Hauled my Horses

I had enough holding my horses. This year I began hauling my horses.

I bought my trailer, a 2000 Merhow 2-horse weekender in the spring of 2020. We didn’t have a truck until October. We needed the hitch installed and by then I decided to wait until spring to start hauling.

This spring one of my best friends gave me a few driving lessons with the empty trailer. Things went pretty well.

When it came to hauling the boys things slowed down slightly. I found it difficult to load them! They didn’t come to me that way but over the last year they became increasingly difficult (even on friends’ trailers). I took it personally. I was still nervous hauling so that anxiousness amplified the horses’ resistance to load.

I was feeling a little defeated and frustrated. What have I done? What was I thinking? How can I go anywhere if I don’t think I’ll get them back ON the trailer when I get there? Then backing into my teeny tiny driveway? The nerves were firing overtime. I was hesitant to go out with anyone outside my circle, I only felt comfortable with my close friends with me.


Slowly, towards the end of summer I began to find my groove. I broke down and bought a bag of Triple Crown Senior (you know I don’t feed commercial feeds). As a treat I put a handful in a bucket and hung it in the trailer. I practiced loading the horses at home and let hem begin to associate the trailer with the special snack.

Before long I had Nahe loading easily first and Tiger followed behind, often getting on the trailer before I was done loading Nahe. We had a great system and I was feeling super proud. The only anxiety I had was returning home and backing into the driveway.

The problem is, we were doing SO WELL loading both horses in the same order I didn’t want to shake it up before I was mentally ready. But I can’t always bring BOTH of them. I began to practice loading just Tiger. He loaded well but still wants to look around for Nahe. That’s fair. He still loaded and I was happy with that, I gave him a treat, lots of praise, and calmly backed him out. We were able to go to a lesson and despite resisting me to go home he loaded within a few tries.

Just recently Nahe began to resist loading again. Huh? We were doing so well! This occurred after I hauled him 2 hours, rode very hilly…mountainous…terrain, and hauled back home 2 hours. Also fair. I asked a lot of him and had done poorly to physically prepare him for that demand. Trailering isn’t as simple as standing there, it requires a lot of balance. Combined with a few hours of terrain neither of us expected and another two hours of balancing in the trailer I can understand why he’d associate it with hard work. Yes, he still needs to load but slowly I’m gaining my confidence and earning their trust in this area. It’s such a new world for me to experience.

The good news, however, is I recently backed the trailer up successfully on my own (without another person spotting me to make sure I don’t hit the house) two days in a row….first try. This has definitely been an encouraging win. We can get better and better from here!

I still have lots to learn. I’m not perfect. But I’m finding my way. Some criticize me for overthinking. I do. It’s true. It’s been a tough year mentally and emotionally for me and I overthink on GOOD days. I never dreamed I’d own a house with horses on property. Never dreamed I’d have a truck and trailer. So to be able to have my own small victories in hauling my horses to new places I’m ecstatic with my progress.


9 Comments

    1. Thank you so much for that! It’s hard to feel accomplished when I see so many hauling around not thinking anything of it but I feel pretty pleased and on my way to not overthinking it so much 🙂

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  1. Gold stars & smiley faces for you. I have been towing for 30+ years & an over thinker, I still have nervous days a lot of my horsey friends do to. You are awesome that is a huge trailer & nerves are completely justified when starting out, better to overthink than to be cocky, fantastic you had a trusty friend. love all the photos just a fun menagerie. Can’t wait to read of the many more excellent adventures you will have.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely!!! We went out a few times without the horses and found an empty parking lot. Backing straight, backing to the left and right to turn around. And I always have to back into my teeny tiny driveway and try to avoid the house on one side and the Maple on the other. I’m so thankful for those practice sessions

      Liked by 1 person

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