So you have your horse and you now have your new Float and you need to get the two together. Sounds easy but as many of us have experienced what sounds easy is not necessarily the case.
I did a fair amount of research before attempting this article and the more I dug the more confused I became as it seems everyone has their own idea on how to entice a horse into entering and staying in a float. The problems of loading ranged dramatically from physiological problems with the horse. fear of the unknown, lack of training, lack of patience, Poor design and even down to the mental capacity of the person doing the loading.
I was needless to say flabbergasted with some of the articles and writings and contacted a couple of trainers that I know and even then received differing and sometimes conflicting information as to what is right or wrong.
Hence after all of this I have decided not to give a detailed guide to loading as I am certain that I would come under criticism from some areas for what is accepted as right and wrong. I will however itemise some of the more relevant points that seem to be part of the majority of views
Safety – First and foremost it is imperative that the safety of both you and your horse are paramount prior to attempting any loading. Some helpful things to look out for areas follows
Correct clothing – wearing of thongs is not appropriate, loose flowing attire can get tangled and caught. Suitable clothing will allow you the freedom of movement required for the job at hand as well as ensuring protection and coverage in the event of the unexpected
Preparation – Ensure you have everything at hand that you think you may require and that it is ready to be utilised. Ensure the float is ready and free of obstructions to allow for a quick and safe load
Expect the unexpected – stay clear of doors and ramps, don’t wrap ropes or reigns around hands or fingers, Don’t allow onlookers to get too close and be aware of your surroundings at all times
Check and then recheck – Both before and after loading check all of the items that require to be attended to and ensure that everything is secured and where it should be. Doing this in a systematic way will allow it to become second nature but never take anything for granted. Worst case scenario it may cost you your life or that of your horse.
Remember that there is NO such thing as a stupid question so if you are not sure or need help and assistance then ask.