Horse Trailers: By Size
How to Train Your Horse To Trailer Load
If you're having trouble loading your horse, I strongly suggest the investment of $4.99 in my trailer-training course.
- Download and print from your home computer
- 5 days, 5 chapters
- Learn at your own pace
An excerpt from Trailer Training: An Easy guide to the Proven Methods of John Lyons:
One drawback of this method is that it sort of rewards the horse for leaping into the trailer – all fine and good if you want to impress your friends – except it doesn't really teach them to "unload." That's a major reason that I rely more heavily on the Go Forward cue or a mix of the methods we're covering here.
The more traditional method ("A") taught by John Lyons goes like this: Approach the trailer as above. If your horse will only walk to within 50 feet of the trailer, fine. If he'll put his nose in, even better. Those will be our starting points just as they were several paragraphs earlier. This time you'll use your left hand to point the horse's nose toward the trailer. Don't pull the horse, simply use the lead to "suggest." If you've found yourself some distance from the trailer, apply your Go Forward cue as practiced. You've worked on this, so your horse knows what you're asking for – he's just not crazy about the direction you've chosen. Be adamant, he has to learn that he goes where you point him when you point him. He'll learn to do that when he finds you to be more stubborn than he is.
Back in the safe zone, some distance from the trailer, we'll tap until the horse moves some part of his body forward. As before, pawing, sniffing and leaning are all signs that he's thinking about it. Quit tapping when he paws, for instance, but use common sense here: If your horse is just pawing and you've found yourself in a stalemate, then increase your taps and irritate him more. Resist the urge to give him a good whack – that'll only teach him that he was right to be scared the whole time. Worse, he'll soon learn that he can survive the pain and you've got to hit him harder. It's a downward spiral from there. "Be the fly" and move your horse gradually to a point where he's standing looking in on the right side and you are behind the closed left door.