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Re: Charity Trail/ loading
I can't add much to Angie's method. I've used it and a couple of similar
methods. Quite frankly, I've had the best luck loading skittish or scared
horses *by myself* with *no one* else around. The idea is to make loading a
calm process. The more people you've got, the less calm it gets. Don't get
in a hurry. Plan to take LOTS of time. Work on loading some day when
you've got nowhere you need to be.
Pulling a horse into a trailer will never work. Scaring them in might get
them in the first time, but you'll have big problems loading them any other
time after that. Anything you can think of that will be non-scary but will
make being outside the trailer less pleasant than being inside the trailer
will be a good start.
Personally, I use a long cotton rope that I hook to the halter, run through
the front window and back to my hand. I don't put pressure on it; I just
use it to keep the horse facing the trailer. If the horse is scared and
wants to back up, I let them. Then I use something like a broom or a lunge
whip and I annoy them. I basically "poke-poke-poke" or "tap-tap-tap" around
the hock and rump area. The horse tends to get fidgity, but not scared.
When the horse takes a step forward, I stop annoying for a minute, give lots
of praise. Then I start annoying again until I get another step... etc.
I've never had one who didn't hop in the trailer voluntarily after 5 minutes
(ok, I had one who took 10). I then back the horse out and we do it again.
Then we ride around the block, unload and do it again. I do usually put some
goodies in the manger so there is a reward for getting in.
I am not surprised that your horse loads fine in the three horse slant.
They're a lot more open and roomy. However, since your horse has loaded
fine in the bigger trailer, it shouldn't be too hard to get him to load in
the smaller trailer (as long as it's not physically too small for him). I
don't know how tall my trailer is exactly, but it's a Thoroughbred height
two-horse and I've just got dinky little Morgans <G>!
Best advice, just take your time... don't get "help" (one other person can
sometimes be handy, but make sure they're not in a hurry either) and use a
method that "convinces" (e.g. Angie's rope) or "annoys" (e.g. my broom
method). BTW, if you've got a particularly difficult horse, a combination of
the rope and broom might work pretty well, but you would definitely need one
more set of calm hands. I doubt your horse would fall into that category
Best of luck!
----- Original Message -----
From: Rides 2 Far <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Sunday, October 03, 1999 10:30 AM
Subject: RC: Charity Trail/ loading
> He goes in >perfect
> >in my friend's 3 horse slant load, but won't get in our side by side.
> >Has >anyone else had this problem?? Any advice and help would be much
> >appreciated. Thanks!
> I'll leave it to everyone else to tell you to try the Lyon's methods.
> I'll just tell you what's worked on every horse I've ever loaded in my 2
> horse (well over 100 horses is my guess).
> Make sure the trailer isn't too short. Don't put a 15.2 horse in a 6
> foot high trailer.
> Open ALL the windows (load on the left and open the escape door too).
> Make it look as open as possible. If Kaboot's front window is open you
> just throw the rope over his neck and he can't wait to get in. If it's
> closed he backs out and looks at me like, "you forgot SOMETHING!"
> NEVER pull on the lead rope. The horse is going to move AWAY from
> pressure. If you pull his nose forward, he will respond by pulling back.
> TRUST me. Just point his nose straight, do not pull.
> ALWAYS use shipping boots. If you are applying pressure on a horse from
> behind (possibly rump rope) he's liable to slide his rear cannons under
> the rear of the trailer.
> Now, many people will have many ideas on Lyon's methods, etc. which I am
> sure work, but I've never had to learn because this has always worked
> beautifully for me. Take a fat cotton rope and tie it to the tie ring on
> the left side of the trailer (run the rope over the door at the hinges,
> don't let the door be within the loop of the rope!) I'm assuming you are
> loading him on the left, gently run it around his rump above the hocks
> cupping his rump and take it up to the divider bar and just go around it
> and right back. (wear gloves).
> For years I was scared to try a rump rope because I pictured a horse
> running backwards through it and getting in all kinds of trouble. Knock
> on wood...not one horse has ever done more than lean on it. The trick is
> to let the pressure be very calmly applied from behind. Don't do this
> where there are crowds of men (or women) who want to jump in and help you
> hurry him in. All I ask of the horse is that he remain facing the
> opening to the trailer. I'll slowly hitch up that rope a little until
> he's uncomfortable. When he steps away from the pressure, I let him
> stand there a second before I hitch it up some more. I have NEVER had a
> horse run back through the rope, but DON'T LET ANYBODY PULL ON THEIR
> HEAD!!! I can honestly say I have never had to resort to any other
> method, and I've loaded some horses that people didn't think could be
> loaded by myself. (it just takes a long rope from their halter run up to
> the front of the trailer and back out. Be careful and don't let yourself
> get tangled in ropes, don't get in the trailer with them, and have a tall
> trailer (mine is 7'3").
> The most common mistake I see people make is pulling the horse from the
> front, and having too many people "attacking" the horse from behind. If
> you had a gang after you...would you feel safe getting in a tiny
> confining space? By the way, NEVER tie the horse's head before the back
> doors are locked, and ALWAYS untie it before you open them. That's
> another big newbie wreck I've seen several times.
> Angie and Kaboot ( a real road warrior now)
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