Trailer Loading

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Trailer LoadingGonna do me a little trailer loading
So I had a friend call me the other day and ask for my assistance to move his bull to the house. No big deal. On the ranch I would have either just trailed him to the house or would have roped him in the pasture and loaded him into the oh so handy half top trailer. Of course we are not on the ranch we are in town. So I had to rethink my approach a bit. I still had the same 2 options I started with but soon added option number 3. Of course Dirk (bull owner) had to add that the last time somebody come and tried to load one of his bulls or cattle it ended up being a total disaster so he was a bit skeptical of any ideas that involved loading his bull, aka Peaches. My reply to that was, “well yeah that was because it wasn’t me loading em the last time.” Thinking to myself… this better go over smooth and just like planned as I will be danged to be considered as “one of those yahoos” that work cattle. So now back to the options.

Option 1

Trailing the bull to the house/pasture he needed to be in.

Variables/Problems

I would need to push him down the paved road away from the cows. This in itself would not have been a problem other then the fact that the little side road that goes by the pasture runs right into a open field and from there to the right (which is where we need to go) I have a fence on one side that is laying on the ground, the kind a bull would go through just to be a pain in the butt, but no way I would take my horse through. Just past that is the creek which is not a problem other then the rather bigger swamp area around it that I could see him diving into and once again have no desire to follow into with my horse and be stuck saddle deep in mud and I did not bring the shot gun to pepper his butt a time or two to get him back out of that if need be. So long story short Option 2 sounded way better.

Trailer Loading

Option 2

Roping the bull and loading him.

Variables/Problems

I am not able to pull into the pasture with the pick up and trailer so I would either have to guide him out the gate or deal with the fence in the way. Not a big issue but not the ideal situation, of course when do you ever have the ideal situation? This is a pasture that sits on the side of a hill for the most part and is irrigated… can you say slick bugger. Running up next to the bull and roping him was soon clear to not be an option as not only did we have hand lines to jump over but had I roped him Baby Sayo would have parked it and slide all over heck and back. So option 2 was not looking so good.

Trailer Loading

As Dirk had safely placed himself behind a tree, being the skeptic he appeared to be about this job at hand I had to think of a 3rd option as I am riding across the little pasture with Peaches bouncing all over the place thinking he was hot stuff. Surely cattle are not that different from horses, right?!?!

Trailer Loading

When loading your horse what do you do if they do not want to get in??? DON’T you dare say “tempt them with a treat.” No treats around this outfit, not for trailer loading anyhow. If I have a horse that does not want to load I will give them a job behind that trailer. I will take and lunge them around and move their feet. I am not going to beat on them or try to force them into the trailer. The whole idea is to make my idea their idea. So after lunging them around behind the trailer a bit I am going to head them toward the trailer and ask them to stop, facing the trailer. Once they are stopped at the gate and facing the trailer I am going to take all pressure away and just let them stand there and relax and catch their breath. If they do not want to stand still they have obviously not worked enough so back to lunging we go. This little game will go on for a while depending on the horse put pretty soon they figure out that they work when they are not at the trailer and as soon as they step toward the gate they get to rest. So pretty soon in your horses mind the trailer is the “happy place” and out of the trailer means work. This little game can also be applied if you have a horse that tries to blow out of a trailer before you get the gate shut. I am sure you all know what I am talking about. Don’t you dare hustle to close that gate before you horse can blow out backwards. Teach them the trailer is the good place and that it is where they want to be.

Trailer Loading

So my theory with Peaches was the same. Of course I did not have him on a rope or halter and I dang sure was not going to let lunge him around the back of the trailer. So around the pasture we went a time or four. I was not chasing Peaches but just kinda following him and keeping his feet moving. After a few trips around I pushed him toward the back of the trailer which I had parked in the gate and then stepped way back and let him catch his breath. A few seconds into this Peaches decided he really did not want to hang out there so instead of trying to force him to stay there I let him go again and we went around the little pasture a few more times. This time when we returned to the back of the trailer Peaches was a bit more out of breath and wanted to rest and actually played along really nice and even stepped right up to the back of the trailer and sniffed the back of the trailer. The worst thing I could have done in this case was turn into one of those “yahoos” and ran my horse up there and tried to “kaiyie” him into the trailer as that would have just caused him to turn around and run off again and the back of the trailer would have been the bad place. Instead I let him do what he wanted to but as soon as he turned away from the trailer and slowly walked off I hustled Baby Sayo over there and we went around the pasture again. Not chasing but just keeping him moving. So on our third approach to the trailer Peaches had figured out that this dang trailer was the only place for him to rest so in he went.
Trailer Loading

As Dirk went to shut the gate he commented, “I am impressed, that went way smoother then I thought it would and have ever seen it done.” To which I could not help but reply, “well heck yeah. Told ya it would be a piece of cake. It’s all in who is doing the job.” This is what I said with a grin as I was thinking to myself ~ (sigh of relieve) sure glad it went as good as it did and I guess you can teach cattle just like you can teach a horse. This time anyhow (-:

Photo credits for this post go to Triston who is getting kinda handy with moms camera. (-:

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