How to Load a Horse on a Trailer

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Use a close lead rope.,
Avoid using whips or stud chain.,
Pick the right trailer.,
Consider size.,
Learn to secure the trailer properly.

Your goal should be to lead the horse calmly, not to drag the horse to the trailer. Use a short rope and a firm hand and walk your horse.Do not drag or pull the horse; instead, be relaxed and calmly walk toward or around the trailer.

Your horse can read your body language and your frustration. If you are frustrated or angry at the horse, he will pick it up and be more likely to panic or disobey.

, You do not want to associate pain or fear with loading. For that reason, avoid using equipment that your horse may fear or distrust. This may include:

stud chains
new people
ear pulls
force
multiple ropes
fly masks

, You want a trailer that is secure and safe, but also will not scare your horse. Pick a trailer that is large and has open windows. Your horse will be less likely to load if the inside of the trailer is closed off and dark. Consider these trailer features when loading:Step up — These are the most traditional trailers and may work well with loading because they are so straightforward to use. This requires the horse to simply step up and into the trailer. However, this may present challenges when unloading as it may cause the horse’s hind legs to slip when backing out.
Loading ramps — Using a ramp on a step up trailer may solve some of the problems of an uneasy unload. However, they can be slick and steep. When looking to purchase or use a loading ramp, consider one that is a low and gradual slope. Pick one with a non-slick surface and easy to lift and use.
At a slant — Slant-load trailers allow the horse to turn around inside to be led out. This may make it an easier and calmer experience when unloading the horse head first. These trailers are often designed to load multiple horses. This may be problematic if the first horse to be loaded has a problem, as all the horses must be unloaded in order to get to the first horse.
Straight shot — This type of trailer is generally used for two horses and a single horse can be unloaded without removing or bothering the other. These trailers usually include longer stalls to give horses more room. Some believe this type of trailer is the most comfortable for horses, especially for larger breeds.

, When choosing a trailer, it is important to consider not only the type but also the size. Modern trailers are generally larger than more classic trailers. The interiors are usually 6 ft wide and more than 7ft tall, compared to the older 5ft wide by 6ft tall.Depending on how many horses you intend to board or what comforts you are looking for, there are number of different designs out there. For example, you can buy trailers that have small apartments attached.

, You must learn to use the trailer properly for the safety of you, your horse, and your tack.Look for safety features in a trailer when purchasing or borrowing. Consider:

The suspension
Load balance
General condition of the trailer (cracks, rust, damage, etc)
Indicator and hazard lights
Closing and securing mechanisms
Structural integrity of the flooring

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