Helping Cara to overcome her fear of loading into a trailer.

 

 

This beautiful mare Cara, was having difficulty loading into the trailer. I worked with Cara on the ground for about 40 minutes in hand establishing leadership and asking her to cross several different surfaces such as tarpaulin and carpet. The tarpaulin she was fine with but she was not OK with crossing the carpet and interestingly I was then able to see 'how' Cara refused and was then able to work on this safely without the trailer being an issue.

The advantage of this preparation work was that Cara was able to work through a mental process safely with me, found the carpet safe to cross and this then boosted not only her own confidence but also her confidence and trust in me as her leader. 

When we then visited the trailer I found that Cara was refusing in exactly the same manner as with the carpet but because she had already worked successfully through these issues once with me a level of trust had already been built.

Although very worried at the start, by using the 'head lowering' technique to help lower her adrenaline and working calmly and consistently in the same way that we tackled the carpet, she was soon walking through the trailer beautifully.

Cara’s first walk through happens at about 6 minutes into the video and after this she didn't have any more problems.

I went back to visit again and practised loading Cara in different places on site to generalise her learning and therefore preparing her to be happy to load in a variety of places, which is especially important for loading away from home!

Once Cara was happy to load anywhere, and also by herself, and happy to just 'stand' on the trailer, she then went on to travel well and unloaded beautifully as well.

Many thanks to her wonderful owner for allowing me to share this video with you.