Better travels for your horse

21 Sep

Better travels for your horse

It’s the fall season, which means it’s a busy time for horse owners that compete in rodeo, or any type of showing.  It is important to make your travels as safe and comfortable for your horse as possible, being in a trailer is one of the most unnatural things people ask their horse to do.  Here are a few tips that can help you prepare a safe travel, and to always be prepared.

On the road again

Before a long weekend in the trailer it never hurts to do a full inspection, making sure there is nothing horses could injure themselves on, just as rocks on the floor board could injure a hoof from stomping, even check for louse wire or anything they could cut themselves on.  Cover the floor with some form of metrical for traction, and support.  Starting with a  rubber mats is the best, then covering that with wood shavings, straw, or even some dirt.  If you do use dirt or straw make sure to keep it from drying out, otherwise the dust can also do harm to the horses lungs.  

Simple check lists

Once the trailer is set for horse comfort on the inside, check the pulling functions of the trailer for safely before hooking up, and then after.  The best way to go about doing this is to have a list you can check each time, such as the one here:

Before hooking up

  • Check tire pressure
  • Adjust brake controller
  • Check spare tier
  • Test break battery
  • Emergency equipment is in the trailer (in case of a flat)

After the trailer is hooked up

  • Test your breaks
  • Make sure ball is latched
  • Safety chains are hooked.
  • Make sure all doors and windows latch properly

Needs of the horse

Your trailer safety isn’t the only important part about traveling with a horse, much like a child you have to pack plenty of items for their care.  The most important items you need are food and water; it is common for horses to be picky about the water they drink so it helps to haul some water form home to keep them well hydrated.  Estimating the time you plan to be gone helps so you can pack enough hay to last you; it is beneficial to always pack more than you think you will need , it is  better have over feed then under.  Grains are a good source of protein, and will keep your horses energy up, but be sure to ration it on the road because too much on can cause a horse to colic; a better way to keep their energy up would be to start some form of vitamin supplement.  Having a first aid kit with you can be very beneficial, items that you would commonly need are:  vet wrap, gaze, some pain meds such as bute, iodine, antibacterial ointment, and fly spray.   For more serious problems that can occur you should as your vet before using but it is good to think about.  Nux Vomica , and Chamomil are good for digestive issues and colic. For tired and over worked horses a shot of Arnica, Ruhs Tox and Hypericum works great.  Apic and Pulsatilla can be a life saver in case of allergies, or swelling . Again before using any of these products, check with your vet.

Getting in trouble with the law

Now you have everything to prepare for a safe and comfortable ride for your horse, but don’t forget the legal system. If you are traveling outside your county or possibly state you need to Carrie some paper work with you.  State laws are all different but you should always have a copy of your brand papers, vaccination certificate, coggins test, and your horses’ papers or bill of sale.  If you do get in a position where one of these documents is needed and you cannot provide it, the situation can turn very bad, and find yourself in a legal dispute.

Over all traveling with a horse takes a lot of time to prepare, and a lot of care once on the road but is simple once you have a routine for the process, and everything set and loaded the first time.

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