The stress of transport can cause gastric ulcers or serious illness in horses. Read our tips to help relieve the stress of trailer travel.
Every four hours, give your horse a chance to urinate, and walk around a bit. Comfort breaks take a bit of pre-planning, but the reduction in fatigue and stress to your horse is well worth the effort.
It's easy for horses to become dehydrated during transportation. Offer them water periodically. Adding an electrolyte will help rehydration and give them energy for the journey.
Offering travelling horses their regular feed helps them stay calm, retain water in their gut, and reduces the risk of gastric ulcers and colic.
Pathogens and dust from hay and dried manure can quickly enter a horse's respiratory system. Wetting hay can help, and always make sure the trailer is cleaned thoroughly before any trip. If there is a history of inflammatory airway disease, consider therapy before travelling.
Proper ventilation keeps your horse cooler and less susceptible to potentially toxic airborne particles in the trailer.
Allowing them the ability to lower their heads below their shoulders means horses are less likely to suffer respiratory stress. It's how they naturally carry their heads, allowing them to breathe comfortably.
Remember, a slow and steady journey is not only safer, but it's also much less stressful for the horse.
Loading is often the most stressful part of the trailering experience for horses. It's a good idea for you to practice loading your horse several times a year, so you're both comfortable with the procedure.
Learn how to measure your horse's vital signs during travel. If your horse does get sick or shows signs of pain during the trip, you'll be able to give the vet the information they need.
Always carry an emergency first aid kit, including an extra supply of your horse’s medications. Learn how to recognise the signs of transport stress such as dehydration, ulcers and colic. And carry extra feed supplies. You never know, your trip may take longer than planned.