Transporting Horses: Tips For Success

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April 28th 2019
Published: April 28th 2019
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Horse in pastureHorse in pastureHorse in pasture

Horse galloping through pasture
When you are the owner of one or more horses, it will sometimes be necessary for you to hitch up the old horse trailer and transport them on a long-distance trip. Whether you're moving to a new city, off to a horse show or rodeo, or on your way to a fun-filled vacation with plenty of open trails for riding, it's important to know how to safely get your horse from Point A to Point B. Here are some helpful tips to keep you and your horse safe on the road, and to make transporting your horse more efficient and less stressful for everyone involved.

Do Your Homework

When transporting your horse across state lines, it is often required that you provide the correct paperwork and evidence of your horse's up-to-date vaccination record to be allowed into the state. Some typical travel documents people will want to see include a health certificate, brand inspection document, and a negative Coggins test, which ensures that your horse is safeguarded against EIA, or Equine Infectious Anemia. Be sure to keep all of these documents with you on your trip to avoid any unforeseen issues

Check the Vitals

Traveling can put your horse under larger amounts of stress than normal, and it is common for horses to experience anxiety when riding in a trailer for long periods of time. Because of this, it is essential that you monitor your horse's vital signs, such as temperature, pulse, and respiratory rate at regular intervals throughout your journey. If your horse is prone to travel anxiety, ask your veterinarian whether administering a specialized CBD oil for horsesmay be of benefit. A growing number of horse owners have started giving the popular and beneficial hemp oil to their horses to lessen anxiety and keep them calm during transport. Your equine vet will be able to let you know whether CBD oil is right for your horse, as well as the proper dosage and administration techniques.

Keep Your Horse Fed

Keeping your horse adequately fed and watered during travel is of major importance. Bring a hay bag for each horse you're transporting, as well as an additional 1-2 week supply of hay from your home barn for the duration of the trip. Since it can be difficult to maintain a constant water supply inside a horse trailer, make sure to pause at every rest stop and give your horse a water break. If possible, bring a tank of the water you use at your barn with you, as horses sometimes won't drink water that smells or tastes different from what they're used to. If this is not feasible, begin flavoring your horse's water for a week or two before you leave home, then add the same flavor packet to the water during the trip.

Avoid Leg Stress

Since your horse will be standing up in the trailer for hours on end as he or she is being transported, it's crucial to make sure to avoid placing too much pressure on their legs. This can be accomplished with soft bedding on the floor of the trailer to reduce stress placed on the leg joints and feet during the trip.

Traveling with your horse can be exciting and rewarding in a number of ways. By following the correct steps to properly transport your horse, you will both arrive at your destination safe and sound, and ready to have some fun!


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