If I say “no horse is perfect,” I won’t be surprised to hear that I’m wrong, and that one of my readers has a horse who is perfect.
That’s because one of the things I believe is that once you believe you know everything there is to know about horses, you will make the mistake of making a blanket statement that applies to all horses, and then one horse will come along and prove you wrong.
So let me say instead, “no horse is perfect but there may be the exception that proves the rule.” In fact, I’d love to meet that exception.
Until that time comes, I don’t expect perfection. In fact, I expect problems. Especially trailer loading problems. They’re as common as high-fructose corn syrup in processed food and just as troublesome.
Many horses’ worst nightmare
I’ve worked with horses who were in trailers that blew apart while traveling…who thought it was more fun to play than to load…who would rather lie down and die than put a hoof on a ramp…and who were allowed to decide if they wanted to get on or would rather not.
I learned the Monty Roberts way, and use the dually halter with a lunge line or long-line for horses who need to re-learn how to load. The pressure-release method usually works, and once you get a feel for how much pressure you need and when to release the pressure, you can turn most problem loaders around. It’s not that difficult, and it’s easy to pass along the skills needed, so once you’ve fixed the horse, you can help the owner to keep the horse fixed.
Unfortunately, the pressure-release method didn’t work with the most recent horse I had to retrain to load, who spent nearly two weeks with a well-known Monty Roberts protege, working on loading. When it was time for him to go home, he still needed three people and two longlines to get him on the trailer.