Kit your pony out correctly before you load him to keep him protected on your journey. You’ll need…
- headcollar and leadrope to keep him secure. A leather or fieldsafe headcollar is safest, as it will break under pressure
- travel boots to protect his legs from knocks or scrapes. They usually cover him from his knee or hock to his coronet band
- tail guard to protect his tail from rubs
Fuss free loading
Follow these five simple steps and then you and your pony will be ready to hit the road!
- When your pony is kitted out in his travelling gear, confidently lead him straight up the centre of the ramp. Give him enough room on approach to see where you’re asking him to go – don’t turn him right in front of the ramp.
- Lead him into position, turning his shoulders so he’s facing the right direction. Gently guide his hindquarters round if necessary, too.
- Ask your helper to hold your pony while you secure the partition.
- Tie him up with a quick-release knot, short enough that he can’t get tangled up but can still move his head.
- With your helper, push the ramp up and secure it. Remember to stand to the side of the ramp, never underneath it.
Use our top tips to perfect your loading technique…
- Your pony might move strangely with his travel boots on, so walk him round to let him get used to them before you load him.
- If it’s cold, put a wicking-type rug, such as a fleece or cooler, on him to keep him warm. Over the summer months, or if he’s travelling in company, he may be warm enough without a rug.
- Always have a person helping you while you load your pony – otherwise you’ll run out of hands to do everything safely!
- Stay by your pony’s shoulder as you lead him up the ramp – if you get ahead of him and pull, he may be reluctant to follow.
- Never tie your pony up before the partitions are secure, otherwise he could hurt himself if he tries to escape.
- Remember to always wear a securely fastened hat, boots and gloves when loading your pony.
Head over to PONY TV at ponymag.com to check out our loading how-to video! Watch how to load and unload safely.
PONY essentials: loading and unloading your pony