Tips for a Successful Horse Transport
Transporting your horse long distance can be a big undertaking, but making sure you are prepared will help you combat anxiety and reduce the likelihood of something going wrong. Here is an overview of everything you need to know and do before taking your horse on the road.
Horse Transport Checklist
Whether you’re traveling to a show, a new home, or an exciting adventure, preparedness is important. Here are a few things to double check before you leave.
Get Your Trailer Ready
Especially if you’re going on a long trip or you haven’t used your trailer in a while, it’s a good idea to check it out before you go. Check tire pressure and tires, your spare, and your flat tire kit. Go over the entire trailer and check the floor, vents, windows, and doors to be sure everything is structurally sound and operates as it should. Hook the trailer up and check wiring, lights, and brakes. If you don’t feel qualified to do these safety checks yourself, you should leave yourself enough time to schedule an inspection.
Get Your Horse Ready
Whether you’re planning on traveling within the state or between states, it’s a good idea to give your vet a call. Make sure you have a recent health certificate and pack your brand inspection paperwork, if your state requires it.
Getting your horse ready may also mean making sure he is comfortable loading, riding, and unloading in the trailer. This may mean starting to practice as much as weeks in advance. A horse that is comfortable with the trailer will be less prone to anxiety and related health issues during the trip.
Bring Food and Water
One good way to reduce the likelihood of anxiety-related dehydration or colic is to bring food and water from home. It will help reduce your horse’s anxiety if he can munch on the journey, but also, when traveling many horses will refuse water that tastes different. If you can’t bring enough water for the trip, a helpful trick is to start flavoring your horse’s water with Gatorade weeks in advance, so that you can flavor any water you get during the trip to make it taste more familiar.
Take Parking Breaks Every Four Hours
Just like you need the occasional rest break, so does your horse. Don’t get them off the trailer unless it’s an overnight stop and you have someplace for them to stay, however. It’s enough to offer water, replenish food, and give them a short break from the vibrations of a trailer in motion.
Finding a Reputable Horse Transport Company
Even if you aren’t planning on transporting your horse yourself, you still have some work to do. You’ll still need to make sure your horse’s vet care is up to date, provide copies of the necessary paperwork for the transport company, and familiarize your horse with trailering so he’s not a nervous wreck. The transport company will have their own water, but you may still need to provide your horse’s feed.
Instead of making sure your trailer is safe to make the trip, however, you’ll need to find a transport company you can trust to keep your horse safe. Ask other horse owners for recommendations, and read reviews of any horse transport company before entrusting them with the safety of your horse.
Making sure you’re prepared for the journey can reduce the likelihood of problems on the road. For more information on feeding on go, such as how pelleted feed can make horse transport easier, contact Sacate Pellet Mills at 602-237-3809.