Lorry loading problem - What can I do?
Teaching the horse to load on a horsebox.
A lorry ramp is much steeper than a trailer, so more daunting to a horse that has never travelled before.
The procedure is more or less the same as for trailer loading.
It’s all about having time and patients to repeat each exercise until the horse is comfortable enough to move onto the next step of the training.
So to begin with, you’ll need a helper and a sensible experienced horse, which is known to the youngster.
This could be either a stable or field companion.
Remove two partitions from the horsebox, so there is enough room to walk and turn two horses around.
The lead horse should walk up the ramp and into the lorry with you following close behind.
Always work at the horse’s pace, one foot on the ramp is a good start, reward and praise.
When the horse eventually enters the box, make a fuss of him. Let him know he is a good boy.
Follow the companion horse off the lorry and down the ramp. Be prepared for him to rush or leap off.
Keep practising this until the young horse is quite accepting and relaxed.
The next stage would be to put one partition in, so the companion horse would enter first and the partition would be closed.
You now need to lead the horse in, to stand alongside his friend with the partition between them.
Don’t expect too much, you might need to repeat a step over and over again for a few days before you can move on.
If the horse shows no signs of progress, you should try to feed him on the lorry, so he associates the horsebox as a pleasant experience.
A few point's to remember
Never lose your temper, the horse will sense this and you won’t achieve anything.
You need to get the horse on side, so he must learn to trust you. Never pull on the lead rope.
The horse is too strong for you to drag him in. If you keep on pulling, he may decide to rear and run off backwards down the ramp.
I have seen this happen a couple of times and on one occasion; I saw a frightened horse rear up and tip over backwards.
The horse damaged his skull and had to be put down immediately.
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Horse box loading