Travelling your horse can be stressful at the best of times, so a trip to the vets can cause extra stress. Kate Lambert REVNS shares a few tips from our nursing team to make travelling your horse or pony as stress free as possible.
- Practice! Some horses may go out every week to shows so travelling is routine for them. However a lot of young horses and older horses may not have been in a horsebox of trailer for some time. So practicing loading your horse or pony at least every month to encourage your horse to stay confident whilst loading and travelling.
- Your horse transport should have regular safety checks to ensure it is safe for purpose, close attention should be given to flooring and tyre pressures.
- Allow plenty of time for your journey so your horse can have a smooth ride.
- Travel your horse in suitable rugs (if required) in winter or colder days a breathable rug (such as a fleece or cooler) may be required. Turnout rugs should not be used. Over rugging a horse for travel can cause stress.
- Travel your horse in what they are used to travelling in, this may be full set of travel boots, brushing boots, or nothing at all. It is important that any safety gear is practiced at home first, so any equipment that causes stress can be spotted before they travel.
- Horses should be travelled in a well fitted head collar (ideally leather). Pressure halter and bridles should be removed once on the trailer.
- Horses should be tied up to thin bailing twine or a release clip with a quick release knot.
- Ensure you have enough hay and water on board to allow for unforeseen circumstances such as traffic jams.
- Also have emergency contact numbers somewhere visible on your transport so if your horse is left unattended and an incident occurs you can be contacted straight away.