Trailer loading - how to 'send' her in?
My mare has been loaded into a trailer a grand total of 2 times since I've had her (about 18 months). Neither time was great (though no disasters) - I take full responsibility for the mediocre results, but it didn't help that both times were a bit rushed due to things beyond my control. This horse always surprises me with what she's been taught and can pull up from her past training, when I'm smart enough to ask... She has been trailered all over the place in her life (though it's been a few years), but I'm new to all this and have some anxiety about getting in that tin can with a 1000 lb animal, so I'm obviously the primary problem.
So now, tomorrow morning, it's going to be a beautiful day. And I'm finally doing this right. My only goal is to load and unload as many times as it takes, in a calm relaxed way, until it's boring to both of us. Advice? She's rusty on it, but when I toss the lead rope over her withers & stand in front and point, I've found she'll back up slowly. Is it possible she knows how to 'send' into the trailer? How do I cue this and what's the right way to bring this training to the surface if she has it?
if not... I can just lead her in, but any advice on that? She follows me into the trailer on a lead just fine, but gets nervous when I hook her halter... and she really hates to have the slant gate closed on her. I will be working on that tomorrow. I assume it's just a matter of getting her relaxed, and then just asking her to move her hind quarters? The complicating thing for me is that in the future she will be the second horse in (we've never tried that spot; she was trailered alone both previous times)... my friend's heavier horse will get the front position and it's the one that has an escape door. So I need to get this down to a very calm system so I don't get cornered. How in the world does that work? I hook her up and then slide past her in that narrow slant? Hmmmmm
Honestly, she's a very easy-going horse, with a good foundation of training, who generally wants to get along - and in the past we've worked through every little thing that's come up (such as bathing and fly spray, and little "I don't wanna's" thanks in large part to the calm supportive advice I've received here), so I know I don't have a big problem, but I would LOVE your tips and advice on how to approach this new (new to me at least) dance and make it a non-issue. Thanks!
I'm a mid-lifer finally making time for horses... Having a blast, but there's soooo much to learn -
Last edited by Folly; 08-24-2017 at 07:29 PM.