Will you be traveling with your horse soon? Perhaps you’re showing, or maybe just trying out some new trails. Safety should always be your top priority when moving your horse. A Pickerington, OH vet offers some tips below.
Get Proper Equipment
You’ll need a good, solid horse trailer, and a truck powerful enough to haul it. Make sure that your hitch can handle the trailer’s tongue weight. Add-ons like sway bars are a good safety measure, and will definitely be worth the peace of mind.
Silver’s Travel Outfit
Shipping wraps can ease the strain on your horse’s legs, but only if they are put on properly. Bandages that were put on incorrectly can actually cause problems, such as bowed tendons. Take care when wrapping your horse’s legs. Also, Silver should only have a halter and (if necessary) a blanket on for travel. Tack him up when you reach your destination.
Hang ‘Em High
Silver will enjoy the trip much more if he can munch on hay during the ride. Keep the hay net high, though. If it’s too low, your horse could paw at it and get entangled in it. That’s a recipe for disaster!
Do An Inspection
Trailers stored outside can really take a beating from humidity, rain, snow, and heat. This can cause tires lose elasticity, which makes them more likely to blow out. Make sure your tires are in good condition. Look for rust, soft floorboards, and/or bad signal lights. Also, make sure wasps or other bugs haven’t moved in!
Trailers—especially aluminum ones—can get very hot in summer! Make sure Silver stays hydrated, and never leave him unattended.
Making The Trip Easier
Practice loading and unloading your horse. (Apples, carrots, and sugar cubes may come in handy here.) When unloading, untie Silver before lowering the rear divider. Many horses immediately back up when they feel that open ‘door,’ and can panic when they realize they’re still tied.
Some horses just make better travel buddies than others. Avoid putting Silver with a horse that is unruly or frightened. An agitated horse could kick or bite, and could injure—or at the very least upset—your equine buddy.
Last but not least, drive carefully. The road is no place to horse around!
Please contact us, your Pickerington, OH vet clinic, anytime. We are here to help!