Posted by on Sep 3, 2013 in Training Blog | No Comments

Check the Ground Skills of  Your Horse

Groundwork Checklist for Successful Trailer Loading

To check the ground skills of your horse and avoid mistake number 3, you could complete the following checklist.

1. Can you catch your horse from a yard or paddock with out using feed or carrots ?
If your answer is no, this is a huge sign that your horse might not be ready to load yet. Practice catching your horse first without the use of feed and then when you are able to do so he is ready for the next step to successful float/trailer loading.

2. Are you able to get your horse lower down his head when you are placing the halter on? If the answer is a no, this is another sign that your horse is not yet ready to trailer load. You may want to spend some time teaching your horse to lower his head to be haltered.

3. once the halter is on your horse, pick up a feel on the lead rope & then enclose it in your hand. Then go ahead and take a brisk walk. What is the reaction of the horse? Does he follow or does he dig his feet in the ground and not move? Continue walking about fifty feet and then stop. What is the reaction of your horse? Does he stop or you do you need to grip the lead rope to make him stop? Right after you get a stop, take a few steps backward and observe whether your horse does the same thing or whether you need to grip hard on the lead rope to make him back off. If in any of these exercises, you still need to pull or grip the rope, this means that your horse is not yet ready to load.

4. After leading a horse through a gate, are you able to send him through the gate just ahead of you? Are you then able to get him turn around &come back to you? If your answer is no in any of these, it means that your horse is not yet prepared to float/trailer load and he doesn’t have the appropriate ground handling skills yet.

5. Have your horse stand still right next to you. Then,  gently push his side with the use of your little finger and see if he moves away laterally with ease. Ask him to move his front end over and his back end as well. If you are unable to do these with your little finger only and the process requires you to apply a lot of pressure, it means that your horse is not yet halter broke and therefore is not prepared to load yet.

Now, here’s an interesting thing to understand. Most of the horses out there will not be able to pass all these tests. But even though they do not pass the test, many of them may still generally load. But, if you want your horse to be an excellent float/trailer loader, you need to invest some time checking them out on the ground-handling tasks required and then training them on the skills that they are not yet so good at. Performing and practicing consistently on these skills for them to become a proficient  loader could take weeks or months, depending on the frequency of your horsemanship training. Teaching a horse how to load should be done with thought,feel and timing, and best recommended to do it with the help of a float/trailer loading expert.

Horsemanship DVD – Trailer Loading with Success

Keeping in mind: Avoiding the common mistakes posted earlier as they will only slow down the learning process and create undesirable results.

Do you want to know more about Trailer Loading?
Click here and check out out NEW DVD:
Trailer Loading with Success

Have you experienced any problems with trailer loading?
Let us know! Leave your comment below :-)

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