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apachewhitesox 01-08-2013 08:21 PM

Problem loading horse on float
I am going to finally have access to a float tomorrow, I'm going to have all day to spend on this.

My horse Sammy was sold to me as impossible to load on a float. I have found its not just floats, anything that is small, dark, not solid ground etc he seems to have a genuine fear of.

I found a few areas around our property that he didn't go because of the above reasons and have worked him through this so he now goes there if told.

The last owner said they just used food to get him on a float by feeding him in it a week before going anywhere. I feel once I get him to realise the float isn't going to kill him he will be fine.

My main problem is I have never actually been told how to properly and safely load a horse.

If you are on your own would you tie the horse then close the back once it is on or close the back then tie it?

I don't want to cause him any extra stress from a silly mistake once I get him on there willingly. I hope to at least have him willingly walking on and off the float by the end of the day if I can drive with him in it would be even better.

Thanks to anyone who answers my questions and other tips are welcome. :D

Samstead 01-08-2013 08:52 PM

apachewhitesox 01-08-2013 09:18 PM

AlexS 01-08-2013 09:52 PM

My former horse wouldn't load either, I got a trailer/float with a side ramp and put it down, then loaded from the back as normal, my horse walked right in. My theory, horses don't like to walk into a small unknown tiny space, make it as light and airy as you can.

apachewhitesox 01-08-2013 09:58 PM

I do plan open it up and have as much light coming in as possible though there isn't a ramp on the front of this trailer (so I don't continue to confuse people). There is only a door for people to fit through I think.

Saddlebag 01-08-2013 10:01 PM

Do not go in there with him because you could be hamburger if he panics. Spend a lot of time teaching him to walk alongside of you and stopping immediately when you do. Put your shoulders back a bit as you stop. When you start walking use your left hand forward and point the direction then lower it as he's walking. This will teach him to go ahead when you point. Work on backing him up by using a riding crop or dressage whip to tap on the point of the shoulder of the hoof that will step back first and tap each point to keep him backing. Stop, face forward, point and start walking. If you hold the lead near the chin, try an arm's length as it will be more comfortable for both of you.

Spotted 01-08-2013 10:03 PM

I like the idea of putting some favorite goodies in and allowing the horse to enter and and leave on its own. Are you able to put the truck and trailer( float) in the horses pen ?

apachewhitesox 01-08-2013 10:11 PM

Thanks I do plan to work with near the trailer on the ground until he is calm and listening (if he starts stressing near it) before actually trying to get him on it.

Also Spotted thanks for the reply but that has been tried many times by his old owner and clearly didn't work. I do plan to have some goodies for him afterwards if he does well but I don't want to use to bribe him on.

Dreamcatcher Arabians 01-08-2013 10:15 PM

My favorite thing to do with them is to practice when we have all the time in the world, no vet appts, no trail rides, nothing to do but on and off. With those little 2 horse straight load trailers, I like to walk up to the back, let them sniff and walk away. Several times until they aren't at all hesitant. Then I like to see if they will follow me in, even just a step or 2. If they will just put a foot or 2 in, I stop, let them rest there, pet them and tell them they're good and back out and walk away. I like to break things down step by step and not do more than about 20 mins at a time. Then take a 10 min break and go back and pick up again. It takes a while but it works.

apachewhitesox 01-08-2013 10:19 PM

Thanks DA thats the sort of approach I was planning on. Taking it slow because I don't want to push him too fast, since it does seem to be a genuine fear and not just him being a tool.

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