Trailer loading is a pet peeve of mine. I don't believe in bribery, I don't believe in force. A horse should respect you enough to attempt to get into the trailer. If you reward him properly he will continue trying until he's content to load in the trailer without hesitation. I accomplish this with Clinton Anderson's groundwork methods.

The first thing to do is teach the horse the trailer is the safest place to be. I lunge him, back him, and make him work hard away from the trailer, then let him rest by the trailer. Then I spend time sending him back and forth at the end of the trailer, working him hard, letting him slow down near the entrance of the trailer, but really making him hustle and turn around when he's away from the trailer, only allowing him to stand and breathe at the trailer entrance. Then I ask him to step into the trailer. If he tries, I reward. Then I back him up, and ask him again. As soon as he refuses or backs up in resistence, I resume working him. Then repeat asking him to step into the trailer (even with one foot), where he can rest. Before long the horse will actually try to dodge into the trailer while I'm working him. If done properly the horse will absolutely beg to get on the trailer, and will stand quietly in the trailer until you ask him to back out. Taking the time to train him to load the right way will ensure he loads smoothly in the future, and if it ever does become a problem again, the tools are there to address it. It sure beats having to bribe and beg him every time!

Below you'll see a client's gelding who had to be forced into a trailer with tractors and gaits to come here for training. When I sent him home he walked right into the trailer all on his own.
Asking him to load with the tapping of my stick.
He's making an effort, so I'm rubbing him in reward.
And he's in, I continue to rub him.
Now he waits....slamming the door on a horse who is a hassle to load will only make it worse. If he wants to back off, let him.
Here I'm asking him to back off the trailer...the secret to a slow and quiet back up is teaching him to back off the trailer before you ever let him get all the way on. I've already gone through the process with this gelding and he's confident as can be in the trailer loading/unloading process in these pics.
Now he's standing quietly as I rub him, waiting to see if I want him to load back up.


I train horses to load by request. I can load him at your house and bring him home to perfect the loading process. The initial loading session for an impossible horse can be as much as 2 hours, but generally an hour will do it. With consistent work, in a week I can have the horse getting in the trailer with the point of a finger, begging you to let him in! Never do I use treats or bribery. I don't force a horse or beat him. It's all a matter of pressure and release, it's not always pretty, but it's fair and effective.






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