Make Loading and Travel Practise a Fundamental part of your Youngster's Education.
Transporting hundreds of horses allows us to come across a variety of experiences, a variety of horse types, ages and temperaments. Considering what we are asking of a horse, many are incredibly trusting and will follow the handlers lead into the horse area. Many require some gentle encouragement and patience and time to process what we are asking of them but a good many horses are plain and simply fearful of walking up the ramp and into the horse area, no matter how inviting we make it.
You may be surprised to hear that it is more often the foals and younsters that are more so confident at loading than some of the older horses are.
So what causes a horse to refuse to load or suddenly refuse to load after being a confident traveller?
Well we take into account several factors and ok it may only be one of the factors that causes issue or just some of them and sometimes it can be all of them.
We should never forget that ultimately, horses are animals of flight, once this instinct kicks in, there is bigger issue.
( Image to the above is our 16.3- 3 year old on his first practise session)
Here are some possible contributing factors:
- Never travelled before or practised loading
- A foal that is taken from its dam at the time of transport and not correctly weaned.
- A horse/pony that travelled before and experienced inconsiderate driving or handling
- Previous injury during transit
- Previous transport in a horsebox that is inadequately ventilated
- A horse/pony that has had little ground work as a youngster and lacking confidence.
- A horse/pony that has just left established field/stable companions
As a transporter, it gives us great satisfaction to load and transport a horse with as little stress as possible and deliver him/her in a calm state to a new owner or their planned destination. We take great care in planning every journey for each individual horse so we can provide the best possible experience for him/her but imagine if every horse was trained to load and travel as a youngster, how many fewer issues and less stress there would be, not just for the horse but the for owner too!
The worst case scenario is if the transporter responds to a call out to take a sick or injured horse to the vet as an emergency and suddenly the horse is too afraid to load. Essential time is lost and the horse is becoming stressed.
It would be wonderful if all horses were prepared for travelling as youngsters and foals even, it could ultimately make a difference to a horse's wellbeing.
Our team are dedicated to the welfare of horses in all aspects of the transport process and for this reason, we feel it is important to promote offering training sessions for youngsters and babies so they can learn to become confident travellers.
The image to the right is our 3 year old after several practise sessions. He walks on and travels very relaxed.
Isnt this little girl just too cute!
Don't hesitate to contact us to discuss a plan for your horse's loading practise.
Not in our area?
Contact your nearest Licensed Horse Transporter. Licensed Horse Transporters are legal and professional-don't expect less for your horses!