It seems that horses either load easily or they don’t. I’ve had horses that climb the walls, paw, kick or pull back in the trailer. I usually try and find out ahead of time if a horse hauls well before loading them into my trailer. Another thing to be aware of is your insurance coverage when hauling someone else’s horse. Be sure you know ahead of time what your insurance policies covers. I make it a habit to just haul my own horses. Eliminates hard feelings and liability issues. Some things that contribute to horses that don’t load are:
It takes far more time to undo a horse’s bad experience in the horse trailer then it is to take the time to train them to load and unload. You also want to keep yourself safe when loading or unloading your horse.
Loading your horse into a straight load.
Train your horse to self-load. There are several good videos out there on loading horses. Drive them into the trailer, rather than leading them in. Even if there’s an escape door it’s just safer to teach them to load themselves.
Unloading from a straight haul: Always undo the snap or untie the lead rope before going to the back of the trailer to open. After opening the door, ask the horse to back quietly out of the trailer. If they don’t want to back out, go back to the front window and push them back using the lead rope. You can also run a lead line between their front legs and gently ask them to back.
Loading your horse into an angle haul:
I always am sure I’m well to their left side allowing them room to jump in if necessary. I secure the tie quickly, close the divider, shut the rear door, and exit the trailer. If they’re hesitant to load, give them a minute to look at the floor, assess the situation. If they still refuse, try and drive them in by lunging.
Unloading from a Slant Load Trailer: You can do it one of two ways, but I don’t recommend leading them out. I always ask them to back out after untying them. Horses can try and turn too quickly when leading them out causing injury to the person leading them out.
Above all, keep your truck and trailer maintained. Being broke down at the side of the road with horses is not fun, nor safe. Good luck, have fun, and enjoy the ride!
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