Travelling goes hand in hand with owning horses, but a bad journey can have dire consequences. Here are 12 ways to make transporting your horse as stress-free as possible:
1. On long journeys of more than three hours, pull over and untie the horse so that he can lower his head. This helps decrease the risk of pneumonia or shipping fever.
. Use appropriate protective travel boots or bandages
— a lot of damage can be done by hooves and legs becoming trapped under a partition or kicking at the sides, but make sure your horse is comfortable and confident wearing them.
3. With the above point in mind, avoid over-clothing your horse. They don’t feel the cold as much as we do and too cool is preferable to too warm.
4. Keep your horse’s management as normal as possible. For example, using your own hay means there is no sudden change in diet. Offer water at regular intervals, too.
5. Take out emergency rescue cover that includes horses and store the membership card in your vehicle.
6. Double check that your horse’s passport is on board as it’s illegal to transport your horse without it.
7. Ensure that you carry extra hay and water for your horse, plus warm clothes and refreshments for you, just in case.
8. Work out where veterinary practices are along your route. Mark them on a map and record their contact details.
9. A long, hot and bumpy ride will takes its toll and tire your horse. Consider leaving earlier and stabling overnight if you can. The quality of driving effects the effort a horse must make to maintain balance, so drive smoothly and at reasonable speeds.
10. Loading is often the most traumatic part of travelling for horses, so allow plenty of time and don’t rush. Always make sure you stay calm, too, and never get cross. If your horse is young or inexperienced, practice loading into your vehicle before he is due to travel.
11. Plan frequent rest breaks to offer water and hay. Dehydration can trigger respiratory problems and increase the risk of colic.
12. Avoid respiratory problems by allowing adequate ventilation and cleaning out the vehicle regularly en route. Avoid dusty hay or bedding.
Are you contemplating a ‘road trip’
Here are a few necessities: travel boots in Charcoal; trailer tie in grey; soft leather headcollar in black with luxurious Mattes sheepskin additions; Eskadron lead rope in black with brass clip to match headcollar; Anky passport holder with faux fur pom pom.