March 31, 2023
Loading a horse into a trailer or a lorry can prove to be difficult at times. Although horses naturally want to cooperate as they know how to live in a herd, you can run into many horse loading ramp problems and it can be a challenge that you feel you may never overcome.
One of the main things to remember is that you are there to teach and guide the horse, therefore try and put yourself in your horse’s shoes.
Here are some tips to help you find success the next time you find yourself in horse loading trouble.
How Do You Load a Horse That Refuses to Load?
Build Your Horse’s Confidence in You
You have probably built a strong relationship with your horse already, but it’s important to make sure they have full confidence in you. Keep your energy levels consistent, so they are familiar with your demeanour and attitude. If they stop or pull back, always stand your ground, but make sure you give them space and time to think, so they feel supported and not rushed in any way.
Help Overcome Your Horse’s Fear
Showing your support when your horse is afraid of something will make all the difference. Before loading your horse into a trailer or a truck, present it to them so they can process it, smell it and become accustomed to it. As mentioned above, it’s essential you take your time and build up the confidence inside your horse rather than rush it.
Create a Welcoming Environment & Praise Your Horse
To make the trailer or truck less daunting, try and make the environment as uncomplicated and comfortable as possible, such as removing any partitions. This will help them overcome their initial fear and encourage them to move forward. Every time they do take a step forward up the horse loading ramp, remember to acknowledge this progress and give praise as this will build confidence too. Once they load, shut the door but then open it again to praise them as this will send a positive message for the next time.
Do’s & Don’ts for Horse Loading
- Once loaded, keep encouraging your horse to up and down the loading ramp
- If your horse becomes animated, let them be animated rather than restrain them.
- No matter how long it takes to achieve, never give up as this will be an investment.
- Repeat the process multiple times with slight alterations so the horse can get used to loading and unloading
- Don’t let them turn away from the horse trailer loading ramp; maintain your power.
- Make sure your horse has safe, secure footing by choosing quality trailer ramps.
How Do You Prepare a Horse for Loading?
One of the best ways to prepare a horse for loading is by making sure you have sufficient horse loading ramps in place – especially for covering season! It will make sure unloading or loading is much less stressful for your horse.
At Norton’s Fencing, we design loading ramps specifically to your needs. Our consultancy service enables us to understand the type of vehicle you will be using and customise the design and build to suit the size of your lorry. Whether you require rear or side loading, whether you use a horse box or a larger vehicle, we can provide you with the perfect loading ramp.
Every ramp is designed with a gradient to make it much easier to load and unload your horse, as well as tall wooden sides so the horse can see directly where it’s going with no distractions. If you require an L-shape design, we can cater to your specifications; this shape actually reduces the risk of the horse getting spooked as it doesn’t see the vehicle, only the loading ramp. Along with the long wooden sides, we use a hardcore base and a finishing surface on top of them to ensure durability and sturdiness.