2-horse trailer loading questions - The Horse Forum
 26Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 16 Old 05-04-2017, 04:20 AM Thread Starter
Started
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: I'm an American girl living in southwest France
Posts: 1,563
• Horses: 6
2-horse trailer loading questions

I've scoured Youtube for videos and this site for this answer but haven't gotten exactly what I need, hence this thread. Thanks in advance for your assistance. I am loading with someone to help most times, but not all the time. My horse isn't a 'difficult' horse per se, but she doesn't just go right onto the trailer either. She's one of those 'maybe I will, maybe I won't' types who needs patience and encouragement. I prefer to use natural horsemanship methods, meaning I don't want to whip my horse (there are some horrible videos out there!)

MY TRAILER: I have a 2-horse trailer from Fautras which has two separate back doors, a low entry but not a ramp, two front exits (one for each horse) also without ramps, and butt bar with also a nylon butt strap that can be released from the front (meaning, I can take the butt bar down but leave this strap up behind the horse's butt that's nylon and then when I go around to the front, there's a release switch there to drop the nylon strap in back from the front of the trailer. This is so I can release butt bar but leave butt nylon strap in place behind the butt, go to front and untie horse, then release nylon strap from the front and unload the horse by backing off alone.)

My questions:

1. When you load, do you (a) go in ahead of the horse and then duck down under the chest bar, or do you (b) stand on the side and encourage them to enter next to you and put the rope over their back as they go in?

2. If you do (a) above, after you duck down and have the horse in, I assume you don't yet tie the horse until you get the butt bar up. How do you keep the horse from backing off when you go from the front to the back of the trailer, before you get the butt bar up?

3. If you do (b) above, how do you encourage a reluctant horse to load when your presence on his side might be too much pressure?

4. If you have a front exit for the horse (no ramp), how do you keep the horse from rushing out and/or jumping to exit?

5. Assuming you have a choice between exiting out the front or backing off the trailer (no ramp either way), which do you choose to use and why?

“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ” ~ William Shakespeare
ecasey is offline  
post #2 of 16 Old 05-04-2017, 09:00 AM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,988
• Horses: 2
I always prefer to teach them to self load, that way you're not squished in with them. Some horses may be reluctant about it at first but with time and patience you can train it. But it keeps you OUT of harms way and there to put up the butt bar once they're in. Then go around and tie them through the escape door/window.

If you have a front exit, it should have some type of blocker, like a bar or rope or something...to keep the horse from just shoving their way through.

If it was just as safe to exit out the front, I'd probably choose that. BUT make sure your horses CAN back off the trailer safely just in case they ever HAVE to. Its just easier to go forward then backwards.
phantomhorse13 and ecasey like this.
evilamc is offline  
post #3 of 16 Old 05-04-2017, 09:20 AM
Trained
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Central Hill Country Texas
Posts: 5,551
• Horses: 5
I load in an unconventional way. I walk in ahead of the horse with a long lead/lunge rope. Then step out the emergency exit still holding the lead; you can thread it through the tie off if you want and hold the other end. Then I put light tension on the lead and ask them to walk in. Then wait patiently. Your own anxiety plays a role too so give yourself plenty of time and stay relaxed.

Since the horses have been trained to yield to pressure, they eventually come forward into the trailer, yielding to the halter pressure. Then you can tie off and run around and put up the butt bar etc.

Over time it gets to be almost immediate as they learn the routine. With my trail horses that trailer often, it literally takes 30 seconds per horse to load anymore.

For the ones still learning or the ones who don't do it that often, I have enough lead rope left I can twirl it at their butt while standing outside the trailer and still maintain pressure on the other end of the lead.

The one thing you do have to watch out for is the horse that will get the front feet in and then suddenly decide to back out…rope burn! But, that has only happened to me once over the years as I'm using light pressure and not a death grip.

I find this is a low key, relaxed way to get them to load.

“You spend your whole life with horses and just about the time you think you have them figured out, a horse comes along that tells you otherwise.” –quote from my very wizened trainer


Reiningcatsanddogs is offline  
post #4 of 16 Old 05-04-2017, 09:45 AM
Foal
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: missouri
Posts: 123
• Horses: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecasey View Post
.
1. When you load, do you (a) go in ahead of the horse and then duck down under the chest bar, or do you (b) stand on the side and encourage them to enter next to you and put the rope over their back as they go in?
I trailer load in the exact same manner as when the equines are sent into barn stalls. Door opens and they go in while I stay outside. As to the "why", it's for my safety.

You mentioned that you saw distressing videos of trailer training equines. There are SCADS of really good youtube videos showing alternative and more effective means. Most of the time spent on trailer training is done outside the trailer. A horse who doesn't load thinks it's better for him to stay outside the trailer. The horse that loads has learned the trailer is an awesome place to stand.
ecasey likes this.
ducky1234 is offline  
post #5 of 16 Old 05-04-2017, 10:26 AM
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 12,616
• Horses: 0
I happen to have a horse who will not load unless led in, period.
He loads just fine as long as you go with him...step to his side to "send him in" and he stops dead in his tracks so I truly understand.
So, I lead mine in.
He also waits till I can pull his lead shank to slowly back-off, very slowly does he go backwards... Never to put a foot wrong he creeps off safely but slowly.
He much prefers me at his head and a hand on his neck or chest area as reassurance he is doing good...such a babysitter he is!!

Can you not drop that chest bar instead of ducking under it?
The drop to duck is what it makes it more dangerous and unpredictable a situation...
If you can drop the chest bar, walk in, secure the chest bar, secure the horse and horse stand quietly tied while you either release that nylon butt bar or get to the trailer rear and secure the real butt bar....mission accomplished.

I've never seen a set-up like you describe for trailer rear butt bars...interesting idea.
Do you have a picture of it by chance, please?
For one who you can't leave the head of till a "barrier" is in place behind it sounds like a good working solution..
....
ecasey likes this.

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
horselovinguy is offline  
post #6 of 16 Old 05-04-2017, 04:07 PM
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: CT USA an English transplant
Posts: 35,015
• Horses: 3
I don't know anything about that make of trailer but with the typical UK trailers (which do have ramps so not quite the same) you can slide the partition over if you want to lead a horse from the side but its a lot of fiddling around and not great if you've got a nervy horse and you've got to keep it on the trailer while someone else moves the partition back and then fastens the 'butt strap'
If you don't do that and you want/have to lead them on then you will have to walk in front and then duck down under the chest bar. The other option - to leave the breast bar down - is OK if your horse isn't the type to try to run right through. If you do it that way you're better to fasten the bar and then tie
When you load that way on your own you really do need the horse to be sensible and stand tied while you go back round to fasten the butt bar - its much safer to train a horse to self load so you can then fasten that bar and go back round and tie or clip to a quick release trailer tie or have someone to do it for you and then tie the horse once they've fastened the butt bar
When you unload you untie the horse, have it on your lead rope and then unfasten the chest bar.
ecasey likes this.

Just winging it is not a plan
jaydee is offline  
post #7 of 16 Old 05-04-2017, 04:28 PM
Trained
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: NE Pa
Posts: 7,084
• Horses: 5
I teach mine to self load. I start out doing work on loading away from the trailer using doorways, haybales, and eventually a tarp. By the time I move to the actual trailer, they are used to me asking them to walk into narrow spaces over weird things, so it's no big deal.

I have never had a trailer where going out forward was an option, so all mine back out.
AnitaAnne and ecasey like this.


There is no joy equal to that found on the back of a horse.
phantomhorse13 is offline  
post #8 of 16 Old 05-04-2017, 04:42 PM
Started
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 2,490
• Horses: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reiningcatsanddogs View Post
I load in an unconventional way. I walk in ahead of the horse with a long lead/lunge rope. Then step out the emergency exit still holding the lead; you can thread it through the tie off if you want and hold the other end. Then I put light tension on the lead and ask them to walk in. Then wait patiently. Your own anxiety plays a role too so give yourself plenty of time and stay relaxed.

Since the horses have been trained to yield to pressure, they eventually come forward into the trailer, yielding to the halter pressure. Then you can tie off and run around and put up the butt bar etc.

Over time it gets to be almost immediate as they learn the routine. With my trail horses that trailer often, it literally takes 30 seconds per horse to load anymore.

For the ones still learning or the ones who don't do it that often, I have enough lead rope left I can twirl it at their butt while standing outside the trailer and still maintain pressure on the other end of the lead.

The one thing you do have to watch out for is the horse that will get the front feet in and then suddenly decide to back out…rope burn! But, that has only happened to me once over the years as I'm using light pressure and not a death grip.

I find this is a low key, relaxed way to get them to load.
That is exactly how I did it. I used this method because I first taught my horse to load well in the old style 2 horse trailer that has no walk-thru in front for people.
I used a lead rope though, so I didn't have as much length. I would typically stand on the outside of the trailer at the feed door, with tension on the rope. Then with my other hand, I would hold up some hay and wave it around. With the hay there, it didn't take too much convincing! She eventually walked right in.

Now I have access to my mother's two horse straight load with walk-thru aisle in front, escape doors, and chest bars (very similar to yours OP). In this situation, I just walk right through and expect the horse to follow me and duck under the chest bar. I always try to have another person present to fasten the butt bar before I tie off, but that's not always possible. In the case that I'm alone, it depends on what horse I'm dealing with what I do.

If it is the more nervous mare, who may pull back/back out but will no try to turn around inside the trailer, I loop the lead a couple times around something nearby (if I have the emergency release snap trailer ties, I just use those), then go to fasten the butt bar. If it is my mare, who is a steady, calm, solid loader but in the rare case she does get nervous will try to turn around inside the trailer, I tie her off. She doesn't pull back.

It's nice that you have a walk through. I find most horses are far more willing to follow you somewhere than to go on their own, so unless the horse is known to be dangerous, just walking in ahead of them and ducking under the front bar to stand in the aisle is the best way, IMO.

Well, self-loading is the best way, but I have yet to get any of mine to do that lol.
ecasey and Reiningcatsanddogs like this.

"You can do something wrong for thirty years and call yourself experienced, you can do something right for a week and experience more than someone who spent thirty years doing the wrong thing." ~WhattaTroublemaker
horseluvr2524 is offline  
post #9 of 16 Old 05-04-2017, 07:00 PM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Upstate, NY
Posts: 649
• Horses: 0
I lead my horse on, duck under the chest bar, hold the lead as long as I can (have maybe a 9' lead rope?, lunge line would also work for the training) and walk to the back announce myself and put up the butt bar.

over a few years my mare is now where I can walk her in drop the rope and walk back without her trying to back off.

to unload (we can only come out the rear unless extreme emergency i guess) I unhook from the trailer lead, snap on the longer lead and do it all in reverse.... my mare used to challenge/rush the unloading so we/I would have treats and get 1/2 off the trailer then ask her to get back on the trailer, now she just waits I can undo the butt bar and walk up to her and ask her to back.

the 1/2 way on then stand and back off, or stand and continue on also helped with the loading
AnitaAnne and ecasey like this.
tim62988 is offline  
post #10 of 16 Old 05-05-2017, 03:08 AM
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: SW UK
Posts: 15,846
• Horses: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reiningcatsanddogs View Post
I load in an unconventional way. I walk in ahead of the horse with a long lead/lunge rope. Then step out the emergency exit still holding the lead; you can thread it through the tie off if you want and hold the other end. Then I put light tension on the lead and ask them to walk in. Then wait patiently. Your own anxiety plays a role too so give yourself plenty of time and stay relaxed.

Since the horses have been trained to yield to pressure, they eventually come forward into the trailer, yielding to the halter pressure. Then you can tie off and run around and put up the butt bar etc.

Over time it gets to be almost immediate as they learn the routine. With my trail horses that trailer often, it literally takes 30 seconds per horse to load anymore.

For the ones still learning or the ones who don't do it that often, I have enough lead rope left I can twirl it at their butt while standing outside the trailer and still maintain pressure on the other end of the lead.

The one thing you do have to watch out for is the horse that will get the front feet in and then suddenly decide to back out…rope burn! But, that has only happened to me once over the years as I'm using light pressure and not a death grip.

I find this is a low key, relaxed way to get them to load.
I had a horse that would not load unless he had a rope around his butt or someone standing behind him. I use to tie
A line to the trailer, use Reinings method so I could go outside the trailer and pick up the line and he would load. Then one day he went straight in behind me. I was surprised that he was also standing there without backing out, then I realised my GSD was standing at the back end of the trailer, butt rope in his mouth against the horse's back legs!
Foxhunter is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.



User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Loading a stubborn horse into a trailer MegzzKid Horse Training 10 08-16-2013 02:35 AM
Horse trailer loading problems bethpeterson Horse Training 1 05-28-2012 04:03 AM
Yet another horse trailer loading question. I sure do need help guys ichliebepferde Horse Training 9 11-09-2011 01:52 PM
Loading my horse in the trailer. ichliebepferde Horse Training 2 10-29-2011 08:30 PM
Trailer Loading WILD HORSE HELP darkpaloma Horse Training 18 06-23-2010 01:53 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome