Many horses are hesitant to load and unload from a trailer, but with some help you can make the trailering process go smoothly. It is very important that your horse is comfortable with loading and unloading, even if you are not planning to transport him or her soon. A horse must be comfortable with trailering in case of medical emergency.
You want to avoid bribing or punishing your horse to make them trailer. When training your horse to load and unload, you should be helping the horse load without having to lead it or force it into the trailer.
Most horses are difficult to load because they fear the trailer. Before practicing loading and unloading, let your horse become comfortable with the trailer. Lead your horse around the trailer and let it inspect the curious object. Remember to stay calm and act normal, as if the trailer is nothing special. Your attitude will help keep the horse stress-free.
Next, make sure your horse knows simple commands. The most important to know when learning to trailer are:
- Back up
- Turn around
Finally, teach your horse to trailer. Back the trailer up to an enclosed area, and calmly walk your horse to the ramp. Guide your horse’s nose into the entryway and command him or her to “walk.” This step takes a lot of patience, because your horse may want to stop or back out several times. If this is the case, let your horse readjust before trying again.
Practice this as much as necessary until your horse is comfortable and well versed in trailering. Your horse transportation carrier will thank you, and you can be sure that your horse will remain safe during the loading process.