SLOW AND EASY WITH HAULIN
Today I hauled 3 horses home. A "Don’t touch me and don’t let me see a Halter in your hand" 25 year old mare, whom I lucked out and purchased at 18 years old because of her fantastic breeding. Alas, mistreated for most of those 18 years, she is not responsive to Human Kindness and never will be. A 20 year old who is pretty laid back and her 5 year old daughter who just likes to have her own way.
They were on rented pasture and the grass had run out all to soon. I simply backed the 4 horse STOCK trailer up to the gate, opened the end gate, and knowing that you NEVER EVER load loose and/or free horses that do not get along or "One is Dominant, One not very and one on the bottom of the pecking order as in this case………….
The first one to SELF LOAD was the 5 year old, I don’t want her in the front compartment. She steps back out. I step in front of her and wait quietly. Sure enough the second in command (the 20 year old) steps in. With much fearful blowing through the nostrils, the old, can’t be caught anyway, 25 year old gets in. Quietly I close the center gate of the four horse Stock Trailer. Even before I am out of the trailer, the 5year old has loaded herself. I close the End Gate and head for home.
The load before from a different rented pasture was a 5 year old, a three year old and a yearling. All mares. They had had next to no human contact for over three months. I simply pulled the truck and trailer into the pasture, opened the end gate and three, semi wild, spooky mares loaded so quick, I had no time to even think. Home we went.
The time before was three 2 year olds and a yearling. Pull the truck into the pasture and open the back door. They all get along so no fear of a dominant horse attacking another free one in a stock trailer. Close the end door as they have loaded themselves in seconds.
Am I some kind of HORSE WHISPERER??? I am some Genius?
NO!!! I simply know horses and respect them and how they think and feel.
SLOW AND EASY!!! That is all it takes. Some of these horses may have been only hauled two or three times before, but they loaded themselves with no halters, no lead ropes, no corrals, no restricting alley ways, no hassle. When teaching them to load, I always load a calm, friendly, non-aggressive, not dominant horse first. Then I just take as much time as it needs. I let them self load, spook and whirl around and escape as many times as they think they need to. YES I USE OATS WHEN FIRST TEACHING ANY HORSE. I MAKE THE TRAILER A FRIENDLY, SAFE PLACE TO BE. AS FRIENDLY AND SAFE AS ANY PART OF THEIR TERRITORY (corral and/or paddock). Eventually they end up just getting in and standing there. I slowly close the Door and drive away. Short, not to many miles the first time or two. The key is NO PRESSURE. I like to load them at least twice before a year old. These are not PET horses or Kept In A Fancy Barn Horses, they are halter broke only. Basically little human handling. And this is NORMAL for me to pull into a pasture and they all jump in on their own!!!
Step Two: Come on people!!! Get up an hour earlier if you have to be somewhere at a certain time. Instead of driving like a RAPED APE, how about considering the LIVE CARGO in the trailer behind your truck!!! Accelerate slowly! Take curves gently, remembering your live cargo. Know where you have to turn off a road onto another one. NO slamming on the brakes so you don’t miss it. Decrease speed slowly. NO hitting the brake LATE, knowing a stop sign is coming up. Gentle on the brake. AND THEY WILL NOT FEAR THE TRAILER!!! How many people have I seen in these years? Hundreds? Who have a hard to load horse or one who always loads but is sweaty and nervous! And I ride with these drivers and say, "IF I WAS THE HORSE(S) BACK THERE I WOULD HATE THIS TOO!!!
REMEMBER THE BIG 4 WHEN TRAINING ALL ANIMALS. PATIENCE, KINDNESS, CONSISTENCY AND REPETITION.
What I am saying is quite simple. Would you let someone, force you to do something you are naturally, inherited afraid of doing, especially if that person scared the BEE JESUS out of you when actually locked in that confined space by BAD DRIVING PRACTICES??? DRIVE SAFE and please remember to drive NICE when hauling live cargo. Maybe you won’t remember, but they will.