The decision to move our family from Texas to Upstate New York in the spring of 2013 was met with an array of emotions, especially since our family included two horses that we had acquired while living just outside of Fort Worth. A thousand questions flooded my brain – should I try and trailer them or hire an equine moving company? What kind of stress does such a move inflict on a horse? How much is this going to cost? If you already own a trailer, this is going to be the more affordable option, but it is not right for everybody.
Horses are amazing creatures that fill our lives with joy, but there are times that even our love of horses isn’t enough to keep us from reaching our wit’s end with them! A horse that’s difficult to load into a horse trailer can be frustrating, but there’s hope for them yet. These five tips will help your next loading experience be a much better one:
1. Above all else, think like a horse. A horse sees horse trailers as tight, dark places where they may or may not be vulnerable to unspoken dangers. Remember that your horse has to overcome thousands of years of evolution just to step one foot inside — so be patient with him as he comes to terms with his instincts.
2. Make loading rewarding. Some horse owners find that treating loading as an opportunity for easy rewards speeds their loads along. Start by feeding your horse from a bucket placed at the back of the trailer, so he can eat without stepping inside. Slowly move the bucket further forward until he’s all the way in and munching happily in his stall.