Horse Travel Bandages & Transport Tips
Travelling with your Horse? Don't forget their passport, digestive supplements and horse travel bandages.
Travelling with a horse can be a stressful event, not just for you, but for the horse too. After all, a confined environment, changes to his feed and water intake and visiting new places, can all combine to create tension and anxiety in your animal. It's important to prepare your vehicle, yourself and your horse in advance of travelling to ensure a smooth journey. This could include checking the tyres on the horsebox are roadworthy, planning your route and making sure you have clean horse travel bandages at the ready.
Here are 16 tips to make transporting your horse a less stressful task.
• Check your horsebox or trailer before your journey to make sure it is roadworthy and safe, especially if it hasn't been used for a while. The last thing you would want is to breakdown on a journey with your horse.
• On that note, invest in an emergency rescue policy that includes horses. Make sure you keep the membership card in your vehicle whilst travelling.
• Check your mobile phone is fully charged and take a charger with you.
• Don't leave home without your horse's passport. It's actually against the law to transport your horse without it.
• Carry a first aid kit - for horses and humans. When you are out on the road it's always good to be prepared for minor injuries. Check out our guide to stocking up your first aid kit .
• Carry more hay and water than you think you might need, just in case. Also it might be a good idea to carry some supplies for yourself as well.
• Don't travel if your horse is ill. Even having a mild illness before they travel can make them more likely to develop serious health conditions. This includes shipping fever – a respiratory disease related to long periods of travel, by road, air and sea.
• On journeys longer than three hours, find somewhere safe to stop and untie your horse. This will allow him to lower his head to a more natural position and help to clear mucus; reducing the risk of him contracting pneumonia or shipping fever. You could always use some treats to encourage him to lower his head too.
• Allow adequate ventilation and be sure to clean out the vehicle regularly during your journey. It's a good idea to avoid dusty hay if possible. This will reduce the chances of respiratory problems.
• If possible, try to keep your horses feed or hay the same as usual. This helps to prevent sudden changes in diet which can cause upset.
• Consider using digestive enhancer supplements at stages of the journey. This will aid your horse's digestion.
• Avoid over-clothing your horse for the conditions. Remember, your horse will be using his muscles to balance on the journey. Horses aren't as susceptible to cold temperatures as we humans are and they prefer to be too cool than too warm.
• Use horse travel bandages or boots. This helps to protect horses' legs if they catch them on a partition or accidentally kick themselves during transport. It's important to make sure your horse is comfortable, so keep the bandage wrinkle free and the pressure even when putting them on. Horse travel bandages will also offer some extra support for the lower leg.
• Plan your route in advance, consider the size of your vehicle and watch out for bridges and narrow roads. Check the traffic before you leave too.
• Find out where veterinary practices are on your route. This will ensure that if your horse does need urgent care you know where to find it and can reach it quickly.
• Your horse will become tired after a long, hot ride. Think about leaving home earlier and stabling overnight if possible. The quality of your driving will have an effect on the effort your horse must make to keep his balance. Be sure to drive as smoothly as you can and at reasonable speeds.
Whether you plan on transporting your horse to your local show in a trailer or taking them further across the country in a sophisticated lorry, you'll want to ensure that the journey is smooth and without any long delays. Following these tips will help ensure that stress is kept to a minimum, for both you and your horse.