Whether you bought a horse in an online sale, are sending off the horse for a competition, or are planning to move your horse to your new location across the country, there are many reasons as to why you might have to ship horses. Some do the job of transporting horses themselves while others hire professional horse transport services to do the job.
Regardless of the transporter in charge, travelling a long distance can be pretty stressful and exhausting for the horse. Factors like the temperature extremities, bugs and insects, humidity, poor ventilation, and dehydration can all have an impact on the quality of travelling. Thus, whenever you are travelling a horse, you have to make sure that they are well-prepared to manage the long haul. Below is an assisting guide as to how you can prepare your horse for the long-distance travel and the factors that you need to keep in mind while transporting your horse.
- Preparation for Traveling
Whether you are travelling the horse for a competition or are simply taking it for a checkup at the veterinary clinic, you have to be fully prepared for the possibility of transporting the horse while making sure that their safety and comfort is never compromised. A bad travelling experience or a trip can leave a negative impression and can make it difficult for the horse to cooperate for a similar venture in the future.
Before sending your horse off to long-distance travel, you have to make sure that the horse is completely healthy, conditioned, and vaccinated a month before the trip. Getting the horse examined and having the paperwork done in advance will rid you of any stress at the time of departure. If loading is a recurrent issue with your horse, figure out why the horse is acting irritated and try to make the experience more comfortable for them. Consider hiring horse transport services for a more professional and comfortable experience.
- Training to Load
Getting a horse to become comfortable with the process of loading requires patience and practice. You cannot leave the preparatory process to the very last minute or force the horse into a panic loading situation under any circumstances. It is not easy for the horse to walk up the ramp into a constricted small space. Try to pace out the process properly and avoid rushing the horse into loading. There are many different approaches you can adopt when loading a horse, keeping in mind their comfort and safety.
You can use food as a treat for the horse when they get up the ramp. If loading or travelling has been an issue with your horse in the past, try to consider all the aspects of your horse’s journey and be wary of the type of transporter you use.
- Fluctuating Weather Conditions
When travelling a long distance across the country, you often have to deal with changing weather patterns and temperature extremities. Whatever the weather shift might be, you have to make sure that you keep your horse hydrated at all times. Adequate hydration assists in letting out a healthy sweat in warmer climates and minimalize the chances of coli in colder conditions.
The process of hydration and supplemental nutrition should start a few days before the big trip. The horse must be fed multiple meals of bran mash or slurry with added electrolytes to promote drinking. During the travel, make sure to stop every three to five hours to offer the horse water and check if they might need anything else for comfort. You want to make sure that the travelling compartment is sufficiently ventilated with a window or a top vent to prevent suffocation.
- Protective Clothing for Safety
To prevent any injury and to ensure safe travel, the horse must wear protective clothing during the trip. The protective clothing must be well-fitted and should be of an appropriate type considering the weather conditions and the horse’s requirements. The horse must wear a leather collar and a poll guard to prevent any head injury. The legs can be protected using bandages or certain leg protectors. Whatever you choose, make sure it is a suitable fit and is comfortable to apply on the horse.
Traveling a horse can be considerably challenging when you have not had any prior experience or when you have not done adequate preparation. You have to take into account all of the different aspects and factors that will ensure a safe and smooth traveling operation. You might want to get in touch with a professional transporting service if you are unsure of the process.