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Old 03-03-2007, 03:04 PM
32 posts, read 153,272 times
Reputation: 18


I live in Bayfield but am moving to Vermont in 2 weeks. Desparately seeking a horse trainer to help train my horse to load. I've made a couple of calls to the only ones I could find but don't even get a return phone call. Please let me know if you know of a horse trainer who would be willing to come to my house in Bayfield to spend time with me in this endeavor.

Thank you!
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Old 03-03-2007, 05:20 PM
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You might try to find someone through the Parelli website. (www.parelli.com) who is in your area. They have their main training center in Colorado and instructors come from around the world to learn from them.
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Old 03-03-2007, 05:43 PM
10,870 posts, read 41,150,426 times
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You'll need a lot more than just "training" your horse to load.

You need training for yourself, too, to safely load and unload on a trip of this magnitude. There's a whole dialogue of communication that you must learn to "read" your horse's attitude/mind to accomplish the tasks.

There's actually three phases to the "horse loading" situation ... loading, staying quietly in the trailer, and unloading.

Additionally, there's a lot of care, feeding, watering, and "vet" work to be done to safely and healthily transport a horse 2,000 miles. In my experience, trailering more than 8-9 hours/day is excessive without a few road stops to get the horses out and refreshed ... they get to move around, flex leg muscles and so forth.

You must plan those road stops in advance, as well as the overnight stabling stops that are quality places for the horses and convenient for your overnight stay. There's a lot more logistics to this than just jumping in the truck and hauling to VT as fast as you can. Additionally, it's still a time for inclement weather which may require you ... for prudence and safety ... to stop enroute due to road/weather conditions.

I assume you want to have a sound horse ... physically and mentally ... at your destination. If you don't have time before you leave to get that involved, I'd strongly advise you to find a professional horse transporter to take your horse to VT, where you can then start the horse training and learning process as needed.

At this late date with so little time, I can well understand the reluctance of a professional trainer to jump in and assist. It may well be possible "teach" your horse to load in a very brief time ... perhaps an hour or two, or an afternoon ... but there's so much more to be done. And it will have to be "practiced" many times to re-inforce the lesson for you and your horse's safety.

We trained a 20 year old mare (using "natural" techniques) ... that had been loaded only twice in her life, many years ago, with 5 people and a winch on several broken halters ... to load and unload into a trailer on request in a two hour session last week. But it will take more time for her to become comfortable in the trailer. I certainly wouldn't make her first travel many hours at a time; more like a 10 minute trip, then a few half hour trips, and so on until she seemed comfortable with the whole experience. Overall, we spent 6 hours with her in two days, with a couple of hours just being "friendly" with her in the trailer.

Other details: Vet health certificate, Coggins Test, Brand inspection/Ownership documents. You do have all of these, and current ... don't you? If not, you're nowhere near ready to transport a horse. Getting stopped enroute at a inspection station without will be costly and time consumptive if you don't have the paperwork and have to have your horse quarantined.

Last edited by sunsprit; 03-03-2007 at 06:21 PM.. Reason: more info
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Old 03-03-2007, 06:15 PM
32 posts, read 153,272 times
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Thanks to you both. Sunsprit - appreciate your advice but am already very familiar with all the above that you mention. I've taken Parelli classes with Charlie (my horse) and he responds beautifully to the go forward cue, backing up without being touched, and the typical ground games. I've got the coggins and the health certificate. I have planned out the trip so that we are not traveling more than 8 hours before being at a horse motel where I can let him off to stretch and sleep for the night. I am soaking a ton of beetpulp so that if he refuses to drink on the way he can hydrate via beetpulp. I am flavoring the water here a week before we leave so that I can continue flavoring it on the journey so that the water is familiar. I practice natural horsemanship and Charlie's safety is of the utmost importance to me. I've purchased an expensive leather padded halter for the trip - we have shipping boots. I've also purchased a new trailer, paid extra for additional padding and expensive flooring.

The reason why Charlie will not load is because I made the mistake of having him hauled by Nationwide Transport from California to Colorado and whatever happened on that trip, has scared him. He loaded just fine prior to that trip. That is why I purchased a trailer so I can do it myself and ensure his safety. I know I need him to load, stand quietly, and unload quietly. So I appreciate your advice, even though its somewhat condescending, but please understand that I do not intend to just throw him in and get to VT as quickly as possible. I'm quite sure I could load him by scaring him, using a chain, or other unnatural methods that I would never deploy. I want him to go in calmly, upon the go forward cue from me.

Today I stood with him for 2 hours while he had his 2 front feet up on the ramp, 1 inch from being inside the trailer. We are doing groundwork every day for 2 hours or more. He has been scared to even go into a stall since being hauled out here and today I actually had success at having him calmly go in, stand, and back-out. So, I am making progress, but think we could make even more progress using someone professionally trained in horse training.

BTNS-TX - thanks about the Parelli idea. I've contacted them but so far no luck.

My vet, Karen Stange, has recommended someone who I've left a message for today. Hopefully they'll return my call.
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Old 03-03-2007, 06:34 PM
10,870 posts, read 41,150,426 times
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Well, LoopyLou ... your 2nd post certainly gives a lot more background information about your situation than the sketchy details of the first post. Sorry if you found my post "condescending", but you made it sound like you didn't know squat about the realities of long distance horse transport, let alone trailer loading. You'll just have to take my word for it that there's a lot of folks who don't know what you do ... and think a trainer can work miracles for a horse just like they saw on TV with a trainer at a demo clinic. I've been asked to do similar transports for folks on a two-day notice ... no, thanks ... I value the horses more than that.

It would appear, then, that you've got the fundamentals well in hand, which is good.

If you're working "parelli" techniques already, then you know that you're on the right track with your horse. Get him comfortable with being close, and then ask for more. You'll have to up the pressure and reinforcement at each stage ... a foot inside the trailer, then two, and then more.

as Pat says ... "take the time it takes so it takes less time the next time" ... and you'll not want to stop your loading sequence until the horse is loaded. With a horse that previously loaded for you, it shouldn't be too big a deal.

Happy travels.

Best of luck with your travels.
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Old 03-03-2007, 06:44 PM
32 posts, read 153,272 times
Reputation: 18
Thanks Sunsprit - sorry if I was snippy. The problem is that I'm now dealing with a horse that was traumatized from a prior trip (please note anyone who is reading this - never use Nationwide Horse Transport based in CO Springs). I've been working with Charlie for several weeks already (since I purchased the trailer and the weather has cooperated) but am concerned that I won't make enough progress by the time we need to leave. My plan was to get him loaded, and start on small, fun trips (perhaps to see some pretty mares down the road or something as he'd love that) and then slowly increase the trips until time to leave. However, I still can't seem to get him on the trailer to even hang with him there til he feels safe. I will keep trying and keep reading my Parelli & John Lyons articles on loading, but honestly, I'm scared that I won't pull it off. My confidence in my own abilities is decreasing.

To that end, please do let me know if you know of any reputable trainers.

Thanks so much.
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Old 03-18-2007, 07:11 AM
Location: Stuck in NE GA right now
4,585 posts, read 10,478,742 times
Reputation: 6597
Oh I wish you lived in GA...my trainer is Brilliant about getting difficult horses to load.

Everyone in our area uses her including other trainers...she has a true gift.

I've been able to buy several very high quality horses over the years for cheap because of loading problems and have her fix them.

If your interested in how she does it pm me.
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Old 08-18-2007, 03:39 PM
11 posts, read 19,381 times
Reputation: 15
Default I have a similar problem

RW, I pm'd you. I just found this post. I have been having similar difficulties with my four year old Arab filly, who got caught under the butt bar when she was two. I would love to hear what your trainer does.

Loopy Lou, I hope you managed to get your horse on the trailer okay.
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Old 08-21-2007, 08:41 AM
Location: Boulder
151 posts, read 650,915 times
Reputation: 74
talk to your vet about a mild tranquilizer, a dose for each time you plan to load him. I know it's not a pure or "best" solution by any means, but it beats the crap out of a tramatized, frightened horse, stuck somewhere between CO and Vermont, willing to seriously hurt himself or you in order to not step back into your trailer.
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Old 10-11-2007, 02:14 PM
1 posts, read 2,942 times
Reputation: 10
Default Horse transport recommendations

Does anyone know of a good article about transporting horses long distances (about 16 hours)? What do people use to flavor the water? Any recommendations about an overnight horse hotel in KS?

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