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Loading (trailers, not carbs <grin>)

Jim asked a valid question : how do you teach a horse to load.  Loads of people saw fit to criticize his approach (for the record, Jim, I don't use that method, either) but so far no-one else has offered any other method.  Sorry Marv, but sweeping statements like "I establish a leadership connection with my horse which then allows me the control horses give herd leaders.  I then move that control into the trailer" don't help JoEllen Newbee, either :)
Jim, I have two horses who trailer load without a problem.  One came to me like this, the other one was a royal PITA at trailering time - took us over an hour to get him home from his first show!  I taught Toc myself, so I must have done something right, but to be perfectly honest with you, I can't tell you what it was.  He went from not loading, to loading again a year later, with no "trailer work" from me in between (in other words, I didn't start working on "loading issues" to get him to load)
It was about at this time that I started working on his nappiness, and was taking him out in hand all over the place.  I spent some time riding him in the arena, but most of what we did was in-hand work on trail.  I led him all over the place - African markets, the local auction, horse shows, country lanes, busy highways, you name it.  If he was unsure about something, we stopped for a while, and I hauled out a book, while he grazed for a bit near the "big scary".  I did a lot of reading that year <g>  It paid off because he's an wonderful trail horse now.  I guess he learned that where mum went, he followed, and that if he wasn't sure, mum didn't get her panties in a wad, but would wait him out. 
I guess that went for trailer loading, too.  His attitude now is that, if Mum says it's okay, it is. 
Interesting thing is that, despite his tendency to stand up on his back legs, he has never, ever reared with me when I've been working him on the ground.  Only time has ever been under saddle. 

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