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Re: RC: Trailer Stubbornness

> I don't know about you all but sometimes my horse gets a case of >
trailer> stubbornness.He trailers really well, he just can be a bit
stubborn  sometimes when it comes to getting in the trailer. 

I've just gotten through dealing with this with one of my Welsh ponies. 
First, like you I got him used to trailering the gentle way, he got in,
got fed etc. He knows how to get in. He's been hauled enough to know
better, but just decided he didn't really want to get in. Now he had to
learn he HAS to get in whether he thinks he wants to today or not.

I had him straightened out in three loading episodes, very quietly, no
conflict, with a rump rope. I know they're out of style right now,
everybody loves that "tap, tap, tap" thing, but this is what has worked
for me every time and I have hauled lots of horses in a 2 horse trailer
and it's never failed me. I do not care for whips. Just makes the horse
antsy and I hate panic in a trailer situation. I used to think a horse
would panic against a rump rope but it just doesn't happen, at least to
me. (I know that's not how the Lyons people use a crop...their way is
fine, this is mine)

I'd take your horse up to the back of the trailer. Run a long soft rop
from his halter up to the nose of the trailer and through the tie ring
and back to you.  Now you're in charge of his nose. DO NOT PULL ON THIS
ROPE EVER!  The horse will move away from pressure. If you pull, he pulls
back. Counterproductive.  All that rope is for is to keep his nose facing

Take another long soft rope. Tie it to the tie ring on the side of the
trailer (say you're loading on the left side, tie it to the left side of
the trailer, open the door all the way and run the rope over the door
right at the hinges. Loop it around the horse's rump, well below the tail
on the meaty part, and then up to the partition bar. Take it around the
divider bar and back down to your hands.  If you'll just keep your
horse's nose pointed in, then just start hitching up the tension on the
rump then stand there a minute.  If he steps slightly forward to release
the pressure on his rump, wait a second before you take up the slack and
tighten it up again... so he'll see he got some relief by moving forward.
 The nice thing about the rump rope is that it gets them out of that
habit of backing back out when they're half way in because you just keep
taking up the slack and they hit it.  Dont' yell, or cause any commotion
that distracts them. Just stand there as if you have nothing at all to do
with what's going on and it's between him and the rope. You may have to
hitch it up really tight before he moves. That's O.K. Make sure you open
all the windows and the escape door just to make the trailer look nice
and open instead of like a dark box.

I've loaded "so called difficult" horses like this by myself many times.
When my daughter's pony decided to be a problem I loaded him with a rope
at home. We went to her riding lesson and when we got ready to come home
we were doing the same and the instructor came out with her lunge whip
and offered to just "encourage him a little". 2 whacks and he half reared
and spun to turn to face what was after him. I told her I was sure she
had a lot to do and I'd take care of it. (excuse me please go away) She
did and he loaded within a minute. By the next visit he was walking
straight in with the rope over his neck. I noticed her peeking out of the
barn to watch. >g<


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