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Date:4/15/2014 11:21:23 PM
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Do you practice any certain type of training methods? I practice Parelli Natural Horsemanship training methods. It is the gentlest and most natural approach to horses. The way Charm reacts to the trailer sounds a lot like Goldie. I'll tell you how I handled it with her: Stand outside the trailer, at the opening where Charm will walk in. Make sure to use a longe line instead of a regular lead rope so you have a long enough rope. To ask Charm to go in the trailer, point her nose in the direction you want her to go, kinda like you would do to lunge her. She might want to sniff the trailer or paw at it before she goes in, and that's okay. The only time you might need to give a little tug on the rope or something would be if she looks completely away from the trailer or tries to walk away. When she goes into the trailer at all, even if it's just her nose, praise her with your voice, but don't touch her. You want her to be confident and feel safe in the trailer, and if you touch her, then it might make her change her mind about her decision to go in the trailer. As her confidence builds she will choose to go in farther until she's all the way in. If she wants to back out at any time, let her. A horse will back out when it's feeling unconfident, and, like you said, claustrophobic. If Charm feels she needs to back out and you don't allow her to, then it'll make her more stressed because forcing a horse to do something it's not comfortable with is a predator reaction. That's why horses and humans clash so often, because horses are prey animals and their instinct in a scary situation is fight or flight; humans are predators and are more likely to react with force. Once Charm feels completely safe and secure in the trailer and does not try to back out anymore, the you can close up the trailer for a few seconds, slowly increasing the time day by day. It could take up to a few weeks of diligent training for Charm to become confident in the trailer, but, trust me, your hard work WILL pay off. Let me know if you have any questions or if I didn't explain something well. I really hope this helps you and Charm.
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