? Anything you guys do?
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post #2 of 6 Old 01-11-2014, 01:44 AM
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If you are familiar with ground work and so is your horse, this should work. My mare started out a bit stubborn about loading into my two horse straight load. I believe that ground work is something you will always use with any horse at any age in any situation, it is THE KEY. That being said, I had already taught my horse to "send" before I tried loading her. I started out by leading her perfectly straight to the back of the trailer as if expecting her to load without problem. If she stopped and refused to step up, I would put light pressure on her by smooching and maybe by twirling the lead a little bit at her hip or just behind her hip on the top of the rump. If she refused further, I would lunge her and work her for a few rounds and then send her again from the lunge circle directly to the spot that she is supposed to get into. Some horses will just get in at this point if your lucky, but most seem to take more time. If the horse seems to be thinking about getting in give it a few seconds and then give it some light encouragement again. If it steps out or away, repeat the lunging and sending. If your horse takes a step up into the trailer, immediately stop the pressure and pet him or just leave him alone for about thirty seconds and then ask for a little more. If he backs out again work him a little harder, but always keep your cool! :) You want the horse to get it in his mind that when he is in the trailer, he gets a break from the pressure. Also putting a treat in the loft after he loads will make him like it better. If the case is bad enough it could take a while and some harder lunging, but it has worked for me every time. I have also heard of people parking their trailer in the pasture and only feeding them in the trailer until the horse loads in and out of it good on their own. And I have seen (on a backroad) somebody tie a horse to the back of the trailer after fighting with it for hours and just driving a trotting pace for a while. The horse jumped right in after about five minutes of that (some horses will freak out a little at first, some horses lose their mind and go ape crap, some just go with it) I don't know your horses personality so you will have to make the judgment call :) Just make sure to try this ahead of time and quite often, until your horse has it down. Then you won't have the anxiety of someone waiting on you and your horse to load. Whatever you do, don't force load. I have seen some really ugly things happen to horses when they flip their lid! Anyway, I hope this helps you, good luck! Let me know what happens :) I hope I didn't forget anything lol
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post #3 of 6 Old 01-11-2014, 07:04 AM
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post #4 of 6 Old 01-11-2014, 08:17 AM
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I answered your question on the other thread you started.


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post #5 of 6 Old 01-11-2014, 10:56 AM
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If your horse is not used to tight spaces or low roofs it would be good to get him used to that. Park the trailer parallel to an outside barn wall. Have your horse walk between the trailer and wall. Start with a large space your horse will feel comfortable in and slowly make the space smaller and smaller. Then try hanging a tarp over top to mimic a roof. Have him stand there for a few minutes until he thinks it is "no big deal". Hope this helps =)

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post #6 of 6 Old 01-11-2014, 11:02 AM
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Here's another question: how rough is the driver? Could you stand your grandma up in the back of the trailer and not expect her to fall down? Quicker acceleration, stopping, and turning can really bug a horse out..
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