Float Loading the Young Horse

What do you do when you have a couple of young horses booked in to be started under saddle that need to do a 3 hour trip to get there but had never been on float before?

In October a client had two young horses (Luna & Iah) booked in with me to be started under saddle whilst I was doing the annual Colt Starting Course with Shane Ransley at Woolooga QLD. The only handling these horses have had before hand is only about 10 hours halter training with me. They had not yet been on a float and they needed to do a 3 hour trip so we could get to the course!

Fortunately I was able to spend a few days prior with these horses (plus 1 other) to prepare them to go onto the float. My goal was to make sure that they were happy to go on and felt comfortable whilst in there so they had a nice first experience with travelling. My previous handling was teaching them to accept the halter, follow the feel of the lead rope and most importantly of all, to remain calm and thinking through pressure situations which is actually, the opposite of what their instincts would tell them to do. All important ingredients to safe and happy floating.

Kerensa Staines Loading Luna onto the float for their return trip!

When it came time for Luna & Iah’s maiden voyage, we had a different float to the one I had done their preparation with and despite the change, they loaded beautifully!

We began the journey without an issue, they stood calmly whilst I made a pit stop at a noisy service station half way along and they did not bat an eyelid when we drove through a huge thunderstorm and a deluge of rain as we neared our destination!

Thank goodness to prior preparation and teaching these youngsters to think through pressure situations! To top it all off when their owners came to pick them up at the end of the course they loaded them up by themselves in a matter of minutes and took them safely back home again.


Would you like to know how to prepare your horse for safe travelling? Click the button below and find out how!