Slow but steady Trailer Training

I had a few days where I lapsed on the trailer training a bit. Rainy, cold, tired… you know, the regular excuses.

Next session, I barely get the door open and Joy wants on. She barges in once I’ve got the rear door latched open, and dives into her grain. This has been somewhat par for the course. I’m not shocked. What did shock me was that after finishing her meager amount of grain, she started in on the hay on the floor. Previously, she would finish her grain and want out. This time, she stood quietly, munched her hay, didn’t care that Ava was calling to her.

I still don’t have the stall partition closed yet, but I jiggled it around and banged it against the wall several times to get her accustomed to the noises. She didn’t care. I jumped up and down in the trailer. I walked to her butt and scratched her. She ate her hay. That must’ve been some dang good hay.

I’ve also, finally, been able to get her to line up with the slant wall so that she’s in position where I could close the divider. Previously, the second I asked her to move her body parallel to the wall she wanted out of the trailer. So that was good progress. She stood there quietly for a good minute before I asked her to back out and come back in again (I’m trying not to let leaving be her choice).

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I’m not quite sure what the next step is though. I know I want to close the partition and get her used to that, but how to go about that? I’m a bit scared to try it…

Is there a baby step in between no divider and divider closed?

I’m a bit gun shy about the divider. Ava taught me all of the horrible ways that divider can be used against a human.

I don’t know how to do this next step… every other trailer I’ve ever owned has been a straight load. You attach the butt bar, the horse hits it, end of story. These dividers are too easy for a horse to crush me with.

Any ideas?

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4 thoughts on “Slow but steady Trailer Training

  1. We used a fair amount (well, 2 scants cups) of pelleted feed, plus bits of carrots,apples, in the feeder when working with our young filly. I wrapped her legs first, just in case she did something dumb, then as she was preoccupied with eating the goodies, I gently closed the divider on my slant load. This filly had no previous experience being “locked in” with a divider, so I took my time with her. Also had a hay bag filled and hanging. Being that I’m short and can’t reach to close the divider quickly, I made sure I had the slider already lengthened and ready to latch. Took her on a short drive of about 5 miles, came home, gave her a few cookies in the feeder while I unlatched the divider. did this one more time to instill positive experience and now she doesn’t mind at all, even with another horse alongside her. Good luck, sounds like you are on the right track!!

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  2. No advice, other than I harbor a distaste for slant-load trailers. My mare does not like being squished into them either. Last time I had her in one, she was the only horse so I just let her ride loose in a nice big “box stall” arrangement. She has no problem walking onto a straight load or a slant, but as soon as you try to close the slant’s divider she feels squished and will do all in her power to flee. I do not own a trailer, so I’m somewhat at the mercy of whomever’s trailer I am sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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