New to trailer loading
In one of my previous posts I mentioned that we were trying out a 8 year old British Riding pony. We ultimately decided to keep him. Realizing that we didn't want to always be at the mercy of asking other people to trailer him to shows or riding events we also bought a truck and trailer to tow him with. We brought him to our first show the other weekend and on the way to the show he loaded great. Loading him when coming back we learned the hard way that trailer loading can go wrong quickly. The trailer we have is a 2 horse straight load step up. It has a center divider that swings one way or the other in the back and has a small escape door but only on the passenger side of the trailer. We tried loading him by having my wife lead him straight into the trailer on a lead line. The center divider was closed. Just as she got to the front she hooked the trailer tie and a soon as I went to go hook the butt chain he started to panic. My wife got some good bruises on her shin and legs from him bounding up and down next to here with no place for her to go and the horse stuck there being tied. I realized now after reading more about loading that you are not supposed to tie them in until after the butt chain is on exactly for this reason. So my question is, what is the safest way to do this. Other than not tying him until fully loaded do we swing the center divider open before loading? Do you hook the butt bar first or do I just close the one side door after he steps in and then hook it? In my mind the safest way seems to be to swing the center divider open, lead him in, close the door after he steps in, have my wife exit out the other door, close the center divider, hook up the butt chain, and then tie him through the hay manger door. Is this right or do I have some of the steps backwards. My biggest confusion is on the center divider since nobody really talks about it when referring to loading, and the doors first vs butt chain first. Butt chain first makes sense for a ramp load but not sure if it makes as much sense or is even needed for a step up?