Walking Forward Down a Ramp
- If you have a trailer, untie the horse or horses before lifting the front bars, in case they try to rush out. If more than one horse is travelling, first unload the one nearest to the ramp, keeping him near by while you move the front of the partition across to prevent the second horse scraping himself or getting stuck.
- When unloading from a horsebox, make sure that the horse will stand safely while any doors and partitions which might otherwise swing and hit him, are secured back. Unless you can do this single-handed, you will need help. Always lead a horse straight and steady down the centre of the ramp.
Backing OffWith a Helper: Untie the horse before your helper lowers the ramp and removes the bars or straps. The helper should stand to the side and never directly behind the ramp or horse, where he could get crushed. While you back the horse out, the helper should be ready to keep the horse straight, by placing a hand on his quarters to prevent him from stepping over the side of the ramp and scraping his hind legs.
If there are two horses: It is safest to have one person at each horse’s head, and two helpers – one on each side of the ramp. Both bars or straps should be removed before the ramp is lowered, and the horses should be encouraged to back out independently, in a slow and careful manner.
If you have only one helper to unload two horses: Park the trailer alongside a wall, hedge or substantial fence. Untie both horses, putting the rope over the neck of the horse who is on the side away from the wall. Your helper should then lower the ramp, unfasten both straps or bars, and stand to the side of the ramp away from the wall. You should follow the horse who is on the side of the wall, and your helper will be able to catch the other horse as he backs out.
NOTE: If a horse rushes back, do not hang on his head. Hopefully a helper will be able to catch hold of the headcollar rope; but if not, it is far better for him to go loose than to damage himself by rearing and hitting his head, or going over backwards.