How To Teach Your Horse To Safely Back Out of a Trailer
If your horse is having trouble backing out of their trailer safely, it’s a sign they were never comfortable with the trailer to begin with. Often when training a horse to be comfortable with a trailer, we assume getting them inside means we’ve succeeded.
Just because your horse enters the trailer does not mean they’re comfortable. To ensure your horse feels comfortable enough to back out safely, you’ll likely need to retrain your horse. Here’s how to teach your horse to safely back out of a trailer.
Focus on Your Attitude
Training your horse takes a lot of patience, especially if you have to retrain them. If you come off as discouraged and angry, your horse will know and likely become stressed too. Stay calm and collected near the trailer, and your horse will be more likely to follow your lead.
Use Positive Reinforcement
The best way to train your horse to back in and out of your trailer is through positive reinforcement. Start the training processes away from the trailer. Use food rewards and a marker. Say “Yes!” for small behaviors like moving forward and backward, mimicking the motions of moving in and out of the trailer.
Repeat the Process
Once your horse is familiar with the smaller movements and accepts the positive reinforcement, repeat the process closer to the trailer. Continue to repeat these steps closer and closer to the trailer until your horse shows signs that they’re comfortable around it. Some signs your horse isn’t ready include:
- Shaking or trembling
- Rolling their eyes
- Spooking or bolting
Continue to use positive reinforcement and use a tension-free voice when directing them until they feel comfortable entering the trailer independently. If they feel comfortable entering the trailer, exiting will be a breeze as well.
Learning how to teach your horse to safely back out of a trailer takes a lot of patience, but it will keep your horse safe and make loading and unloading much easier in the long run. Visit Coolhorse for all your horse trailer supplies and needs.