My Horse Likes Trailering

By Terry Golson

The weather was perfect. It was a good day to go for a ride at Kim’s. Tonka didn’t know where we were going, but when I led him out of the barn and he saw the trailer with the ramp down, he practically led me on. It’s an easy twenty minute drive to Kim’s place. When we arrived, Tonka happily ate hay while I got my gear out. It wasn’t long before we were off! The deer flies and mosquitos are finally on the wane, and we were able to go into the woods.



Denver and Tonka get along fine and they’re well-matched (they both like to go at an easy, we’re in no rush, sort of pace.)


After a loop through the forest, we came back to the field (so pretty, this time of year it’s all  Queen Anne’s Lace), for some trotting and cantering.


Then, it was back to the barn. On the way, Tonka said hello to the goats. Pip didn’t think Tonka interesting enough to interrupt his sunbath.


While I stowed my gear back in the truck, Tonka had a graze with that nice man who feeds him peppermints.


When I said that it was time to go, once again Tonka eagerly got on the trailer.


Back home, he dove into the hay manger while I opened up the trailer’s doors. Tonka doesn’t eat hay while the trailer is on the road. He prefers to sightsee out the windows.


When I gave him the cues to leave the trailer – a tug on the tail and a verbal back – Tonka didn’t budge. There were excellent leafy bits of hay on the bottom of his manger. Why leave?


I went to his head and used a little halter pressure to ask him to back up. Which he did, so I walked to the ramp, ready to get his lead rope as he came out. But he took that opportunity to return to the manger. Some horses bolt backwards out of the trailer. In fact, when I first got Tonka, that’s what he did. Not now!

I finally convinced Tonka to leave this happy place.


I swear I could hear Tonka say, Just joking! I’m glad we’re home. Is it dinnertime?


I’ve written about how I work with horses who have issues loading here.

This blog details how I keep Tonka optimistic about trailering.

Do you trailer your horse?

3 thoughts on “My Horse Likes Trailering

  • Laura allemand

    Easy trailering is a requirement for me. Our newest horse, a 6 year old very green mare, had only trailered a couple of times in her life before coming home to us. She would pull back when we attempted to load her. But with just a few days practice, she began loading easily. Now, 6 months later, she self loads like our other horses, and thankfully so. We live in fire country and we’ve had to leave in a hurry before. I can’t have a horse that won’t load quickly when I need them to, adding to an already stressful situation.

    • Terry Golson Post author

      Just this week I was telling someone about how your horses load, even at night, even in emergencies. I’m sure that if there were a horse medical emergency, you’d have a cooperative horse on the trailer as well.
      When training your new horse, did you start with an experienced horse in the trailer? Do you think that it helps that she has other horses who set a good example?

      • Laura A

        When we brought home Indie, she was alone, and she got in pretty easily. The next time, she definitely resisted (maybe because the last time she left her home and didn’t go back?). But we kept gentle pressure on her until she moved in the right direction, and as soon as she took steps in the right direction, we eased off. After that, there was usually a friend waiting in the trailer her so it only got easier. We went on a trail ride today, and she now self loads.

Comments are closed.