Angle load horse floats are often favoured by horse owners and trainers and are a popular choice within Australia for transporting horses. However, regardless of the trailer you use, safety should always be the number one priority when it comes to towing and loading your horse.
Give them time to get used to the trailer
It is important that you don’t try to force your horse into the trailer, but rather get them used to loading and unloading before you even set off on your first journey together. Standing and travelling in a horse float can be very unsettling. Try it out and see for yourself if you don’t believe us! It is important that you allow them time to build up their confidence. Once they are used to standing in the trailer comfortably then you can think about beginning your travel. Avoid rushing them forcefully into the trailer just because you are running a little bit late and never get into the trailer with a panicked horse.
A little pressure may be necessary
It is understandable that your horse may not want to enter the horse float in the first instance. You may have to apply a bit of pressure to convince your horse to do what you want them to do. There are many methods such as tapping them under the forearm to get them to follow your lead. Whatever method you do use, remind yourself that you might have to apply some gentle pressure to get them in and out safely. Offering a reward for their hard work will often go a long way in convincing them to get in next time. Using unnecessary force may make the next loading of the horse float twice as difficult.
Never take your eye off them
Always keep an eye on your horse when you are loading your horse onto the horse float. It is too easy for them to angle themselves incorrectly and end up towards the mudguard rather than the trailer door. Watch them and guide them as necessary. Thankfully loading into angled stalls tends to be easier than a straight load float.
Minimise stress when loading
While many horse owners don’t agree on which horse float is better, they can definitely agree on the fact that the process of loading the horse float is the most stressful part of the trip. Their heart rate instantly rises upon loading, therefore making it as stress-free as possible will limit their uncomfortableness and make floating more agreeable in the long run. Once safely in you can close the bar behind them and secure them as necessary.
The ideal situation is to aim for a self-loading horse although it might take a while to perfect this scenario.