Training to trailer without a trailer
I have only trailered Citrus once since purchasing him a year ago. He is an easy going guy, but as with everything else, it is the more work I do ahead of time, the better.
What are some things I can do to practice trailering with out a trailer? I currently have him "load" onto a bridge with side rails and then back out of that..... I am thinking the ground commands of forward and backward are essential.... any ideas?
I think what you are doing sounds great.
Do you have any tight spaces that are less open (with walls, etc) that you can practice teaching him to go into?
That is a good idea.... just find random tight spaces and make him take a couple steps in, then out til he masters that.
Obviously they need to be safe tight spaces. But yes.
Do lots of sending exercises. Simply sending him between you and a wall, slowly making your way closer to the wall so its a tighter space. The less nervous he is about it--such as walking instead of trotting or bolting through the tight space--the better.
Send him in and out of his stall while you just stand on the outside of his stall. Make sure though there are no pieces sticking out that he could hook his hip on!
The basic idea is to get him to go through something with you standing still. :)
With my horses I have them walk through barrels that are only a few feet apart. You can start with them wider, then put them tighter so the horse can walk through. It helps out with tight spaces. You could even stack barrels up, just make sure they won't fall over and terrorize the poor horse. Maybe have a barrel tipped over followed by a few barrels on the sides.
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