Summer brings great weather and many opportunities to participate in horse shows and competitions. Although fun, this raises many concerns that often prevent horse owners from venturing too far away from home. There is a lot to pay attention to, so follow these tips to ensure your horses are safe when traveling.
Tips to Keep Your Horses Safe When Traveling
- Practice walking each horse on the trailer everyday for a week before you plan on departing. Some horses become very uncomfortable in unfamiliar places, so this can prevent a huge headache the day you intend on leaving.
- Plan the trip so you drive less than 10 hours per day and take a break every three hours. You don’t need to let the horses out, but they have to work hard balancing their weight while traveling, so even a short break will give them much needed rest.
- Make sure your horses stay well hydrated. Some horses are very picky about their water, so either plan on stocking a lot on the trailer or adding a small amount of Gatorade to their water to hide any strange flavors.
- Call the places you plan on resting for the night to verify your reservations and ensure they have a safe place for your trailer. Do not stay overnight in a travel stop or along the side of a road.
- Add safety features to the trailer based on the behavior of each horse. If one tends to throw up his head, add a head bumper. If another one scrambles in place to maintain balance, add trailering boots. If one tends to move around a lot, make sure hay, water and other items in the trailer provide adequate space.
Traveling with horses can be stressful, but if you are well prepared and pay attention to each horse’s individual needs, the trip should be a breeze. Don’t hesitate to call your equine veterinarian if a concern arises.