It’s still new in the horse world to incorporate fun & games into training. So we decided to help change this!
We’re getting “out there” to show the horse world how it’s possible to train horses with games. Why is trailer training a good place to start? Many horses only load in trailers because people have made it uncomfortable, scary, or even painful elsewhere – or, they’ve just told the horses through body language and equipment that the horse has no choice in the matter…
As a result, many horses are quite nervous and fearful around trailers. They enter the trailer in a fearful emotional state – or even a depressed emotional state and are more prone to trailer accidents and personal health issues. Plus, they can be a danger to the people handling them.
When horses are trailer trained with rewards, without negative reinforcement, and with clear communication, the horses enter a trailer in a relaxed and happy emotional state. This is incredibly important because the horses are now engaged with their handler. With proper and comprehensive training, they’re able to think through new stimulations or challenges and choose to listen to their handlers.
In this video, we trained Flicka to enjoy the trailer with a combination of target touching and free shaping. As you watch her, look for any signs of irritation or stress – do you see tail flicking, head turning away from the handler, or any avoidance signals to indicate she is not comfortable approaching, entering, or leaving the trailer? As we always say, the horse is the ultimate judge in whether we’re training in a fun and respectful way!