Horse Trailers for the Nervous Horse

ArticleHow to - General Equine AdviceTuesday 13 April 2010
Loading a Nervous Horse

A nervous horse will probably not like horse trailers but it is important that they are trained to load onto them because at some point, every horse owner has to attempt moving a horse. You may find that trying to load a nervous horse gets progressively harder as he keeps doing anything to not go in the horse trailers. This guide outlines how to get a nervous horse used to horse trailers and loading into them easily.

Loading a Nervous Horse

•    The key to moving a horse with relative ease for all concerned is to make it so that horse trailers don’t seem so scary and that the nervous horse actually wants to be in there. The first step is to begin leading the nervous horse toward the trailer.

•    Once the nervous horse gets within a few feet of the horse trailers, start backing him up. Do this forcefully but not aggressively and start repeating the work ‘back’. If necessary, give some backward tugs on the lead rope (although make sure you don’t jerk the nervous horse.

•    Once the nervous horse is a good few steps back from the horse trailers, start moving him towards it again, this time taking it a little closer. Practicing moving a horse in this method will slowly introduce them to the concept of horse trailers.

•    Keep repeating this process, getting closer to the horse trailers each time, eventually moving on to letting the horse get its feet onto the ramp, or stepped up into the horse trailers.

•    Generally you will not have to do this too many times to become comfortable moving a horse. After a while, the nervous horse will become curious of horse trailers and will want to be inside rather than keep moving backwards and forwards.

•    Once you have successfully got the nervous horse to load, make sure you heap plenty of praise on him and maybe even give him a treat so that he associates horse trailers with good things. Practice using horse trailers every now and again to reinforce the point.

•    If the nervous horse starts to show any signs of resistance again, repeat the process until you get him in again. It is important when moving a horse to be assertive as the horse will pick up on any weakness and play up even more.


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