Help me load ale please.

Ale

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Feb 8, 2012
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Okay so I tried loading ale today. He was super duper and walked straight on every time. Once he got into the trailer though he suddenly got a bit worried and trotted very fast out of the jockey door.

I didn't want to hold him in there as he was obviously worried I didn't want to shut the doors and panic him.

Trying again on Friday, any advice of what to do to try and stop him running straight off. Haynet, feed bowl, remove the partition? He walked on amazingly everytime so that was really great!

Should I load in a bridle instead of his dually. I wore my hat and gloves. He wasn't nasty just wasn't happy staying on board once he had eaten a treat haha
 

Skib

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Dec 21, 2003
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For a start don't load him right on. Teaching a horse to load includes unloading and standing still once loaded. So just pause him and let him stand with front feet on the ramp and then pet him and lead or back him off again. Give him a break and do it further next time. Once he is easy about stopping and relaxing and coming off again and you get to the point where he will stand fully loaded, some hay or a treat is fine. If you treat your horse (I don't) you can treat him on the ramp too.
The important thing is to teach the unloading if that could be making him anxious .
 

Mary Poppins

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I would carry walking him on as you have been, and then ask him to stand in the box for increasingly longer periods. To start with walk him on, ask him to halt, give him a treat, count to 10 and then walk off. Next time, walk on, ask him to halt, give him a treat, count to 20 and then walk off again etc. etc. When he is happy to walk on and stand still for at least 5 minutes, you could start shutting the doors etc. I would reward with whatever he finds nice. The ideal treat for my horse would be a net of haylege, if this was in my lorry he would never get out. I think the key is always calm repetition.
 

ponylover88

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I can't help as I need to work on this too. D will load and stand happily, but I cannot back away to get the partition otherwise she shoots towards the ramp (but doesn't go off the lorry, even on to ramp). I'm interested in the answers
 

Mary Poppins

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I have friend who has a horse who likes to shoot out of the front part of the trailer. She keeps the door shut and loads and unloads just using the back ramp. She has more control over her horse walking backwards and it means that she doesn't risk injury to herself by squeezing through the front door at the same time as a panicky horse.
 

Ale

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Thank-you for the advice everyone I am hoping to try again on Friday so will use a net of hay/haylege.

Skib he was very calm and relaxed loading up onto the trailer, he walked on with total ease and seemed very happy doing so. Perhaps I should stop him just before he enters the trailer and leave it at that next time. But then I am worried about confusing him, he may think that me stopping him and backing him off means he doesn't need to go on the trailer in future.

People walking past said I should shut the trailer door but I didn't want him freaking out. As far as I know he has never been in a trailer with a partition before so I'm really pleased he walked on so well. I think next time I will try a bridle and lunge line and some nice food on the trailer. I'm just a bit worried that now he knows he can run off he will just do that again. There is no way I can stop him he's far too strong.

Perhaps actually I will tie a haynet just inside the trailer so he has to stand on the ramp with his head and perhaps front legs in there so he gets more used to the small space. I can then gradually move the haynets further into the trailer if this goes well. And hopefully after a few sessions he will be inside without over thinking it. Thank-you skib I think that's the sort of method you were talking about.
 

Jessey

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Just to check, you have the trailer hitched up to a vehicle? If not I would definitely hitch it, it makes a huge difference to stability and horses know when things are unsafe.

And you mean the front ramp not a jockey door?

When Bo was a baby he used to jump from the top of the front ramp so I too left it closed, he walked on and backed off until he was in less of a hurry. Its not worth getting squished or sent flying, though do leave the jockey door unlatched so you have an escape route in case of emergency.
 

Ale

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Yes the trailer was hitched up to a 4x4

Yes whoops he didn't fit through the door,can you tell I am new to this trailering thing!

Ah okay well maybe I will try to load him on with the ramp shut however I'm not sure he will like that idea, but thanks!
 
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Skib

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Thank-you for the advice everyone I am hoping to try again on Friday so will use a net of hay/haylege.

Skib he was very calm and relaxed loading up onto the trailer, he walked on with total ease and seemed very happy doing so. t.

Ale I have seen Rashid and others teach horses at several clinics how to load. May be going only one step further each time. It doesnt confuse a horse. A horse needs to go exactly as far as the handler tells it to. And that includes stopping and standing still.

Of course there are different ways of teaching a horse to load - I have about 4 different videos, and one has to adapt and pick and choose according to the horse (and I have only loaded a recalcitrant horse twice and had to dilute what I did as it was an RS mare and the staff were not prepared to take the time that Michael Peace or Rashid might take.) You may have the same problem, if you are borrowing someone else's trailer with limited time.
Now if a horse is really frightened and gets violent , I have seen loading cause a dispute at a Rashid clinic, but you need to be flexible. Teach to lead on the flat first and then graduate to the ramp and then to the box itself and then teach being shut in on his own.
Ake coming out could simply be him anticipating unloading. We love it when horses anticipate when we ride them They are ready to do the next part of the dressage test - so there are many different ways of looking at it.
We dont know what he is thinking. And we dont know whether you are cuing this behaviour. But he may well think it is what you want him to do. Until you teach him otherwise.
That is why I guess (hard on a forum) that I would teach it as a standing still problem.
Whereas you are seeing it as a loading problem and being very satisfied that you dont have a loading problem.
Because I learned to ride late in life - I didnt differenitate between horse psychology leading and riding. People here who do competitive riding and train to get rosettes may well rank those of us who dont compete as lowest of the low. MaryP wouldnt have me go and watch her lead Ben. But we have put as much time and as many lessons and demos into learning to lead as we have into riding. Perfecting a halt both led and ridden is as important to me as perfecting a canter.
 

LindaAd

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With Hebe, when she rushed out, I just walked her back in. After a couple of times of in-again out-again she realised it wasn't a trap and settled down to the hay.
 

Wally

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Partition out, don;t have the front open , but take the breast bar out, and feed him in there every day, Never let him think he can ever rush out once the ramp is down Make him wait, stuff him with polos, anything to make him think the trailer is a jolly good wheeze.
 
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