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Though it's terribly untrendy right now, give me a rump rope and a little
bit of time and I'll have a nice quiet loading horse that loads as well
as anybody. It's never failed me and though it seems like it would cause
panic it's just the calmest thing in the world. That tap tapping is
exhausting to me wears out my upper arm. Maybe I'm just too short.
> Jim, maybe the problem was in the way you said (rough quote here) >
"tear up > his front legs with the whip".
I saw a horse loaded like that once actually! Went to pick up a 3 year
old QH from a trainer for a boarder. Trainer leads young stallion out to
trailer. Horse puts one foot in and backs out. Trainer lays into front
legs. I was young and pretty amazed. The horse would tear out backing,
trainer laying into front legs with a lunge whip....lead horse back up to
trailer and try again. Finally, horse refused for 3rd or 4th time and
trainer had him backing all the way across a plowed field. At the far
end the horse suddenly said, "enough of this" and practically dragged him
to the trailer and jumped in. Sometimes I think the horses just decide
to train themselves when they're faced with overwhelming stupidity. I
trained him to load with a rump rope and after a quiet lesson or so he
was a good hauler.
I don't like lunge whips around the trailer. Horse wants to look back
at them too much. Most important thing most people do wrong while
loading is they pull on the horse's head. The horse moves away from
pressure. Just keep the nose pointed straight ahead, and keep slightly
hitching up that rump rope. When they step forward let it be looser for
a second, then slowly hitch it up again. They don't feel panicy or like
they're being attacked...then they just ease on up in there. If they
start that garbage of backing out they hit the rope and go, oops! Of
course, if you get the horse in and then drive like a maniac, they're
still not going to like loading. After a trip or two with no bad
experiences mine are as happy to go in a trailer as they are the stall.
P.S. If you consider this method totally flawed, don't tell my horses.
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