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Tips for Traveling with Your Horse


horse trailer 2Here are some quick tips to help you make traveling as stress free and safe for your horse as possible.

1. Make sure your horse is dressed for the journey from the hooves up. You will have to keep your trailer windows open for ventilation, so be aware of the temperature and know if your horse will need a blanket. Make sure, before you load, that you protect their legs. The coronary band area is the most likely area to be injured while the horse is trailered and injuries can occur during loading, so protect them before you even start loading.

2. Stop for a break every few hours and offer water and a treat. Your horse will appreciate the rest and attention they receive. Remember, riding in a trailer is, for your horse, like riding in the subway for you. Imagine standing on the subway for hours at a time having to brace yourself with your legs. Exhausting.

3. Try to park in shade when you arrive at your destination and open the "people" door and top tailgate door so that air can circulate and your horse can become acclimated to the new surroundings.

4. Locate your assigned stall and check it over to make sure it is safe. Check walls, doors and floor. Be sure you locate the water faucet, manure area and trash facilities before you move your horse in. Once assured the area is safe, unpack everything EXCEPT your horse and get it moved into your stall. Get the stall ready for your horse and lay a nice layer of bedding down.

5. Hand walk your horse around the grounds so he can see what's going on. He'll also appreciate a chance to nibble any grass. If the drive was short you could take your horse for a short ride, but if the drive was a longer one, save saddle work for the next day.

6. Keep as much to your normal routine as you possibly can. It is difficult to do this if you're at a show or have changed time zones, but do your best. What changes must be made should be made slowly, giving your horse time to adapt. If your horse likes to graze you'll have to hand walk them a lot. If you have a horse that dislikes water that isn't from home, consider putting fruit flavored electrolyte powder into his water a few weeks before and during the competition that way he can't tell the difference.

7. Make sure you know your responsibilities upon leaving. Do you have to strip the stall? Or is just cleaning it okay?


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