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Trailer Loading Training...Advice?
Well I have seen several ways of how people begin to lunge their horses near the trailer and the horse ends up going in with no problems.
How does one get this to work? I tried for nearly 30 minutes the other day to get the horse that I was working with to load into the trailer. She would lunge okay, but when I would stop to try to give her chance to load, she would walk up to the trailer and just stand there.
I need to know how this works so that I can do it the correct way to get the horse to load.
Any other ways? I really don't want to have to get feed every time. Another way that was have used is to squeaze them in, but sometimes you don't have the resources to do this.
As you lunge them around in the half circles, you keep closing the distance on the trailer ramp. On that last approach to the trailer, you will have to draw the line in and bring out any slack, keeping the rear drive pressure consistant as you complete the final drive in. The slack on the line being drawn in will prevent the horse from over shooting and pulling out, missing the ramp as they may not want to enter in. They may hesitate once their feet strike the ramp, but make the pressure behind more then the hesitant fear of going in.
I just had this same issue with two of my new horses.
Starting out I take them to the trailer and just let them check it out for a few minutes.
Then I ask them to load, the general reaction I get is some sort of pulling/rearing.
As soon as they pull I quickly back them up, take them 10 or 15 feet away from the trailer and lunge them for about a minute, sometimes more if they're especially squirelly.
Then I take them over and stop them in front of the trailer, pet them and talk to them for a few seconds, then I get in the trailer and ask the horse to move forward, if he refuses to move dont give him more than 10 seconds, then back him up and lunge again. If he pulls against you immedietly back him up and lunge.
Repeat as many times as necessary. Most of the horses I've used this method on pick up on it after only a few cycles of lunging. The general idea is to make their time away from the trailer uncomfortable, and their time near/in the trailer comfortable, so they start to associate the trailer with rest, and rest = good.
Ohh sorry, that was kind of long and drawn out! Hope it helps though, Good Luck! :)
The point of this is to make it comfortable to the horse to stand in the trailer, and if they dont want to then they get worked. Plain and simple. Using the whip as a extension of your arm works wonders. You have to know when to back off and when to push though. Read your horses body language. Some horses dont load with this kind of teqhniue. My one Quarter Horse mare walks right on, but my two Curlies hate it and want me to go in first and then they walk right up, no matter what trailer we are in. What kind of trailer do you have? Sometimes working with a stock trailer where you have more room works best at first IMO.
I have a 5X14 stock trailer, but no ramp. I will try to work with this mare tonight and see what happens
I've seen Parelli use this method and yes the idea is to get them used to hitting the ramp. In your case you don't have a ramp so the method is a moot point. If she's walking up to the trailer and standing there you've got half the battle beat. Standing there checking things out is GOOD.
Next step is to stand at her shoulder with just the slightest bit of slack in the rope and ask her for forward motion. If she balks just stand your ground and do not give her any slack. Keep asking for her come forward, if she wants to check things out and smell the trailer let her, if she is standing quietly at the step up let her chill for a few minutes and then try again. If it takes two hours it takes two hours.
If she's getting strong with you, back her up by taking all the slack out the lead rope and with the same hand that the rope is in go down to her chest with your hand and back her up. Go back as far as you want but when you stop DO NOT lunge just casually walk forward again. The reason for this is that in between the time you have backed her up and then started to lunge in circles you have provided her with a release. We all know that release is the reward, right? By backing, releasing and then lunging your sending mixed signals.
The above is the method hubby and I use in our hauling business for all horse's we haul. It may take awhile sometimes, but in our line of work it's not just THIS haul were concerned about it's all the future ones with the same horse.
Well I've found that different horses have different methods that will work on them. With my gelding I've tried backing up, longeing, nothing worked. If I would longe him he would get worried and really freak out. If I would back him up he thought he was getting his way. What works for him is walking up to the trailer then I tap him on the butt with a whip and he jumps right in. But if I try to walk into the trailer before him or before he is all the way in he backs out quickly.
This is just a method that works for my horse. Sometimes you just have to figure out what works for your horse because sometimes all the regular ways wont work. Hope that made sense.
Last night I worked with Beanine (yes that is her name, after the Beanie baby phase). She is a 11 year old QH mare that has had a stubbon, yet slightly pleasing attidute. She has been this way ever since she was a yearling (when my family bought her).
Well, I lunged and lunged and got somewhere. Then I would continue to ask her to load with me in the trailer, got no where. Then I would lunge her and got her a little closer to the trailer. I even tried to coax her in with some feed, but that even didn't get her attention, especially since when she sees you out side she nickers and walks over to the feed pan at different times of the day.
Finally I got some where when she would put one foot in the trailer, then I would encourage her to put two feet in the trailer. She would not stay very long, but eventually got the idea. I was using a small switch, nothing harmful, to tap her rear end as I could not reach that far and did not want to be in kicking zone. Off and on she would load just the two front feet and stand there and back out. She try to buck a time or two with the response to the tapping so I would back her completely out and lunge her.
Finally, I ran the lead up part way through the trailer so that I could keep pull to get her to go foward, but I was on the out side of the trailer next to Beanie. She finally would go all the way in the trailer. I continued to work with her going in and out and even got to a point to where I could just kinda ask her to go in and she would.
I plan to continue to work with her as to keep her mind on that Trailer = Good.
Glad you're making progress. Just want to caution you about pulling her forward. Many times a horse will react to the pulling pressure by going up and BAM! they hit thier heads and now are terrified even more.
Try to drive her from behind with whatever go forward cue you use, tap at the hip, twirling the lead rope end ect... You've got the right idea about Trailer = Good place . :wink:
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