2-horse trailer loading questions - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 16 Old 05-05-2017, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: I'm an American girl living in southwest France
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Thanks everyone for your very thorough answers and for your support. I ended up needing a buddy to help 'encourage' her from behind (waving a broken off tree branch) while I walked on ahead and ducked under the chest bar. I ended up clonking my head but good doing it that way, so I'm looking forward to trying the long lead rope/longe line method next time! (I would have done it this time, but didn't get responses before I had to leave.)

I'll try to get a picture of that nylon butt rope and release latch thing today and post it here.

“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
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post #12 of 16 Old 05-05-2017, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: I'm an American girl living in southwest France
Posts: 1,563
• Horses: 6

Here's a picture of that hard butt bar with secondary butt bar of nylon. You can see that the nylon one is connected on the right with a carabiner clip. When you're at the front of the trailer, there's a release lever that will drop that nylon bar at the carabiner connection, so it just falls away toward the center divider. So you can take the hard butt bar down but leave the nylon one still up, and then release it once you've gone around to the front and taken the horse's lead rope.

“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
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post #13 of 16 Old 05-05-2017, 11:01 AM
Join Date: May 2017
Location: missouri
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Nice looking trailer!
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post #14 of 16 Old 05-05-2017, 11:16 AM
Join Date: May 2012
Location: CT USA an English transplant
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Sounds like a good idea - the way the butt bar works that is.

Just winging it is not a plan
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post #15 of 16 Old 05-05-2017, 11:27 AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: North Dakota
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Originally Posted by ecasey View Post
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!)
A horse with that type of attitude would not last long in my barn. But then again, it's about training the horse to WANT to do what you ask, because they respect you and trust you.

OP, I think you would greatly benefit from a trailer loading thread I wrote up a while ago.


In a nutshell, trailer loading is not a trailer loading problem. It's a ground work problem. Your horse does not trust and/or respect you enough to put its feet where you ask it to go.... and no whipping needed. Now with that said, I do advise using a whip or stick or something of that nature simply to "make your arm longer" so you can cue the horse's hindquarters from a distance.

When you've improved the holes in your horse's ground work first, then you just so happen to work on ground work with a trailer in the mix. It does not matter what type of trailer you have (ramp, step up, straight, slant, etc) because you are still going to control your horse's feet regardless.

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?
Personally, I teach my horses to self load. I feel that it is safer because I do not need to go crawling around in the trailer with them or ahead of them. I use trailer ties in my trailer, so I will unclip their leadrope from their halter and then send them on and just close the divider behind them in necessary and then close the back door.

I have a slant load, so I reach through the window to clip the trailer tie to their halter after everything is closed behind them.

Originally Posted by ecasey View Post
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?
Correct. Do NOT tie the horse until the butt bar is up and doors are closed. It is simply for safety.

You teach the horse not to unload until you say .... read the thread I posted above. If you have control of your horse's feet, your horse will not move their feet until you instruct them to do so.

Originally Posted by ecasey View Post
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?
?? You teach your horse proper ground manners and this is not an issue.

Originally Posted by ecasey View Post
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?
Once again, if you have done your homework and taught your horse proper ground manners, the horse will not rush anywhere, because you are in control of their feet and they are going to wait on your for your instruction.

Originally Posted by ecasey View Post
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?
If I had the option of choosing between walking the horse off, or backing them off, I would walk them off. (easier on the horse) However, going through the method I posted above, you will teach them to back off in the process, which is simply important for them to know if you ever do you a trailer that requires them to back off.

With my slant load (no ramp), my horses must back off so that is what we do.

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It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.
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post #16 of 16 Old 05-05-2017, 11:34 PM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Southern Indiana
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Originally Posted by Foxhunter View Post
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!
I had one that wouldn't go in until you gave a gentle tug on his tail. LOL

R.I.P. JC 5/19/85 - 12/9/14. You made my life better.
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