Treatment Type: Training Techniques
Rated for: American Quarter Horse
Laporte, Colorado, United States
Posted Jan. 21, 2019
Groundwork is essential if you want your horse to go from okay to manage to extremely easy to work with. Not only does it build a bond and trust between you and your horse, but it also teaches the horse to respect you. You, as the owner, are the boss, not the horse.
If you have a difficult time trailer loading you'll want to start sooner than later on working on it because it is going to take some time for your horse to adjust to.
Every time you go out to ride or work with your horse I would practice trailer loading until there are no problems at all. Positive reinforcement is everything with this so have a bag of treats ready.
To start out you must have your horse trained to respond to you and the rope. You can stand by his shoulder and give him a gentle click or tug forward with some nudging from the back with the rope. Or another method is standing in the trailer coaxing him in, slowly. With each step forward, release your tug and reward. That way he understands going forward is good. If he steps back, don't lose patience, he'll sense your unease and it will ruin your progress.
Some days all you'll get is one hoof on the trailer, that's okay, you always want to end on a good note. The next day, go for two hooves, a few days later have him almost completely inside.
This process is slow but well worth it in the end. I hope my explanation made sense!