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This is a discussion on Loading within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

     
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        07-18-2008, 10:00 AM
      #1
    Foal
    Loading

    I am looking for suggestions on loading my 2 yr old. She will walk up to the trailer with her head in it but she just wont put her feet up and get in. We have a stock type trailer so she shouldnt be feeling claustrophobic. We have tried treats, putting a rope around her but, ignoreing her/ waiting for her to get in on her own time, and even using panels to make a funnel and plywood to make her think she can only go into the trailer. When we tried to ignore her she would get mad and bang her foot off the trailer but she would just end up rearing and pulling the rope out of my hands. The panels and plywood worked the best but she eventually pushed me the plywood and my brother who was holding it over and ran around the pasture. We also tried somthing we saw on youtube where you walk the horse up to the trailer and when they stop you back them up but eventually she just stopped going forword and ended up farther from the trailer then before. There is 4-H round up tomorrow which we will be missing unless by some miracle she decides to get on the trailer today. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
         
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        07-18-2008, 10:08 AM
      #2
    Green Broke
    There are TONS of topics on trailer loading, and many different methods:

    http://www.horseforum.com/viewtopic....railer+loading

    http://www.horseforum.com/viewtopic....railer+loading

    http://www.horseforum.com/viewtopic....railer+loading

    http://www.horseforum.com/viewtopic....railer+loading

    http://www.horseforum.com/viewtopic....railer+loading

    http://www.horseforum.com/viewtopic....ghlight=#86517

    Hope these help!
         
        07-18-2008, 01:56 PM
      #3
    Yearling
    Lead her to the trailer and ask her to get in, don't let up until she steps forward and immediately release. If she backs, release and let her back all she wants with no pressure on the halter. When she's done having her fit, take her right back to the trailer and start again. She'll get tired of it.
         
        07-18-2008, 02:23 PM
      #4
    Showing
    First, having the stock trailer does NOT mean she doesn't feel claustrophobic. :)

    I can't give any advice because NOTHING worked for my paint either (I tried bridge, tarp over, etc. etc. etc. ) for several months + 4 trainers (2 are specific for loading issues and they could NOTHING with her). Only the last trainer was able to make her somewhat over the fear. He made her working around the trailer so much that she'd consider the trailer as the only place to escape the work, so she eventually loaded.
         
        07-18-2008, 09:57 PM
      #5
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kitten_Val
    First, having the stock trailer does NOT mean she doesn't feel claustrophobic. :)

    I can't give any advice because NOTHING worked for my paint either (I tried bridge, tarp over, etc. etc. etc. ) for several months + 4 trainers (2 are specific for loading issues and they could NOTHING with her). Only the last trainer was able to make her somewhat over the fear. He made her working around the trailer so much that she'd consider the trailer as the only place to escape the work, so she eventually loaded.
    Boy, sounds like you've had some bad luck with trainers! I suspect the last trainer did little if anything to get her over her fear, but just made it the lesser of the evils? This method works for many horses, if it's very consistent, as you saw, but it doesn't create a confident & willing horse.

    My method(which sometimes takes a while if they've had previous bad experiences, but I'm yet to fail with - I'm a trainer, so have had lots of experience) is basically reinforcing whatever the horse will give and then asking it to back off(approach & retreat). Do this over until the horse is willing & confident to do that on cue, before asking for a little more & repeating the process.

    If the horse backs off without being asked, I do keep a little pressure on the lead to make it uncomfortable, but I don't try to prevent it going backwards - this is just fear talking & I don't think it ever pays to(try to) force a scared horse. Once the horse has finished backing, I will rest a couple of seconds before asking it forward again, to just shy of the point we were up to & work from there again, perhaps more gradually this time.

    Keeping sessions short & easy, not getting too hung up on the trailer - using it as just one of many obstacles also helps.
         
        07-18-2008, 11:17 PM
      #6
    Yearling
    Loading

    Try self loading...I am telling you, it works! That means you let the horse go in on its own, having them just walk right in then you go and tie them. Its really easy. What you do is you drape a six foot lead rope from a rope halter across the horses neck and hold it lightly with one hand a little ways from under the chin and use a lunge whip as a "extentsion of the arm ONLY" to to get the horse moving to get the energy "flowing' so to speak lol. Make sure she isnt sleeping lol. If she can get in and sniff around in the trailer with her head inside it she can step up. You work her in circles, sending her away from you and get closer and closer to the trailer and then "send her in", using your body as a block so to speak. Tap her with the whip so she gets the messege. If she knocks into you with her shoulder, hip, hindquarters tap her hard and tell her to GET OUT OF YOUR SPACE and send her around for a bit and then call her back in and send her up. She has to learn that if she is out of the trailer then she gets worked; if she gets into the trailer then she gets to rest and stand. If she gets up into the trailer with just her front feet on the floor, stop her and let her stand. If she wants to back out, tap her and make it uncomfortable for her until she goes in to where she was or is in further. You tell her when to move, she doesnt decide that. You don't have to make her fully load the first couple times, let her go partly in and let her stand then ask her to back out then do it again. It has worked wonders with my friends horse, and we have two horse trailers that are more narrow then stock trailers. Don't use treats though. Give her a pat and let her stand there and talk to her. She doenst need to learn that she gets a food reward while in the trailer. And remember to end the session on a good note. Good luck!
         

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