To a foal, a horse trailer can look like a very scary thing. Don't let their fear prevent you from getting your foal in a horse trailer when you need to, however. These are a few helpful tips that will have you loading and unloading your foal in and out of the horse trailer in no time.
1. Monkey See, Monkey Do
If your foal's mother -- or a favorite member of the herd -- is nearby, consider leading by example. Have a friend hold your foal's lead line, leading it near the horse trailer. Then, bring the other horse in and out of the horse trailer so that the foal can see it. When your foal sees that its mother or trusted herd member doesn't mind the horse trailer, then it might be willing to give it a try as well.
2. Use a Mock Trailer
Actually leading your foal in and out of a horse trailer can be a big deal at first. For training purposes, it can be helpful to create a mock horse trailer. Basically, the mock trailer will be built out of wood and will be made about eight feet long and four feet wide. Don't add sides to your mock trailer. When you're ready for training, lead your foal onto the mock trailer using a ramp that is similar to the one that you would use in a real trailer. In the meantime, lead its mother or another herd member alongside of the foal. The foal will still be able to see its mother or other herd member but will learn about walking up the ramp and dealing with the hollow sound that can be heard in your average horse trailer.
3. Do a Little at a Time
Don't expect that you will be able to lead your foal straight into the horse trailer without any practice on the very first day. Take it slowly, and walk your foal around the trailer to get it accustomed to it. Then, slowly lead it up the ramp, and allow it to back up out of the trailer. By encouraging your foal a little at a time, you'll slowly get it accustomed to using the horse trailer.
Follow these three tips, and your foal will be loading and unloading in no time without any problems. For more information about horse trailers, talk to a professional like Colorado Trailers Inc.