Yet another horse trailer loading question. I sure do need help guys - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 11-08-2011, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Texas
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Unhappy Yet another horse trailer loading question. I sure do need help guys

Good afternoon. I have 2 horses that refuse to go into a 2 horse bumper pull. What is the BEST way to go about getting them in there? I have read read read, watched and watched videos. I understand horses have to have a good ground work base and trust. Now what?
What do I do when I ask for them to go in, and they don't. Do I make them run? back up? then ask again?
Help needed! thanks.
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post #2 of 10 Old 11-08-2011, 02:58 PM
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this is what i did. i walked them calmly to the trailer if they stopped i immediately made them back up about 5 or 6 steps then walk forward. did this for about 10 tries and had my guys in the trailer by the end of it. some sooner than others. but your reaction has to be quick because you don't want them to stop. also when i got them in i didn't make my guys stand in it for to long. i gave them a treat after being in there for 30 seconds. then backed them out. and stopped. then tried again in an hour but this time kept them in there for about 5 minutes. if he stood for the full five minutes then i stopped and continued the next day. the next day i added the butt bar but only after he was calm inside.

hope that helped. good luck
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post #3 of 10 Old 11-08-2011, 03:06 PM
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Hands DOWN, go to Clinton Anderson's site and look for his videos on trailer loading. His method is the MOST useful getting a stubborn or scared horse to load in a trailer, by lunging, constantly changing directions, putting the horse between you and the scary thing, then letting them rest ONLY when they approach and/or load.
I hardly ever had trailer-loading problems until a few years back--sold THAT horse, but my 5yo KMHSA was scared of MY trailer. NOW, he loads super easy.
I've been watching his program for a few years now--DON'T agree with 100% BUT, THIS does work bc it's a positive release after pressure. Here's the start thru finish with one problem horse~
IF you go to his site, he does sell DVD's to help. If your horse panics bc he's afraid of the trailer and hurts YOU, your hospital bill will be a lot higher than the cost of a DVD--just sayin'. DH and I are convinced that this works. It was difficult for us bc our older herd loaded/unloaded without any problems, so this was NEW to us. Watch and I think you'll be able to do it. =D
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post #4 of 10 Old 11-09-2011, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. any more help would be appreciated. Can't wait to try all this.
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post #5 of 10 Old 11-09-2011, 11:29 AM
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you got it just stay calm... :)
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post #6 of 10 Old 11-09-2011, 11:50 AM
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I think the thing most folks forget is to train the horse to load BEFORE you really need him to. In other words, if you know that 1 month or 6 months from now you will need to load him, start working with him TODAY. I spend maybe 15 mins/day teaching loading/unloading to my babies and by the time we need to go somewhere it's not a problem.

I lead them up to the trailer (which is scarey all by itself) and get them to pause there for like 5 secs. then walk away and praise praise praise. Then walk back up and pause again. Reapeat until the horse will walk right up to the trailer and stop, never asking him to load. I have a ramp which I think makes it easier because my next move is to get 1 foot on the ramp and quit. Then 2 feet, then 3 then stand on the ramp. Once we're confident at this, then I let them go into the trailer and come right back out. Basically, they set the pace and determine what we accomlish that day. Anyway, after a week or 2 of this, they will load and unload very easily and rarely do I have a problem with a horse I've trained, getting on or off a trailer.
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post #7 of 10 Old 11-09-2011, 12:04 PM
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What I have found that helps, is to open any doors or windows so they are not walking into a tight dark wall. I had a horse that would not load, without realizing the benefit of it, I bought a trailer with a side ramp as well as a rear one, and when that was down the horse would walk straight in.
Other than that, I use hunger and make them skip a meal or two and use food to lure them in. Then feed them in the trailer daily before closing the ramp and taking them somewhere.
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post #8 of 10 Old 11-09-2011, 12:30 PM
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For any horse to load well they first need to lead well. Get to where you can lead the horse past yourself without becoming worked-up or upset, slowly and under control (calm!). Ditto for backing up. The horse should go forward and back easily without arguing with you and the human should feel comfortable with leading the horse as well. If you're not yet confident to do those things, just practice more. I firmly believe that anyone with desire and time can learn to do this stuff.

Once the horse is good to lead, loading becomes pretty easy. Just keep him pointed toward the trailer and use *just* enough pressure so that you keep his attention on the job. That'll keep him searching for the answer without becoming overwhelmed. Eventually the horse will load, so long as his sense of self-preservation isn't brought out by too much pressure.

That's just one way of doing things that's worked for me. I personally enjoy a good trailer-loading challenge as I think it's a great way to build feel and timing in a person.
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post #9 of 10 Old 11-09-2011, 01:24 PM
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Agree with the CA idea. I've used CA for months now and have had nothing but success.
I point and my horse walks on the trailer by himself.
amschrader87 is offline  
post #10 of 10 Old 11-09-2011, 01:52 PM
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Step one - how large and open is the trailer? Some of those tiny, dark two horse trailers, I wouldn't go in either!
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