Traveling with your horses can be exciting and a lot of fun but only if it’s a successful and relatively uneventful journey. When things go wrong they can be devastating to both your nerves and your horse’s wellbeing. All of these factors can affect you and your horse’s ability to perform at your very best. There are a few things to consider before loading up your horse for a long distance haul.
- Are you prepared for any vehicle or trailer maintenance issues? Do you have the correct tools and services to get you back on the road quickly?
- How long will you be on the road? Will an overnight stop or rest break be necessary for your horse?
- What are the weather or climate conditions where you are traveling? Are you traveling from the south to several states north? Will you need blankets? Are you traveling far south in the winter? Have you prepared your trailer for proper ventilation?
- Do you have a first aid kit on board for emergencies? Medication or bandage material? Do you recognize symptoms of “Road Founder”?
- Are you aware of the surface you will be bedding your horse on? Dirt floor, concrete or asphalt? Do you have proper bedding there to insure your horses comfort? Is the stable area well ventilated? Poorly ventilated stabling can lead to the spread of infections and poor respiratory conditions not to mention the ammonia smell that can be irritating to the airway of your horse.
- Have you prepared enough feed and hay for your horses travel? Does your horse drink less when they are away from home? You might have to carry water from home.
- Is your tack, equipment and tools of your trade in perfect condition? Bell boots, leg bandages, and ropes ready for proper use in an important competition?
Horses tend to easily find trouble, so it’s important that we are always prepared for the unpredictable. These trailering tips are good to remember just in case you need them. Here’s hoping you won’t, but like the Boy Scouts always say, “Be Prepared!”
This article was written by Dr. Steven C. Allday, DVM, vet to top equine athletes around the globe. He is also an entrepreneur, founding the company that manufactures LubriSynHA, one of the industry’s most widely used natural equine joint supplements, and Re-Borne, a whole, concentrated liquid bovine colostrum-based feed supplement that helps horses develop lean muscle mass and bounce back quicker from adversity. For more information, visit www.lubrisyn.com or www.re-borne.com.