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How to Train Your Horse To Trailer Load
If you're having trouble loading your horse, I strongly suggest the investment of $4.99 in my trailer-training course.
- Download and print from your home computer
- 5 days, 5 chapters
- Learn at your own pace
An excerpt from Trailer Training: An Easy guide to the Proven Methods of John Lyons:
When it comes time to get all four legs into the trailer, we'll use one simple fact to our advantage: Perching there with three out of four feet inside the trailer will make the fourth leg tired pretty quick. Ask your horse to load the three legs – and start tapping slowly for that fourth leg. If he tries backing out, it's okay. Just keep tapping, perhaps a bit more intensely as he gets farther out, but keep tapping till he moves forward again. He may not get as far back in, but the tapping says "go forward," not "get all the way in." Just be patient when your horse stands there balanced on three legs, he'll quickly tire and lift that fourth. More often than not he'll feel pretty unsteady the first time the whole body steps into the trailer and he'll back out quickly (maybe very quickly) – so be careful of your own positioning. If he does shoot back out, immediately ask him to move forward, pause when you think "he's as far as he's going to go this time" and back him out. Pet him – going in the first time is a big step. They quite often regress a bit in their training at this point because the wobbly trailer is proving a bit scary. Just be adamant, keep your patience and start each time where you can. Horses go through learning cycles anytime they're given something new and no doubt yours will go through one during this training session. Just work through it.
Now your horse is going to have all four feet up – and no doubt his big fat butt is going to still be hanging out. This is the point where you have to fight the urge to say "Good enough" and try to force the door closed. (I tried it once, just out of curiosity – and the horse easily pushed the door open, sending me flying.) Your horse now certainly understands the concept of "I tap, you walk forward." Armed with that knowledge, take a deep breath and begin tapping. Your horse will probably suddenly decide that tapping means back out – but keep at it, keep him moving – either on or off, until he realizes that his only respite is standing inside that trailer. Before you know it, you'll have him completely loaded. As hard as it is at this point, pause a moment to make sure he's not going to rocket back – and then back him off ... and on... 100 times.