• 32 Tips for Transporting Your Horse

32 Tips for Transporting Your Horse

      32 Tips for Transporting Your Horse

More than 50% of the injuries horses sustain in transportation are to the lower limbs. Ranging in severity, from treatable surface wounds to irreparable impairment, the main causes are scrambling, loss of balance and conflict with other horses. With less frequency are collisions, fires, over-turned trailers, trappings, falling and tying up. Although daunting, it is your responsibility to be aware of the risks for accidents and injuries and do the best you can to prepare for anything. You don’t want to be the one responsible for something that could have been prevented. Equally consider your own aptitude and preparation, your trailer safety and maintenance and your horses’ emotional and physical well-being.

1. Be aware of the location of vets and large animal rescue teams along your route
2. Make sure you have all required documentation and insurance coverage
3. Check all regulations and health requirements
4. Carry a First Aid Kit and know how to use it
5. Learn how to drive with the extra weight behind you and take it easy. Don’t be bullied into driving faster
6. Ensure you are well rested, stay alert and avoid any distractions
7. Know your vehicle and read the owner’s manual

8. Check your brakes, wheels, landing poles and jacks. Lubricate as required
9. Replace batteries as required for lights, safety breakaway and camera monitors
10. Check your tire tread and pressure
11. Check your shocks. The vibration of travel can aggravate your horses’ joints, muscular and skeletal structure, making your horse sore and stiff. Always use Cavallo Transport Air Boots to absorb the shock of road travel
12. Make sure the inside of your trailer is clean and free of infestations, odors and bacteria
13. Make sure your flooring is solid with no soft or rusted areas
14. Check your hinges, doors, openings, side walls and roof for any problems
15. Cover protrusions like bolts or nuts with soft protective material

16. We assume that anyone reading this would not try loading a horse without proper training. If your horse won’t load, you need to increase the training. Never use anything like forceful electric prods to get the job done. Succumbing to short term measures rarely end well for the horse
17. Horses are herd animals. Transportation in compatible groups gives them emotional comfort. I have a friend whose horse suffered during a tire blowout, sustaining an injury and confined in the trailer until the road was closed and he could safely exit. He became very reluctant to enter a trailer after that. My friend installed mirrors to reflect him as a “companion” for himself, which seemed to provide the comfort of a herd and make the trailer more inviting
18. Always protect your horse’s feet with Cavallo Transport Air Boots. These will ensure proper traction to prevent scrambling and minimize the impact of any incident
19. The sound of road travel is strange for some horses, so make sure it is not increased by things like clanking chains and squeaks in your trailer. Try to keep his immediate environment quiet

20. Avoid respiratory problems and shipping fever by maximize fresh air circulation. It obviously becomes a bigger problem if there is little wind or frequent stops. Installing a fan may help
21. Remove soiled bedding often
22. As a horse’s survival instinct is to flee, restraint can increase worry and compromise the immune system. Unfit hoofs are a major source of anxiety. Another concern is restriction of their head and neck
23. Horses balance well and rest in a head down position, carrying their weight on the front quarters and resting one hind leg. Consider allowing a head free position in your trailer
24. There is some evidence that horses balance better facing in the opposite direction of travel
25. Allow room for your male horse to stretch out his hind quarters to urinate
26. Many of us are hesitant to use wraps or boots for fear of the leg overheating or the wraps coming undone. Simply use Transport Air Boots to prevent metal shoes from being pulled off or causing other damage to legs or your trailer
27. If your horse is uncomfortable, feels vulnerable, threatened or overly confined, he can refuse to eat or drink which can result in colic and gastro problems. Dehydration may be avoided by sprinkling a little salt on the grain to keep them thirsty
28. Not only is your horse vulnerable to the physical strain of road travel, but emotional stress and nervousness can be far-reaching. I always recommend feeding magnesium. It has a calming effect and can also keep them defecating
29. Always ensure their buckets are clean and fresh and the contents neither too warm nor cold. You might bring along their own familiar bucket from home
30. A couple of weeks before you depart, you could start including something like apple juice, apple cider vinegar or even a drink mix powder like Gatorade, so that this familiar taste carries through when the water taste changes
31. Usually if they are drinking, they will eat. If your horse loves his hay, bring as much familiar hay from home as you can

32. Rather than removing the metal shoes before a trip to prevent injury, you can now use your Cavallo Transport Air for overall protection, increased traction and shock absorption
                                                                                                 Travel well. Travel safely. Travel Protected. Travel Cavallo.


Many thanks to Carole Herder, President Cavallo Horse & Rider for allowing us to publish her article - 32 Tips for Transporting Your Horse