My happy little bubble was burst yesterday when I went to load my 3 yo twh gelding for the first time. I have been doing groundwork with him and I thought we were doing very well. He will be going to a professional trainer soon for saddle training so I decided to introduce him to the trailer thinking it would be no big deal. Wrong. He walks up to the trailer fine but stops just short of stepping onto it. So I give him the go forward signal (I point in the direction I want him to go and cluck, if I need to I usually give a tap on the rear end) but no go. He swings his hindquarters off to the side so that he is facing me not the entrance to the trailer and plants his feet. I have never had this problem before, my other horse I taught to load does fine, I just point to the trailer and in he goes.
Obviously he does not respect or trust me enough to go in, I'm not blaming him I'm mostly just disapointed that I was so wrong about what I felt we could do. I have walked him on things that made noise before (bridges, tarps, concrete pads) and he did not hesitate so I am thinking that the fact that it is enclosed is what is making him leery.
Should I go back to doing more of the very basics (giving to pressure, backing up, etc) or should I start working on taking him in smaller and smaller spaces so that we build up the trust/confidence to get in the trailer? Thinking back now I realize that he does tend to rush through tight spaces like the alleyways near the barn. I'm really down/frustrated right now so I think someone elses point of view may help if anyone has advice.