We’ve all been new horse owners at one time or another and have made these mistakes, but they can be avoided. Horses are large animals that can hurt you in a heart beat so it’s better to have their cooperation instead of forcing them to do things.
Here are the 3 mistakes:
1) Not preparing the horse to get into the trailer
Horses are claustrophobic and their instincts tell them not to get trapped. Looking at it from a horses point of view the horse trailer is a dark hole and is not a safe place to be.
To avoid this mistake: Do the proper groundwork to prepare you horse to get into the trailer. You will be way ahead of things if you simulate trailer loading by using obstacles before you ever try to get them into the trailer. You can have them going over bridges and backing off the bridge. Have them go between obstacles that are close together and when they’re confident doing that have them stop at the middle section then back them up.
2) Making sure the horse knows how to back out of the trailer
I’ve seen this happen before where the owner finally gets the horse into the trailer only to find out they don’t know how to back out of the trailer. If the horse is in a 2 horse trailer this can be a disaster. If they’re in a stock trailer it’s easy to turn them around, but it would be best to practice backing off of the trailer because you never know when you’ll have to put your horse into a trailer and the only option is to back them off.
To avoid this mistake: Before you load the horse all the way into the trailer have them step up with one of both front feet into the trailer then back them off. Do this several times to make sure they understand and to help build their confidence. After they’ve done this a few times then ask them to go all the way into the trailer let them settle then ask them to back.
3) Trying to force the horse into the trailer
I’ve seen this too many times where people are rushing around because they are late to an event which causes them to rush their horse into the trailer. Horses are very in tune to our emotions which effects them and causes them to be anxious and sometimes they refuse to load into the trailer. When this happens it can be very aggravating which causes us to be impatient. Most people when they get impatient they get mad, may start yelling or hitting the horse which causes more refusal.
To avoid this mistake: Make sure your horse will load easily into the trailer before you ever decided to to anywhere and when the day comes allow yourself plenty of time to get your horse into the trailer. The day before it’s always a good idea to check over the outside and inside of your trailer cause you don’t want a surprise of a wasps nest in the trailer when you load your horse up.
Horses are wonderful animals and when given the time to understand things are more willing to cooperate.
Bonus Tip: If loading your horse into a trailer with several dividers make sure the dividers are secure so they won’t swing and bump into your horse, this could set your horse back in the trailer loading process.
If you need help with trailer loading get in touch with me I can help no matter the distance. Contact me today I would love to help!