The keywords when loading and floating horses are patience and safety. There are many varying views when it comes to loading and floating horses - here are some points to consider:
- If your horse has never been on a float before this will be a very foreign experience. It is worth taking your time to make sure the experience is a good one.
- Be patient with them – allow them to adjust to the new smells and sounds.
- Encouraging them to load is much more successful long term than forcing them to load. If your horse is refusing to go onto the float, consider what you can do to make this a more attractive option.
- Consider the safety of those involved in loading. A nervous horse in a pressured situation will not be thinking clearly and can become dangerous. So be aware of how it may react when put under pressure.
- When loading only one horse into a double float, load it on the same side as the driver. This means it is more central on the road and won’t be swung around quite as much.
- When closing the float ramp lift from the sides only, and make sure no one is standing directly behind the float.
- Drive off very slowly – especially when floating a horse for the first time. Allow them to get their balance. Take corners slowly and steadily to help them keep their balance.
- Take things slowly while unloading. Remember this is the last memory the horse will have of this experience. It is worth making sure you finish well.