Long distance travel is very stressful for most horses. Here is a list of things you can do to make sure your road trip with your equine partner is success!
Truck and Trailer Care:
- Make sure your truck is up on it’s oil change, and has been serviced regularly.
- Make sure you always have $100 cash on you, a spare tire, a star wrench, and a trailer aid. When you’re hauling horses, it’s always better to change a tire yourself, versus waiting possibly hours for someone to come out and do it for you.
- If you haul long distances frequently, it might be worth investing in US Rider insurance for your truck and trailer. Along with towing and flat tires, they will also help you find accommodations for your horse if it’s not a quick fix.
- Horses stomachs are sensitive, plan ahead and bring a bag of grain so your horse can gradually change over to a new feed if you are moving barns. If possible, also bring hay.
- Is your horse not a seasoned traveler? If he is a good eater add a cup of mineral oil to his feed the two days before the road trip. Horses often get constipated when forced to stand still for long periods of time. This is the best way to prevent impaction (Colic) if you horse is not a picky eater.
- If your horse is a picky eater, and you have a long trailer ride coming up, the best preventative to impaction colic is having the vet tube your horse with mineral oil.
- If you’re traveling to Florida, it’s imperative that you have a coggins and health certificate pulled. If the vet is coming out to pull a health cert, and your horse if not used to long distance traveling (12hrs+) I would highly recommend getting him tubed with mineral oil.
On the Journey:
- Before the haul, take him for a 10 minute power walk. Every 4 hours stop for at least 15-20 minutes to offer water and give your horses a leg rest. If your horse has a good brain and you are comfortable with it, give them a ½ of their usual rations that has been soaked in water on the ground. When horses are allowed to put their heads down they will clear their sinuses and lungs and this can prevent any minor respiratory issues upon arrival.
- Do not be surprised if your horse does not drink in the first 6-8hrs. The best thing you can do is bring containers of water that tastes familiar to your horse. Especially if it’s a long haul, the more you can do to make your horse feel at home, the better.
- Bring enough familiar hay to keep refilling the hay net. A little bit of comfort can go a long way. If your horse has respiratory issues, wet the hay. It really does matter.
Written by Team Horze rider, Ashley Kehoe