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Loading Problems

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

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        06-03-2009, 12:25 PM
    Yes we had it opened up that way
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        06-03-2009, 08:16 PM

    It's the magic tool when it comes to loading horses, I swear by it. All my horses, and all the horses I've ever had for a decent period of time, self load into a straight load or angle load and because I don't hesitate to use rope when needed.

    Now before everyone gets up in arms, I don't hit my horse with it, I don't pull them on, they don't get tangled, and it is not stressful. Due to appropriate use of rope, I've never had to even think about using whips, force, aggression to load a horse and we have never failed to get a horse loaded.

    Rope takes the onus off the handler.

    My float loading motto: Act like you have all day, and it will take 5 minutes. Act like you have 5 minutes, and it will take all day.

    Our way of doing it: The rope is tied to one side of the trailer at the edge and held my my dad on the other side. If there are two people one will hold each end of the rope, but normally it's just me and dad.

    The rope is used as a barrier. We lift the rope so it sits just under the rump and above the hocks and the horse can feel it. There is minial pressure, unless the horse backs up, and then the pressure increases. While the horse is standing looking into the float or moving forward, it just sits there. The rope gives the horse no option to run out to the sides, and a lessened option to run backward. While you can't hold a horse with a rope, the pressure plays on their mind. They don't know you aren't strong enough to hold them.

    A big mistake a lot of people make is trying to pull the horse on to the trailer. Most often, this causes the horse to throw up their head, which is dangerous as it can hit the roof of the float.

    We always give the horse a chance to load calmy without the rope. If they resufse twice, the rope comes out. After they have loaded with the rope about 3 times, they never need it again.

    I'm sure it won't work for every horse, but it has always, 100% worked for us.
        06-03-2009, 11:12 PM
    My old show mare hated to load (going to a show). We would have to use a butt rope on her. This was a straight load, 2-horse trailer. I could get her front end in, and then we'd have a rope that we'd drape over her back and slide it down across her butt to prevent her from backing out. (Takes two people to do this).

    Now... coming home from a horse show, I'd throw the leadline over her neck and she'd walk right on the trailer.

    Obviously she didn't like leaving home :)
        06-03-2009, 11:44 PM
    Green Broke
    I agree with wild_spot. A properly used butt rope is an invaluable tool, especially on young horses. Often all it takes is just a gentle brush with it to remind them they have a "barrier" of sorts behind them and they move away from it. A loaded my new 2 year old who's never seen a trailer before within several minutes by just letting her stand at the ramp with two people gently drawing a rope just above her hocks, and me shaking a bucket of grain. She looked at me for a minute or so, kind of judged the situation and then hopped right in first try. By feeling the rope behind her, she decided that going backwards wasn't an option.

    And I agree, with straight loads, patience is key. My Arab mare will load like a dream in a big open stock trailer, heck I swear the beast loves trailer rides because you can darn near open the gate and she'll run and jump in the trailer. When it comes to using our small 2 horse straight load, suddenly she forgets how to load! However if I take the partition out and let her use the entire space for just herself, she'll load fine. So I think the straight loads look very deceptive to horses and it just takes some time and patience to show them they'll be alright.
        06-04-2009, 06:59 AM
    Thanks for all the suggestions, unfortunately we tried them all, we did the butt rope early on and she just side stepped to the left and repeatedly almost hurt herself stepping off the ramp that way. We had the rope attached on the left and several people helping and she just got mad as soon as she felt the pressure and moved off the ramp to the left, stepping on who or whatever was there, we even moved the trailer up against a fence line and she still stepped off to the left. (we also used the rope with two people holding both sides)

    I really do appreciate everyone's input and still curious how it went for Rosie but I still haven't heard anything that would work with this mare at this point. I wouldn't be surprised if she loaded just fine next time, she just knew she was going to a show LOL.

    As for time and patience over three hours is all we had to spare on the project as we were all exhausted after getting up at 4 am to go to a show we never got to :)
        06-04-2009, 03:29 PM
    Lovemyponies- have you tried without a ramp?

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