Loading and Hauling Horses

I’ve been Loading and Hauling Horses for a long time.  Some horses are easy, some not so much !  If you own a horse, there will probably come a time you will need to load and haul.   You may want to go to a horse show.  You may need to go to a vet clinic.  Moving to another farm, may be another reason.

Be Prepared in case of an emergency
  1.  If at all possible, teach your horse to load, before an emergency occurs.
  2. If you don’t have a trailer, know someone that is capable of loading and hauling horses that would be willing.  Just because someone owns their own truck and trailer, doesn’t necessarily make them knowledgeable, in this area.
  3. Have a sturdy halter available.
  4. Have a long lead rope.  A lounge Line can be very helpful.  A whip or crop is handy, to encourage.   Treats to be fed ONLY after the horse is on the trailer.
  5. Make sure the hauling rig, is in good condition and hauling ready.

Unless the horse is sick and shouldn’t be eating while being hauled, ALWAYS have hay available, in the trailer.  Just like us, on a long drive, we get bored, and so do they.  Hay can help the horse to relax, and keep them content, while traveling.  When using a hay net, make sure it is properly secured and placed high enough to avoid having a hoof in it!

Many years ago, I had the privileged of being taught by someone who I consider to be a master with loading and hauling horses.  This gentlemen was a horseman in every sense of the word.  He could read a horses thoughts before us mortals even had a clue.   The number one thing he taught me was NEVER EVER tie the horse’s head UNTIL you had something behind the horse.  You always put the partition behind the horse, or the butt bar up, BEFORE tying their head.  Why you ask?  To prevent the horse from pulling back and either injuring themselves or escaping.

Tips while driving:

Accelerate slow and smooth.  Brake softly and give yourself more room than if you were not pulling a trailer.  Take turns slower than normal .  Drive as if a passenger were standing on a flatbed behind you with NOTHING to hold onto for balance, because that’s what your horse is doing !

One last tip:

Don’t feed the horse treats, before they are on the trailer!  You are rewarding them for standing outside the trailer.  Reward them, once they are ON the trailer.

With a little know how, patience and practice you can be loading and hauling horses like a pro.

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3 Replies to “Loading and Hauling Horses”

  1. All great tips. I remember learning to load a horse and it can definitely be intimidating. Ive had them have a change of mind and back off the trailer after half on or start backing up when they saw it. All good experiences for learning and definitely having someone knowledgeable there to guide you is a must. I wouldnt have known how to handle it without my trainer. My mare is pretty good about loading. My next step is truck and trailer ……probably will be as petrified doing that at first like loading. But those i have ridden with when hauling i pay close attention….im probably as petrified as a passenger. Lol. I like the thought of pretending you are pulling your friend on a flatbed and they have nothing to hold onto!!

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