I worked with this truly lovely mare yesterday who has just become a little bit sticky about loading. The original problem we think was with the travelling itself but her owners have been out and got this roomy trailer and she seems much happier about being in it. The key seemed to be the use of angles to ask her not to plant her feet at the bottom of the ramp and very soon she was going on easily, doubly rewarded by the release of subtle pressure and a clickered treat. She was so clever with her feet - really careful and once she knew we were going to be the same, she was very amenable. With practice, she should be set up for the rest of the year and beyond.
This is really the time of year to start addressing any loading problems so that there is no rush to prepare for the first event. Even more so this year as I am going to be away for most of March and won't be able to work with any horses during that time. With the house and horses being looked after, I shall be in the rainforest of Guyana!
Email received 14.1.13: "Thank you so much for coming up and helping us, it was amazing to watch and learn from you. I already feel more of a bond forming between me and Mia using the ground work techniques you showed me. Mia is good and we've had one practice session in the school last Friday where she walked straight in on the first go!"BS