How to Load a Horse on a Trailer

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Have the trailer ready.,
Keep your horse close to you.,
Walk into the trailer or lean on it showing the horse that you are calm, and totally relaxed – there is nothing to be afraid of.

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Place the horse directly in front of the trailer.,
Keep your horse calm.,
When the horse is in the trailer, calmly speak to it and move towards the back and close the tail bar.,
Watch for problems.,
Double-check for safety.

Have the trailer set up in a secure location where the horse can feel comfortable to enter. Ideally, use a spot where you have practiced loading and unloading previously, and that is quiet and calm.;
, Use a well-secured lead rope and lead your horse toward the trailer. Present yourself confidently and without fear or anxiety.

If your horse begins to get nervous when you near the trailer, stay calm and walk your horse in loops near or around the trailer to get him used to seeing it.

,, Walk beside the horse and as you walk, you should be in one barrier and the horse in the other.

Use the ‘go forward’ command, if your horse knows it.

, Always watch your horse’s behavior when loading. If he appears skittish, try tactics that will calm him down and then re-approach the trailer.

For horses that are difficult you may consider trying restraints on the horse such a rump rope, twitch or war bridle. Some trainers use “butt ropes” at the back of the horse that prevents the horse from backing out of the trailer. Be warned, however, that this might cause panic or distress, and it is better not to use them. Sometimes food may be placed just out of reach to motivate the horse to enter the trailer. Try carrots, apple chunks, etc.

, Once this is secured, raise the tailgate and go to horse and secure inside.

, If your horse is colicky or sick, then normal methods of persuasion may not work when loading your horse. Always look for general signs of good health in your horse and be wary of issues such as illness or injury.

, Before you travel, you should always check to see if everything is secure. Make a checklist and walk through it to make sure you and your horses are ready to travel. Consider checking:

Is the horse secure?
Does the horse seem calm enough to travel?
Is the horse relaxed around and in the trailer?
Is the tack secured and not likely to move during transport?
Is the gate securely locked and closed?
Is the trailer secure to the vehicle?

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