"Loading the Problem Loader: The Effects of Target Training and Shaping on Trailer-Loading Behavior of Horses," a research paper published by Dawnery L. Ferguson and Jesus Rosales-Ruiz, University of North Texas, in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis 34 (1002): 409-424.
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to develop an effective method for trailer loading horses based on principles of positive reinforcement. Target training and shaping were used to teach trailer-loading behavior to 5 quarter horse mares in a natural setting. All 5 had been trailer loaded before through the use of aversive stimulation. Successive approximations to loading and inappropriate behaviors were the dependent variables. After training a horse to approach a target, the target was moved to various locations inside the trailer. Horses started training on the left side of a two-horse trailer. After a horse was loading on the left side, she was moved to the right side, then to loading half on the right and half on the left. A limited-hold procedure and the presence of a companion horse seemed to facilitate training for 1 horse. Inappropriate behaviors fell to zero immediately after target training, and all the horses successfully completed the shaping sequence. Finally, these effects were observed to generalize to novel conditions (a different trainer and a different trailer).
To read the article in full as a PDF, click here.