Hauling your ... horse

Unless you plan to do all your equine activities within a few miles of your stable, you will eventually have to deal with trailering horses. For level 3 we don't expect you to demonstrate hauling, but we do want you to:

Describe how to lead in and out of a trailer

There are many videos on the web describing how to load a difficult horse, but that is beyond the scope of level  3 as well.   For now we'll focus on loading a reliable and seasoned traveller, courtesy of Ally and Noah.

How to Load and unload a horse from a trailer

This shows an angle-haul trailer, where the horses face diagonally.  The pictures below show a straight-haul, where the horses face forward.  The steps are similar though.

Steps for loading a horse IMG_2794

1. Set up your trailer.  Make sure it is correctly hitched to the tow vehicle, the windows and grooms' doors are open, and the appropriate safety leads are available.

2. Walk at your horse's shoulder towards the trailer – do not walk in front.

3.  Allow your horse to walk forward up the ramp or step.  butt bar

4. Have a helper do up the butt bar before you attach the safety tie.  This makes sure the horse cannot pull back and injure herself.

5. Close the doors / ramp.

Steps for unloading a horse

1. Once the doors or ramp are open, unclip the safety tie and clip your lead rope to the halter.

2. Have a helper open the butt bar after you have untied the horse.unload

3.  Push backwards on the lead rope and give a little cluck.  Your helper can also pat the horse's rump to signal it's time to unload.  Make sure your helper stands clear of the ramp.

4.  Allow the horse to pause on the ramp or once the back feet are down.  This lets him look around and get his bearings and reduces the likelihood he'll get in the habit of flying out backwards.

Safety tips

  • Wear gloves and a helmet to prevent rope burns and more serious injuries if a horse panics
  • Stand to the side when doing up the butt bar in case the horse kicks or backs out
  • If you don't have a front-exit groom door, and a chest bar you can duck under, do not lead your horse in.  Put the leadrope over the neck and send the horse forward on its own so you don't get trapped in front.
  • Shipping bandages, bell boots and poll caps can prevent the horse from injuring itself in transit, but must be applied correctly.  Poorly fitting travel clothing can cause as many injuries as it is meant to prevent.
  • Make sure haynets are high enough to prevent a horse getting a foot through.
  • Leather halters and cotton lead ropes are safer as they are easier to break or cut through in an emergency.


For those of you hoping to get your riding levels signed off before Carosella, your best opportunties are at Cavaliere class.  Our next assesment day is Saturday September 6th, and you can prepare for assessments over the next two Saturdays at Cavaliere classes from 4- 7:30pm.  We also hope to offer a Mounted Combat assessment during these weeks.  Stay tuned for details.

Cavaliere Classes
Saturdays 30 August, 6 Sept
time: 4:00 – 7:30pm
cost: $60 or 1 flex-pack credit per class

Here is an unusual chance to take weekly Cavaliere Classes. Because we didn’t run them in July, we’ll be running the classes every Saturday afternoon from August 16th through September 6th. What could be better than Horsemanship, Riding and Swordplay in the balmy August evenings at Red Colt? This is the perfect time to brush up on your skills before Carosella which is coming up September 12-14th!

Mounted Combat Workshop
Sunday 7 September
time: 1- 4pm
location: Red Colt Equestrian Farm Co-op, 12320 No 2 Road, Richmond
cost: $60

Swordplay from the ground, the falsemount, and from horseback.
prerequisites: Intro to Mounted Combat or permission from the instructor

Carosella 2014

Friday 12 September - Sunday 14 September
location: Red Colt Equestrian Farm Co-op, 12320 No 2 Road, Richmond
cost: $199 for the full 3-day weekend

Registration is open!  Don't miss out on our biggest weekend of workshops and our annual Knightly Games Tournament.  There is something for everyone at this exciting Mounted Combat Symposium.

For information, schedules and registration see our Carosella pages.




Jennifer Landels heads up Academie Duello's Cavaliere Program. She has been swordfighting since 2008, and riding since before she could walk. She started the program as an excuse to combine those passions.
Read more from Jennifer Landels.