Sunday, August 9, 2009

Backing out of a Trailer

I have already written a blog about loading a horse into the trailer. However, I received a request from a reader who said that she had difficulty getting the horse to come out of the trailer. The trouble with horses who will not come out of the trailer is that they have not been taught the command to back out. These horses only know to back out if they have someone pulling on their halter, but they have never been taught a specific cue that commands them to back out. In this video, I show a horse who has been taught this cue and how it was done.

More specifics on this skill are available in the video titled nipping and biting.

This first video shows how I teach the horse that the command to back up might come from any angle, not just from in front of him. You will also notice that the command never has my pulling on the lead rope. If you have to pull on the lead rope, then you are not commanding him, you are compelling him.

In this second video, you can see how I apply the lessons from the first video to command a horse to back out of the trailer. Remember that I must not pull on the lead rope. I will only shake the lead rope until the horse takes one step. Then I will stop shaking and pet the horse. After that, I can ask for another step. I never ask for ten steps. Instead, I ask for one step, ten times.