When an emergency presents itself, you may find you and your horse unprepared for a trailer ride.? In this case, there are a couple of methods that can be used to force a horse into a trailer without causing pain.?
Sedatives may seem an easy answer, however these should only be a last resort as they make it difficult for the horse to maintain his equilibrium.? Instead, try gentle pushing.? If the horse is calm, two people can push his hindquarters to see if he will move forward.? If this doesn?t work, butt ropes may be effective.? In this case, two long lead ropes are passed around the horse?s hind end, with a person standing on both sides of the trailer.? As the handlers pull on the ropes, they tighten over the horse?s hindquarters and encourage him to step forward into the trailer.? If he spooks, the handlers can drop the ropes immediately so that he does not become tangled up.?
Be aware that some horses will kick when they are pushed into the trailer.? Also, they are likely to leap forward rather than to walk in slowly, so the handler at the front of the trailer should be prepared for this.?
Some horses will happily load into a trailer once one of their well-trained buddies calmly loads ahead of them.? This can be an effective method for horses that are closely bound to their herdmates, however it will likely only work when the horse is calm to begin with.?
Keeping all handlers calm, quiet and persistent is the key to preventing the horse from becoming agitated.? Once a horse panics, it can be difficult to bring him down to a point where he can calmly consider the trailer again.? Go as slowly as possible, and never hit or yell at your horse.