‘Trailer Loading well‘ means to me, that you get your horse to go on the trailer, walking out in front of you, feeling safe and comfortable on the trailer and still liking you.
Unfortunately, many people leave trailer loading until it is too late. Even if you can get your horse on the trailer now (maybe by walking in front of him, somebody pushing from behind and closing the bare quickly), there may come a day when you really have to go somewhere and then your horse says ‘NO’. They’ll feel your intention, the hurry, that you’re nervous and that will make them suspicious. Reason enough to practise trailer loading in a constructive way before hand. Every time trailer loading is an issue, it is destructive for your relationship, communication, trust and respect.
When you trailer load well, everything else will get better too. No matter what discipline you ride, trailer loading is part of the foundation; trust, mutual respect, communication, relationship, rapport, …
I will use a story I have heard Pat Parelli tell many times. There was a time where Pat travelled around the country to help people with trailer loading. One time this lady, who did competition in high level dressage, asked Pat to train her horse to load on the trailer well. She very specificly instructed Pat not to ride the horse, actually she forbade him to even think about riding the horse. Just do your thing to get the horse to load well in the trailer. Of course, this was not a problem and the horse went back to the lady, trailer loading with excellence. A few days later she called him back, absolutely furious for not listening to her and riding the horse anyway. Pat was surprised and said, no, I didn’t ride your horse. But she was convinced Pat did ride her horse, because her dressage got better. What really happened was, that the horse got over some fundamental issues of fear and resistance, that had to be taken care of to get the horse to load well (willingly, with trust and respect). What makes a difference on the ground, also makes a difference while riding, no matter what discipline. Even driving horses.
When I start young horses under saddle, which I did professionally for some years, I would not get on any young horse, until I did the fundamental way of trailer loading. This way, you have already dealt with the major issues and to start saddling and riding will be less stressful for the young horse.
So I encourage you to give this a try. Don’t believe a word I’m saying, until you have proven it to yourself. You’ll find what I believe is the best way for trailer loading in my E-book and Online Video Course Trailer Loading.
Send me your feedback and questions and …