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Loading a Horse in a Slant Load Alone? How?

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  • Loading a Horse in a Slant Load Alone? How?

    I've always had help with loading my horse (someone to shut the partition before I tie him and slip under the partition to get out). However I have to be very money conscious in regards to horse shows so will be trailering in and out more often than stabling at shows and doing that 4-5 days in a row I can't count on help every time.
    I don't think tying him before shutting the partition is a good idea in case he tries to back up (though he loads very well and we have never had an issue with him backing up or doing anything while loaded) but I also don't know about how to get back to close the partition without tying in case he does take a couple steps back or something.
    What's the best way to load in a 2 horse slant without help?

  • #2
    is your trailer a window-style or stock-style? What I've done in a stock-style trailer is run the leadrope out one "window" and through an adjacent one and held that, then closed the partition (from the side away from the horse), then clipped on the trailer tie and unclipped the leadrope. Depending on how your trailer's windows are set up you may be able to do the same?
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    • #3
      I have always done a slant load, even when there are extra people, like Ceylon described above.

      Horse goes into area, toss lead rope out window or thru slots, close partition. From the outside reaching in thru window or thru slots tie horse.

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      • #4
        Absolutely never tie before the partition is shut. Sorry, OP, I know you already knew but I can't say those words enough.

        "Pat the horse; kick yourself" - Carl Hester

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        • #5
          Agree with the above posters. All my horses are trained to load "alone". I usually have a dressage whip or longe whip with me for an extended "hand" behind the rear to encourage them on and to continue walking forward once on the trailer. I usually never go further than a step or two inside the trailer, just close enough to chuck the leadrope through the window (I have a drop-down windows). Then close the partition behind them.

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          • #6
            I lead the horse on, and when we get up front where the tie ring is, I pull the partition closed BUT NOT LATCHED behind me, so the horse thinks its closed. Tie the horse. Slip out from behind partition. Latch partition closed.
            "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

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            • #7
              I always load by myself. My horses are all taught to STAND when and where I tell them to, tied or not. I load the horse, clip the tie on, walk out and shut the gate. Or if I am leaving them loose ( I can set my trailer up so that two of the slant loads stalls become one box stall) then I just load them, tell them to stand, walk back and close the door. This works with everything from my babies to my seniors. BUT I'm willing to put the time in and teach them how to properly tie and ground tie.
              "Can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding"

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              • #8
                I do what tabula rashah does too. I hope I do not get screamed at! But I have to do everything by myself. But like tabulah, I spend a lot of time making sure mine tie and load politely. Also, I have a very wide open trailer with a ramp, and the tack compartment at the back is removed. I also hung blocker tie rings in the trailer for tying them. I tie with their lead ropes.

                I lead one in, tie him, walk out the back, and close the doors. If I am only hauling one, I usually tie back the divider, which has a rope through the back windows for that purpose.

                One thing I am particular about is if I am hauling two, and I am alone. I lead one to the trailer (the one that will be second horse in the trailer) and tie him to the outside of the trailer so his head is where the first horse in will have his head. Then I go get the first horse in and load it. Then I load the second horse in. Same thing when I unload; I tie the first one out to the trailer so his head is where the horse that is still loaded can see him. This is because I think they do get legitimately a little claustrophobic when they are the only one in the trailer separated from their buddies. To me, this is when they will tend to want to rush out. But I try to set things up, and to train them, so they will stand quietly until I untie them, turn around slowly, and walk down the ramp. I spend a lot of time make them do all of this patiently, and treats are always involved.

                It is not so much the tying per se, but the leaving them in the trailer alone, that I worry about. So I try to minimize any time that they are standing alone in the trailer.
                Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.

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                • #9
                  I also always load by myself. If I am loading one in the front stall, I lead them in, tie them and then close the partition. I am right there in case something happens.

                  My trailer does NOT have a rear tack so the back stall is large. If I am loading one in there, I throw the rope over their neck, they load themself, I shut the back door and then I go around to the window to tie them.

                  If one does not self load, I have walked in with them, tied them and then walked out and shut the door. But, I would NEVER do that with a nervous loader. Mine are all fine with trailering so it is no big deal. It take 5 seconds to get out and shut the door. If they are standing there quietly, I am not worried about it. If I have a nervous loader, they go in the front stall.

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                  • #10
                    I use Blocker tie rings in my barn but never thought of putting them in the trailer. That is an EXCELLENT idea, especially for those of us that load alone. Makes tying before you close the partition or door a non-issue!

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                    • #11
                      I'm frequently alone to load. I lead him in, run the lead through the Blocker tie ring, step back and latch the divider. Never been an issue. When I had my old straight load I would toss the lead over his shoulder, point his nose in and send him into the trailer, latch the butt bar then walk around to the front to tie.

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                      • #12
                        The straight load trailer, in my opinion, makes loading by yourself easier/safer IF you have taught said horsie to go in w/o you. I have a slant load now and did have the experience of a 3 year old getting spooked as he went into the trailer and he turned to the right, almost flattened me against the wall and then ran out. It was pretty scary! Because of this "panic button" on this particular horse, I *always* have someone in the window now that I hand the rope off to and I instruct them not to pull horse in, just guide his nose in and do NOT allow him to turn to the right. He can back off as many times as he likes, but he can NOT turn to the right. I stay outside of the trailer and just get behind him once rope is handed over. This works well, but of course I need the helper. I've thought about getting a longer rope and threading it through the tie ring, but haven't gotten around to that. It's made me a little gun shy about being INSIDE the trailer with the horse and you folks that close the partition behind you, YIKES! that makes me nervous. Having said all of that, I have some western riding friends with quarter horses and all they do is walk in, tie the horse (yes, folks, they do!), turn around and close the partition. I've never seen them have any sort of wreck as their horses are very broke to tying. Each to his own, but be safe above all....

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                        • #13
                          Like Tabula my horses respect whoa. I routinely load three by myself in my slant. If the horse respects WHOA and stands still, then you lead them in, toss the rope wherever you wish (i don't routinely tie mine while hauling), or tie them if you wish, repeat WHOA, walk down the horse's body with my hand on them, then shut the slant. Repeat til loaded.

                          but- every one of mine is very 'broke' on the ground skills so I can do this.

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                          • #14
                            I don't like the idea of you leading your horse in and then somehow squishing yourself out...if I have the scenario correct.

                            Practice having your horse go in ahead of you. Use a treat as a reward so it is worth their while. I don't need to, but I fasten the back up and then go round to the window to give the treat.
                            Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

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                            • #15
                              If you haul alone often, as I used to do, really the safest thing to do is to teach your horse to self load. My old guy would hop on the trailer and quietly stand while I shut the partition then went around to the window to tie him. My new mare loads and stands quietly on the trailer, but I haven't had the opportunity to teach her to self load yet. I mostly trust her to stand quietly while I exit and shut the partition, but she is still new to me. When I load her (and any other horse I'm not totally sure about), I will lead her on, loop her lead rope through the tie ring (but DO NOT tie), and hold on to the end as I back up and shut the partition. My lead ropes are either 8 or 10 feet and are long enough to do this. That way, I have control of their head, but can still easily let go if need be. This has worked well for me when needed, but I still always prefer a self loader.

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                              • #16
                                There is no "squishing yourself out" involved. Yes, 2 of mine self-load into the back stall and that makes it a snap. They hop in with their lead rope on their neck, I shut the back door and then go around to the window to clip the trailer tie to their halter and remove the lead line.

                                But, if I want to put them in the front stall, kind of hard to make sure they go all the way up there. I do not have a rear tack so with the partition open, my trailer is just one big box stall. They can self load in but hard to get them to go put their head in the front corner. So, if I load one in front, I walk them in. I do not need to squish myself out. I clip the tie to their halter and then walk back (no squishing) and unclip the partition and close it. As long as your horse knows to stand when tied, all is well. Mine are good about loading and are perfectly happy to stand still the 5 seconds in take to close the partition.

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                                • #17
                                  Please be aware that there is a risk when loading in a slant load alone (even with a fabulous self-loader), that the slant will close on the horse while the horse is loading. A friend's horse was literally gutted this way, and had to be euthanized.

                                  I would never own a slant for this reason, and I absolutely would never self load in one.

                                  I watched the horse in question self load countless times with no trouble, so this wasn't a case of the horse misbehaving. It was a problem with loading alone in a slant load trailer.

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                                  • #18
                                    The slants on my Merhow have springs to hold them open, and many other slants have ways to secure them in an open position with other means.

                                    I'm sorry to hear your friend's horse was hurt, though.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by FineAlready View Post
                                      Please be aware that there is a risk when loading in a slant load alone (even with a fabulous self-loader), that the slant will close on the horse while the horse is loading. A friend's horse was literally gutted this way, and had to be euthanized.

                                      I would never own a slant for this reason, and I absolutely would never self load in one.

                                      I watched the horse in question self load countless times with no trouble, so this wasn't a case of the horse misbehaving. It was a problem with loading alone in a slant load trailer.
                                      ??? I can't even imagine how that would happen in my trailer. Even if it started to close when the horse was loading- mine would just bump them and all of the edges are rounded.
                                      "Can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding"

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        That is awful about your friend's horse. Unfortunately, it sounds like a very freak accident that happened. But, I don't think it means no one should ever load a horse in a slant load without a helper. My partition can be clipped secure to the wall. It fits flush against the wall, out of the way.

                                        And one time I did not adequately fasten my partition AFTER loading and it came loose during transport (you can bet I triple check that now!) Drove 30 miles and horse did not have a scratch on her. Yes, I'm sure it was uncomfortable but the partition just bumped her - like tabula rashah said, all rounded edges.

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