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Trailer Loading

>>The individual who taught me Endurance used to talk about
some of the things they used to do in the "old days".  Like having your
horse load quietly on a trailer, toss a live chicken in the trailer,<<

OMG! I wonder if even my best loader could do that! While on the subject, & 
since loading is an necessary part of this sport... any suggestions out 
there on a gentle method to retrain a horse to load? My new mare, who most 
certainly did load as she was a show horse & had been off to trainers, etc, 
has taken a HUGE dislike to loading. We went through a couple long (but 
ultimately successful) sessions loading, then had a few shorter ones so it 
seemed to be getting better. Then over the holidays, she walked right in my 
friends trailer & realized what she had done, backed out & whacked her head 
on the sharp door overhang. (Why don't they just pad those things?) Well, we 
(yeah it was too late) put her hat on & tried for 1-1/2 hrs to get her back 
in, no luck getting more than one foot in. A few days later we tried again 
for 3 hrs, a session that progressed from knocking her nose (ugly bump!) on 
the overhang to rearing straight up (almost flipping over!) a few times. I 
had a friend helping who was a bit pushier than I usually am... we only got 
her foot in (twice) & gave up while it was our idea to quit.

Not wanting a repeat performance of the rearing ever again, this week I 
started feeding her in the trailer - she only had to stick her head in to 
reach the bucket for a few days, then moved to step 2, she had to put her 
front feet in with rear feet on the ramp. She's ok with that now so will 
move to the next level tomorrow & will put the bucket at the chest guard. 
Just wondered if anyone has any new ideas... we tried the lunge lines from 
behind & have been doing lots of 'head down', she does that great but no 
forward motion. This horse is very sensitive & responds to gentle & feather 
light touches much better than being bullied - One thing I noticed this week 
is that she puts her head WAY down when backing out now! (And she's smart 

Frustrated in Fla,

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