by Dan Steers
Tackling horse trailer loading problems at the trailer is the most common mistake that horse owners make when dealing with horses that are difficult to load. The key to successful trailer training starts away from the trailer, with first establishing ground control with the horse.
When attempting to load the horse he only has four directions in which his body can move; left, right, forwards and backwards. Therefore to successfully load the horse we must have control over his body in all four directions. To achieve this, the horse must be taught hindquarter control, where the horse learns to yield its hindquarters to whip pressure; the horse must also be established in coming forward to whip pressure and be proficient in circling around the handler and being driven to the fence from a circle. Only once these ground control basics are established should the handler approach the trailer.
To read more about successful horse trailer training, see the October issue of the Horsemen’s Corral.