The Ultimate Guide to Trailer Loading: Volume 1
Loading and hauling a horse in a trailer seems quite simple, yet almost every horse person out there has a story or two to tell about something that has gone wrong.
Most of us have a fairytale dream of loading our horse and heading off into the sunset on a trail ride, camping, competition, play day, etc. adventure! Our dream is quickly shattered when we get to the trailer and find that our horse won’t load, takes over, runs away and now we cannot go anywhere.
This is a frustrating situation to be in for the horse and human. It is easy to give up or resort to measures, like force, that we feel bad about later. Instead of our dream improving, it gets worse and worse and we start to wonder why are we even doing this?
Horses are prey animals and have an intense fear of being trapped and eaten. When we ask our horse to go into a trailer, it is one of the most challenging exercises in trust and respect. Look at it from your horse’s point of view. While you see a beautiful, expensive horse transporter, our horse sees a monster in the form of a trap!
A trailer is the ultimate trap for a horse - a trap on wheels. Not only is your horse boxed in on both sides, but also from above and below. When you think about it, it’s incredible that they can get in at all.
Successful trailer loading and traveling involves building your horse’s confidence to be in small spaces, as well as enough respect for you as the leader who would never ask him to do something that was dangerous or harmful. You need to prove to your horse that you are a friend, leader and protector.
This takes knowledge and skill, especially if your horse has been shoved into trailers against his will before!
This amount of trust can only be accomplished if we can: