Whether you travel your horse in a trailer or a lorry, there are some things you can do to make the whole experience a much safer and positive one for him. Here are our top tips:
- Make sure haynets are securely tied up so they don’t end up on the floor and between his legs. If you give your horse a net whist travelling, making use of a hay bag such as those from Haygrazer can not only prevent accidents such as the horse putting his leg through the holes of a net whilst on the lorry or trailer, but also ensures that horses are kept mentally stimulated working out how to get the hay out and prevents them from gorging on it meaning your horse isn’t bloated and lazy by the time you arrive at your competition! The nets are also great to hang on the outside of the lorry or trailer as the fabric limits scratching to the paintwork.
- Just like you, your horse can get hungry and thirsty on a long journey, so build in stops en-route when you can give him a drink and some hay every three hours or so
- Take time to load your horse – this is often the most stressful part of the journey for horse and owner, so make it as easy as possible for both of you
- Put your horse in travel boots and protective leg wear prior to loading – they need protection from their own hooves should they start kicking the sides of the vehicle, and you don’t want to put yourself at risk by trying to put boots on once the horse is loaded. We love the travel boots from Falpro which are great at keeping legs cool and dry as the fabric is breathable but also protects them from bumps and bruises whilst travelling.
- Ensure you have some vehicle recovery insurance should you breakdown on your travels – there’s nothing worse than sitting broken down on the side of the road with horses loaded and no recovery plan (many insurance companies will not transport livestock in the event of a vehicle recovery – although they will take the vehicle ironically – check your cover!)
- Don’t overheat your horse by loading him up with rugs – even if it’s cold outside they don’t feel the cold like we do and overheating will cause stress. Falpro have a wide selection of cooler rugs ideal for travelling your horse in, keeping him not only clean but at the perfect temperature, too.
- Keep plenty of ventilation inside the vehicle – open vents and windows where possible to keep a flow of cool air
- If your journey is a really long one, consider stabling your horse overnight en-route to break up the journey, or find safe stopping places where you can unload, stretch their legs and muck out the vehicle along the way
- Think about your driving – horses need to maintain balance so jerky, fast or inconsiderate driving will give them a bad ride
Happy horses, happy journeys!
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