She starts with a short time spent in the trailer and increases it gradually over future sessions several days in a row. In addition, McDonnell allows the anxious horse to unload at will.
She focuses on safety for both horse and handler and reducing pressure so as not to trigger these behaviors. The handler needs to determine if this problem is due to the actual trailer movement or the duration of the trip. Have the horse ride with a calm companion, and provide plenty of hay to make the process a positive experience. If possible, McDonnell recommends training horses to load using a variety of trailer configurations—from big rigs to small, slant-, and straight-load trailers, step-ups and ramps, and trailers with different designs side load, front load, tack room in the rear, tall, narrow, etc.
Many horses do better with either a step-up or a ramp configuration, says McDonnell, adding that she loves trailers that offer both options. Foster says she often works with a horse away from a trailer on another ramp or in an area with a step and builds up to the trailer gradually. She has even painted mats to match the ground as a sort of camouflage.
Sometimes she uses mats when loading from a pre-built stone dust mound onto a ramp, which creates a more level transition for the horse.
Day Three: Two Ways to Load Up (Trailer Training Horses Book 3) - Kindle edition by Keith Hosman. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC . Day Three: Drop Your Horse's Head (When Your Horse Rears Book 3) - Kindle edition by Day Three: Two Ways to Load Up (Trailer Training Horses Book 3).
Avoid all distractions, including your cell phone. Discuss the plan of action with any assistants beforehand to prevent miscommunication during the process. For added safety, handlers should wear helmets, safety vests, and steel-toe shoes.
Always remember that the best method is the one that helps that particular horse learn to be compliant and relaxed in the long run, not just on one particular day. Most importantly, handlers should evaluate their skills objectively to know if they can handle a specific trailer-loading situation.
Troubleshooting Horse Trailer Loading: One Step at a Time Consider these four behavior-science-based approaches to help your horse load safely. Favorite Share:. Training Methods First, recognize that each situation is unique.
The following four methods can help the horse overcome this trailer-loading anxiety. Positive reinforcement Foster says research supports the efficacy of positive -reinforcement reward for doing the desired behavior as a training method, and personally she has had long-term success with it. Going sideways Many horses will either turn entirely to the side or bolt sideways.
Anxiety inside the trailer The handler needs to determine if this problem is due to the actual trailer movement or the duration of the trip. About The Author. Related Posts.
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