Maggie the once-feral rescue mare arrived loose in the horse trailer. No one could get near her, much less get a halter on her. They managed to bribe her into the trailer with grain to get her here to the farm. That was just over a month ago.
She is now learning to load into the horse trailer when asked. Wow. The difference in her confidence, willingness and understanding of our growing communication is night and day.
Trailer loading is no different than any other question we ask when training a horse. We set her up to succeed with a solid foundation. Does she move willingly forward when asked? Will she walk across the noisy shifting surface of a tarp? Can she go ahead of me through a squeeze chute? By addressing the fears and challenges as well as the language I’ll use to support her during the trailer loading lessons, I can build on her success through simulations.
Establish clear communication. Lay a solid foundation and be prepared to go back a step if things start to unravel. Plan in advance so you can set your horse up to succeed. Regardless of the task you are teaching, the fundamentals of horse training remain unchanged.