How To Care For Horses When Travelling

The requirements for horses when travelling are similar to those of a horse in a loose box / stable. He should be warm in the winter and kept from being too hot in the warmer months. Have a plentiful supply of fresh air without a draught, a non slip surface / footing and the least amount of noise / disturbance as can be maintained. Many horses adapt well to traveling and will travel well if given the space and are driven with care and consideration along with the suspension of the transporter being good. Many horses sweat when traveling so common sense will tell the handler what rug would be the most suitable for the journey that is to be undertaken. On long journeys regular checks should be done to ensure that the horse(s) stay comfortable and content throughout their journey. It is important to remember that the more horses travelling in the horsebox, the higher the temperature will be. Temperature can be regulated in trailers with the opening / closing of the back doors of the trailer (they should not be left open when on motorways, extreme cold or in heavy traffic). Food and water are not required on short journeys although the availability of hay can calm nervous horses. On long journeys water should be offered regularly and hay available.

Clothing for the horse should be chosen with consideration, temperature on the day of travelling, travelling alone or with company, type of horse, type of vehicle and length of journey will all affect the types of clothing chosen for the horse. Essential items for every horse when travelling include head collar and clip on lead rope, bandages and leg pads or travel boots, tail bandage or tail guard, sweat rugs / summer sheet / or other day rugs (dependant on the temperature). A sweat rug is the most effective on longer journeys for regulating the horses temperature should he sweat. All rugs should be secured with a roller if they do not have cross over surcingle straps.

The most important thing to remember is common sense, safety and the welfare of the horse.

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