Tucson did pretty good yesterday, his first day loading in the trailer for me. His owner said that he would hesitate at the back of the trailer before he would go in but he always went in. You have heard me relate how folks have had their horses doing the same thing, and then when it came time for them to go some where, where they were in a hurry the horse would refuse to get in the trailer. Remember, just because your horse will get in the trailer, on his own, does not mean that your horse is trailer broke.
I have seen lots of people wrestle with trailer loading and I’m convinced that the problem is they have never really taken the time to teach their horse to get in the trailer on request. Some horses never have much trouble getting in a trailer but most do.
The simplest way to explain how I teach this skill to a horse is, make the inside of the trailer more inviting then the outside of the trailer. I don’t do this by making the inside a kitchen where the horse can eat, either with hay or grain. I make the inside of the trailer more appealing by making the outside of the trailer less appealing. How? Good question. I make the horse work out side the trailer by lunging him in circles. This is a skill that all horses should know, but most don’t. So you can teach the horse how to lunge while working on trailer loading, doing them both at the same time. That’s what I did with Tucson. He does not know how to lunge very good at all. He pulls, refuses to go in a circle so it took me some time to teach him just the basics of the lunging skill. After getting him to half way understand the skill of lunging it was easy to teach him to get in the trailer.
It’s a skill that you should work on with your horse, everyday for a week. That way it will be firmly fixed in the horse’s mind and he will never forget it… Give it a try.
Will try and keep you updated with info on what the heck I'm doing with horses and music.