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Trailer Loading... tips and tricks?

This is a discussion on Trailer Loading... tips and tricks? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Withholding food horse training
  • Horse trailer loading rope through window pressure on head onlly

 
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    04-16-2009, 07:24 PM
  #11
Weanling
Yes, sounds like Horace was - a chooser. How I described about is all with a LOOSE lead. No physical pressure on the horse, & noone touching him. If you yank on a horse's halter, what does he do? Pulls away. The only pressure is by swinging the rope behind him a few feet - not touching him with it. Keep your energy up, but keep calm. If he pulls back, go back with him. Come out of the trailer, walk around & then don't hesite & walk up into the trailer with a loose lead. Consistancy is the key. And make sure there is a little feed up there. Don't use that as a "bribe" but it will be up there if & when he decides to walk up there.

And WOW! My husband hasn't done that...I'm sure it's crossed his mind, though!
     
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    04-16-2009, 11:28 PM
  #12
Weanling
From personal experience only - don't wait until you need him to load to work on it. It always seems like if you act as though you have somewhere to go it takes hours, but if you act like you have all the time in the world, it goes fast. I've had lots of luck just walking them right in as though we've done it a thousand times, even though it's their first, or if they've been frightened in the past. Your confidence will go a long way, believe it or not.
Feeding them in the trailer, baiting with grain, and loading & unloading without the pressure of needing to be somewhere. A chain never hurt either.
     
    04-17-2009, 12:19 PM
  #13
Foal
I had a horse that was 17 hands. When I was breaking her she absolutly refused to load. What we did was we put her in the round pen for a day with no water and no food. Then when we did lead her into the horse trailer we had set hay and a bucket of water in the horse trailer. (If you have a horse trailer that you open the door to the tack room and you can walk back and forth from the trailer door to the tack room door it helps a lot) open the tack door, it gives a horse an idea that its just a wall that its walking into. When/if the horse climbs in the trailer shut the back and tack door and leave it in the trailer for four or five hours... not tied just let him roam... Give him more food and water if he wants it... praise him... give him treats.. he needs to establish that the trailer is a good thing... just loading him and unloading him can be effective but letting him stand in it and get used to the smells and how it feels is a big importance. The horse I had was so tall that she couldn't raise her head quite all the way.. the first time we put her in the trailer she freaked and banged her head and she had a bad experience so she became trailer shy... we worked with her for a grand total of four days, like I stated above.. and she was fine with the trailer ever since...
     
    04-17-2009, 12:41 PM
  #14
mls
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Countrygal892000    
What we did was we put her in the round pen for a day with no water and no food.
Sorry but I strongly believe the basic staples of food and water should not be used as a punishment or a reward.
     
    04-17-2009, 01:58 PM
  #15
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by mls    
Sorry but I strongly believe the basic staples of food and water should not be used as a punishment or a reward.
I agree with MLS, food and water should not be used as a reward or punishment, the horse should know it gets that no matter what.

An idea that we sometimes used when we had a horse that would not load was to back the trailer up to a small hill so the base of the trailer was flush with the ground. This way, the horse did not have to step up and could just walk right in. I didn't read what type of trailer you have, but generally speaking it works better with a straight load.
     
    04-17-2009, 03:28 PM
  #16
Green Broke
Well, I haven't read the other posts, but don't pull him in, cause in a tug of war match, the horse wins. Stand at his side by the trailer, with his head facing it, and swing the rope at his hind end. Make him step in, don't lead him in. Blue learned to do this in a week!
     
    04-17-2009, 03:58 PM
  #17
Trained
I've worked with quite a few horses that don't load. A friend of mine bought two Arabs at an auction awhile back, and it took us about three hours to load them both. She had a small-ish straight load but definitely big enough for the 14 hh horses. The mare only took about twenty minutes, but the gelding just refused. We had two guys with two lead ropes that had threaded the line through the window in the back and used the leverage to stop him from pulling back [that's how the mare went in] and we had another lead rope running around his bum. None of that worked. Two and a half hours later, after everyone was thoroughly exhausted, we blindfolded him and walked him right in.
     
    04-18-2009, 09:52 PM
  #18
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Countrygal892000    
I had a horse that was 17 hands. When I was breaking her she absolutly refused to load. What we did was we put her in the round pen for a day with no water and no food. Then when we did lead her into the horse trailer we had set hay and a bucket of water in the horse trailer. (If you have a horse trailer that you open the door to the tack room and you can walk back and forth from the trailer door to the tack room door it helps a lot) open the tack door, it gives a horse an idea that its just a wall that its walking into. When/if the horse climbs in the trailer shut the back and tack door and leave it in the trailer for four or five hours... not tied just let him roam... Give him more food and water if he wants it... praise him... give him treats.. he needs to establish that the trailer is a good thing... just loading him and unloading him can be effective but letting him stand in it and get used to the smells and how it feels is a big importance. The horse I had was so tall that she couldn't raise her head quite all the way.. the first time we put her in the trailer she freaked and banged her head and she had a bad experience so she became trailer shy... we worked with her for a grand total of four days, like I stated above.. and she was fine with the trailer ever since...
For witholding food/water completely, I'll have to pass on that tactic. Partially because of the obvious, partially because this guy has been known to break through fences when he's penned without food. And at any rate, he has no problem being -in- the trailer. Once he gets all four feet up there, he'll stand quietly without a problem. Won't even try to back out, and I've caught him crawling into open trailers and laying down for a nap even. The fight is in getting him to get into the trailer when I ask him to.
He does usually hit his head on the cieling of the trailer, but only when he's refusing to step into it. While he's inside, he keeps his head low.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewHeart    
An idea that we sometimes used when we had a horse that would not load was to back the trailer up to a small hill so the base of the trailer was flush with the ground. This way, the horse did not have to step up and could just walk right in. I didn't read what type of trailer you have, but generally speaking it works better with a straight load.
We've actually tried this, more under the impression that he'd be going downhill, and so we'd have a bit more momentum behind him. And yet, he came to a dead halt two paces from the edge of the trailer and practically sat down in his attempt to not enter the trailer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by riccil0ve    
I've worked with quite a few horses that don't load. A friend of mine bought two Arabs at an auction awhile back, and it took us about three hours to load them both. She had a small-ish straight load but definitely big enough for the 14 hh horses. The mare only took about twenty minutes, but the gelding just refused. We had two guys with two lead ropes that had threaded the line through the window in the back and used the leverage to stop him from pulling back [that's how the mare went in] and we had another lead rope running around his bum. None of that worked. Two and a half hours later, after everyone was thoroughly exhausted, we blindfolded him and walked him right in.
I've really never thought of blindfolding... but how would the horse know to step up? I know I desensitized him to being blindfolded a long time ago, so I don't worry about him getting upset, but I remember him throwing the biggest fit the first attempt. This horse was totally comfortable with it though? Must've been a pretty level headed little mare.
     
    04-19-2009, 12:18 PM
  #19
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubaiyateBandit    

We've actually tried this, more under the impression that he'd be going downhill, and so we'd have a bit more momentum behind him. And yet, he came to a dead halt two paces from the edge of the trailer and practically sat down in his attempt to not enter the trailer.
Well actually what I was getting at was making the trailer flush with the hill. If you align the trailer up properly, he should be able to just walk right in. Again, this is still works better with a straight load. The whole idea is that he won't need to gain momentum by going down a hill, instead he should be able to just walk right in, eliminating the step up into the trailer.
     
    04-20-2009, 02:40 AM
  #20
Foal
Quote:
Sorry but I strongly believe the basic staples of food and water should not be used as a punishment or a reward.
So when you send a child to bed with no dinner is different? I guess I was raised in a more old fashioned house hold. There is nothing wrong with withholding water and food from a horse for a day. When I first got my horse she was wild, never seen a human except for maybe twice in her life. She was two and when we brought her home we kept her in the trailer for a day and a half and when we led her out we took her straight to water to let her know that we are here to love her and take care of her... its a step in earning her trust, and that plus a few other things I was riding her in three days. I know that everyone trains different and I completly respect that. I just don't want to be made out that im cruel to my animals. I love them with all my heart. I was brought up to train very very old fashioned. I learned from my grandfather. If you have something that works though, that is all that matters.
     

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