Tips to Successfully Load Your Horse in a Float

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You’ve looked at horse floats for sale and have bought a horse float of your very own – great! Now it’s time to load up your horse and hit the road. Loading your horse in a float can be a bit tricky – here are some tips to help you successfully load your horse in a float.

Ease Off the Pressure

The first most important step to successfully loading your horse in a float is to create an environment where there is no pressure. Don’t try to load your horse five minutes before you absolutely have to be on the road to a show – things certainly won’t go well. Instead, start well ahead of time and be patient and quiet with your horse.

Make the Float Look Welcoming

You can do a number of things to make the float look more welcoming to your horse, encouraging him to step into it. Try to choose a horse float with a large, open interior. Ideally, the interior should be painted a light color, like white, to make it look larger and to help the horse see into it. If the float has movable divider bars, then move the bar over so that your horse has even more room when loading into the float.

Teach Your Horse to Give to Pressure

While this step can’t be done in the midst of a loading process, it’s an important preparatory step which will certainly help your horse to load onto a float. Teaching your horse to give to pressure helps to establish that, when there is pressure on his halter, he is to follow you forward into the float. If he does, the pressure will go away.

To teach your horse to give to pressure, start with your horse in a rope halter. Put the slightest amount of forward pressure on by using the lead line, and wait for your horse to move forward. The instant that your horse moves forward to give to the pressure, release the pressure entirely. If your horse resists the pressure, maintain the pressure until he moves forward. Repeat this training regularly to establish this lesson.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Teaching your horse to successfully load in the horse float partially comes down to repetition and practice. Load your horse into a float and take him for a short ride before returning home to teach him that loading in the float can be a pleasant experience. The more work you do with your horse, the better he will be able to load into your horse float.

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