My SECRET to trailer loading with harmony & ease...

When I think of one of the most important things I want my horses to be: it’s brave. Learning to trailer load in a calm and confident way can really build your horse’s sense of bravery. When you are Attuned to your horse you will both feel braver , and the possibilities for all of the other experiences you can have together will be endless! In this SECRET I’m going to give you some do’s and don’ts to get you started on this journey to trailer loading with harmony & ease.

When I think of one of the most important things I want my horses to be: it’s brave.

First, here are TWO things you SHOULDN'T do:

1. Don't allow your horse on the trailer if they feel anxious or frightened.

At Ribbleton, we build bravery in our horses from the day they are born. For a horse to learn to embrace challenges and dare to be brave they need to be in a state of mindfulness, not anxiety. If you are standing at the back of a trailer and you can feel that your horse wants to hurry to get on, then they are probably not in control of themselves and therefore they won’t be mindful. If they are not mindful it is likely that going on will only create more anxiety and make it even harder next time.

This is also the case in our youngsters who are overly enthusiastic to get on. I don't allow them on either, until I can see that they can think about their bodies and are in touch with each and every step they take. We must do everything we can to set them up for success because every time we create a bad experience, particularly with trailer loading, it creates a bad memory which can hang around for life!

For a horse to learn to embrace challenges and dare to be brave they need to be in a state of mindfulness, not anxiety.


2. Don't desensitize your horse!

Desensitizing is the opposite of bravery. It is a process being done to the horse, without allowing their opinions. They never own it. Desensitizing doesn't encourage bravery, it only encourages obedience. An obedient horse is only obedient for long as it can be and often when they can no longer be obedient their next reaction is explosive.

A horse that feels a desire to challenge themselves and learn is much more likely to have the self control they need to master the challenge of trailer loading! When you are Attuned to your horse's feelings & needs you will be able to inspire this sense of bravery and mindfulness in them. I appreciate my horse’s sensitivity as a strength.

And here are TWO things you SHOULD do:

1. Do take your horse on adventure walks online.

Do take your horse on adventure walks in a halter & lead where they are in control of distance. At Ribbleton, we think of these walks as an adventure of the mind. So - the distance doesn’t actually matter. When we take our horses on adventure walks the focus is on the horse's ability to stay mindful of each step they take and their connection to me. It's really important that the horse is in control of how far we go. The age, the experience of the horse and the environment will dictate how much we encourage them to try a little harder. However, ultimately they are in control of when we stop or turn back, or finish the training session.

We must also treat every day as a new day. Today they might be able to go twice as far as yesterday or perhaps only half the distance. It is very important not to expect that they will increase the distance each day. Your focus needs to be on how they manage their adrenalin, anxiety, and connection to you. Approaching your horse this way with walks and also trailer loading creates horses that want to challenge themselves.

Adventure walks can help your horse be brave... but remember it's an adventure of the mind, not the distance.


2. Do give yourself lots of time!

If you really want to be successful at trailer loading, you need to let go of your pressure to make it happen quickly. I find that if you are not working to a timeline the progress happens so much faster! Your energy has such a powerful influence on the horse. Your patience is so important if you want a long term positive outcome.

Like with all of our online courses, I encourage you to train with your horse at your own pace. And, more importantly, at your horse’s pace. Trailer loading will really require you to slow down and listen and become mindful of every step you take with your horse.

If you really want to be successful at trailer loading, you need to let go of your pressure to make it happen quickly.

I hope this SECRET has given you some inspiration to take out to your horse to prepare them to feel braver about trailer loading. You can get started today, and remember - there is much to do before you even approach the actual trailer! 🙂

After you have had a chance to practice these tips with your horse, I would love for you to contact us with your biggest question or challenge about trailer loading.

Two year old Faroh and his mum Weltango show us just how much fun trailer loading can be when they are in control of  the process!

If you’re ready to continue the journey to trailer loading with harmony & ease with more help from me and the Ribbleton herd, I invite you to join our full trailer loading course which contains everything you need to know to achieve Attuned trailer loading.


I have great NEWS - I'm giving you $20 off my online course today!

"Attuned Trailer Loading"

YOUR Coupon code = SECRET6

If you are enjoying all of the free training we are offering, I ask that you share our work with everyone you can so together we can create great change for horses and humans 🙂

Let me know your thoughts...

  1. Loved your interaction with Faroh, it’s just what happens here when I record something in the middle of the herd! Great work you are doing, with you all the way 🙂