Straight Load load/unload alone - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 06-30-2012, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
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Question Straight Load load/unload alone

I was curious on how people use their straight load trailer alone
So for those of you who have a straight load trailer how do you get the horses on and off? Our has the pins on the bum bar. I had one horse who flew out the back when I was trying to load them, I did up the halter then off they went out the back broken halter and all. Glad it was leather because the horse was flipping out.
Then to unload ..undue the back first then I walked up to their head but that doesn't work. Then I had a horse flip out when I undid the clip at the halter and walked over to the back of the trailer. I am a little curious on how to do this, I love slant loads, my next trailer will be one!! You can do it all by yourself its super easy. And most of the time you can turn the horse around so they don't have to back out.
I always have someone with my I have never been alone trailering but there will be a time when I will be and will know how the hell to get a horse off safely. I know usually there are people who can help exc. But just in case. How do I approach it to be safe and a good experience.

I have heard people will attach a lead rope to the halter then go threw the trailer (not around ) so kind of deeking under the dividers and then undue the back like that so the horses head isn't ever not attached to something.

Any tips, advice or storys you have on how to do this would be super helpfull.
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post #2 of 12 Old 06-30-2012, 09:32 AM
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Correct me if I am wrong but did you tie the horse before putting up the butt bar/chain? Did he break the butt bar? If I were you, I would teach your horse to side load. When he loads throw the lead over his back and latch the butt bar. Then go around to tie him. I assume your trailer has a side window or slats?

Last edited by goneriding; 06-30-2012 at 09:34 AM.
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post #3 of 12 Old 06-30-2012, 09:35 AM
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I have a two horse straight load.
When unloading, we always

1)open the trap door by their head and untie the lead rope (it was ties on a loop in the manager using a quick release) by untying this before opening the back gates if the horse was to rush out there is less chance of damage.
2) then open the side door
3) open the back door and butt guard and say whoa
4) go back to the side door, hold the lead rope and say back easy.
because we always do it in the same order, the horses seem to already know.

when loading its opposite

1)open back door and undo butt chain
3) do butt chain
3)close door

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post #4 of 12 Old 06-30-2012, 09:37 AM
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Do you have a picture of your trailer? I am trying to picture it in my head.
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post #5 of 12 Old 06-30-2012, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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It's just a normal 2 horse sundowner trailer. When loading I would tie the head then do the bum bar and to unload I would open the back doors and then undue the back bum bar then the head. I think taking the lead off the head first then the bum bar would be the solution to taking a horse off the trailer
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post #6 of 12 Old 06-30-2012, 10:46 AM
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All of my horses self load. Instead of walking up into the float with them, I throw the lead over their neck and walk up the ramp with them, then they go into the float themselves while I do up the bar behind them. Then I go around and tie them. For unloading, I untie them, throw the rope over their necks and then undo the back. Once the back of the float is undone, I tug on their tails, tell them to back and then catch their lead as they back out. They aren't allowed out until I've given them the cue. Having self loading horses makes floating so much easier. If I get a horse that doesn't self load, I put the time in to teach it. My old pony used to be terrible to load and he would flip out and thrash around if he was tied before the back was done up. Dad recently sliced his hand open when he loaded one of my current horses and tied him before he did the back up because my horse decided to attempt to fly backwards out of the float (said horse and I have had several polite discussions about his manners since then and he's much less disrespectful now).

I hope my post made sense, haha. It's crazy late at night here and I'm on my phone.
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post #7 of 12 Old 06-30-2012, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Mckellar View Post
It's just a normal 2 horse sundowner trailer. When loading I would tie the head then do the bum bar and to unload I would open the back doors and then undue the back bum bar then the head. I think taking the lead off the head first then the bum bar would be the solution to taking a horse off the trailer
Bum bar first when loading, last when unloading. Slant load when loading in the last stall is the same.

Last edited by goneriding; 06-30-2012 at 12:18 PM.
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post #8 of 12 Old 06-30-2012, 12:56 PM
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Never, never, NEVER tie a horse (or leave a horse tied) in a trailer without the butt bar, butt chain or last divider being securely fastened, NEVER.

When loading, put the bar or chain or divider securely behind the horse and then tie or fasten his head. Fasten his head long enough that he cannot turn his head around but not short enough for him to pull back against the tie rope. You do not want a horse to be able to 'set back' in a trailer other than to 'sit' on the butt bar or chain. Always un-fasten a horse's head before you open the back of the trailer or un-fasten the butt bar or chain.
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post #9 of 12 Old 06-30-2012, 05:45 PM
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i teach my horses that they can NEVER back out of a straight load trailer unless i give a tug on their tail. i have trailered a lot by myself so my horses are very good at it. if they hesitate getting in, i make them back up quickly, then walk forward into the trailer. they get the hint pretty quickly that its easier just to get in. once they are in i close the chest bar and walk around to the back to do the butt bar. after the butt bar is up i tie them.

when i go to unload, i untie them first. then i go around and let down the butt bar. they must stand in the trailer until i tug their tail, then they back out by themselves. [you might need someone at their head to encourage them to back the first few times.] if they back out before i tug their tail, they MUST go back in, no matter how tired i am or they are.

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post #10 of 12 Old 06-30-2012, 07:55 PM
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Well, for a start I'd say it sounds like your horses need more training, in order for them to be confident about the trailer, so safer in it. You shouldn't get to the point of shutting them in, tying them up until they're comfortable with the idea. That's just asking for trouble otherwise.

So, after training has progressed to an acceptable level, then I shut the tailgate & go round & 'tie' the horses(I don't ever tie them firm in a trailer, but use a 'Tie Ring' or such, to secure them in a safe manner. When unloading, I would agree with Cherie, if I had a butt bar or chain, but I don't & in case of emergency, I don't want them jumping out over the ramp on me as I lower it, so I do leave them 'tied' until the tailgate is down, before 'untying' them & asking them to back out.
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