10-05-2011, 09:53 AM
| || | Before you take the trip teach the foal to load, then start with short trips around the block. Do NOT tie the foal inside the trailer but the foal does need to be halter broken enough to lead and stand quietly. A young horse not yet taught to tie should not be tied in a trailer - take your time and slowly teach horse to tie then when horse reliably ties at home for a couple of hours then put the horse on the trailer tied. For this trip open up trailer compartment making 2 stalls into one. Make certain there is nothing sticking out foal could step on or fall into that could damage the foal (sharp corners, etc.). Teach foal (practice) about standing inside the trailer once loaded and waiting to NOT run out once you stop and go to unload the foal - unless there is a corral you can pull trailer into so if foal gets loose while unloading the foal is still "contained" in a fence. Feed foal in trailer so they get accustomed to the fact that trailer = food (hay and feed) so they will want to load into the trailer. Be careful that windows are only open if horse can not stick head through window opening (foals have been known to try to go through a window - even if their bodies will NOT fit - so don't take a chance. You do want plenty of light and airflow - a white interior inside the trailer is less scarey than a dark interior. A ramp trailer is usually easier to teach loading on than a step up - but key to both is coaxing horse to put first one leg (feed and pet) then another leg (feed and pet again) into the trailer. If you get both front legs the first time you try then don't push it - young horses have very short attention spans (like human kids) so better to teach things every day for 15-30 minutes rather than a long (1 hour) lesson every other day. Many people tie trailer doors open (keep trailer attached to truck to it doesn't move when horse enters) and feed horse inside trailer for several days before teching horse to load for the first time. After doing this I have to make certain my trailer doors are closed or my horses walk in looking for treats! Take your time and good luck.