If you have a difficult loader or a horse with eye issues that you ride, verbal cues are amazing!
Tools: halter, lead rope, a whip (at least 4ft or longer), and a good positive mentality.
Depending on if the horse is high spirited or lazy, I will work with the round pen, a few logs and barrels. Every time the horse crosses a pole in the forward motion “step up” he receives an immediate reward – “good boy/girl”.
Does your horse back fast or slow? Each step you ask “back”. Do not approach the trailer if you cannot get them to step backwards one foot at a time.
Have a bridge or ledge? “Step up”, “back” and “step down”. Front end one foot at a time. Once they can do it calm, relaxed and on cue you can start adding the hind feet. If they speed back, go back to working just the front end. Always stop on a good note no matter what – even if it is just walking up to the back of the trailer.
These simple cues are great for on the trail when you get in a tight spot with a horse that has sensitive eye issues in the changing light from sunshine to shade.