Tips for Trailering Horses
Whenever you have to travel with your horses, it can put stress on them. This can potentially lead to injury or sickness. To keep your horses happy and healthy, we’ve compiled a list of tips to use when hauling your horses.
Get the right sized trailer. It’s important for your horse to be comfortable during travel. Having a trailer that is too small or is designed in a way that doesn’t allow for a horse to lower its head very far can force a horse to stand for hours in an unnatural position. Having problems finding a properly-sized trailer for your horses? Croft lets you special order customized Sundowner horse trailers that can be tailored for any size and number of horses.
Keep your trailer in tip-top shape. It’s always a good idea to regularly get your trailer inspected and maintained. It helps prevent potential breakdowns when traveling, and keeps you and your horses safer when on the road. Double-check that tail lights are in working order, tires and brakes aren’t worn down, and there isn’t any structural damage to your trailer before loading up. If you happen to be near Kansas City, Croft has 4 service centers that can maintain your trailer.
Maximize ventilation. Open up the vents and windows on your trailer to protect your horses from exhaust fumes or overheating. If traveling in cold weather, you can blanket your horses and redirect vents, instead of closing up the trailer. The more fresh air your horses can get, the better.
Wet the hay. Experts recommend soaking your horse’s hay when on the road. This prevents excess dust from blowing around inside your trailer, which could irritate your horse’s respiratory system. Besides dust control, wetting hay is also a great way to keep your horse from getting dehydrated, especially if they refuse to drink while on the road.
Provide familiar water. Often times, horses refuse to drink while they are traveling. To avoid a dehydrated horse, it may be a good idea to give them wet feed for several days before you leave. If you can use a familiar bucket and bring water from home, your horse may be more likely to drink as well. Another trick to get your horse to drink unfamiliar water is add a small packet of flavoring (such as lemonade) to your horse’s water at home for a few weeks. Adding the same flavor to the water you use on the road may mask any unfamiliar tastes and encourage healthy drinking habits on the road.
Let your horse rest. During a long trip, make sure you take breaks to check up on your horses. Top off their water and make sure they are still comfortable. Once you arrive, it’s a good idea to give your horses time to rest and build back their immune system. It is recommended that you give your horses between 3 days to a week of time to rest, especially before a strenuous competition.
While going to competitions and shows are fun and exciting, it’s never a good idea to rush without proper care for your horses. With these tips, you can help make your horses comfortable, happy, and healthy while traveling in a trailer.
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