Travel Tips for Horses – Part 1: Plan Ahead
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Begin changes early
It is important to change your horse’s diet and feeding schedule as little as possible.
If you know you won’t be able to stick to your normal feeding schedule, begin to acclimate your horse to the new schedule seven to ten days prior to your departure
If your horse is normally out on pasture all day, you will need to start slowly weaning him off grass and start adding hay to the diet so his digestive tract has time to adapt to the change.
It is best to take enough hay and concentrate (grain or pellets) to last the entire trip.
If you can’t take all of your hay and concentrate with you, be sure to take enough so that you can slowly introduce new feedstuffs (both hay and concentrates) over a five- to seven-day period.
If you have a picky horse that isn’t fond of strange water, bring water from home or acclimate your horse to flavored water before you leave on your trip.
Traveling is stressful for horses.
Regardless of how careful you are, some change and stress is inevitable; therefore, horses on the go can benefit from added support through nutritional supplementation.
Travel supplement checklist
- Ensure a healthy digestive tract through supplementation.
- Research has shown that when a horse’s routine and diet are disrupted, he can develop gastric ulcers in a matter of days.
- Protect your horse from dehydration.
- Excessive sweating and poor water intake can lead to dehydration.
- Support a strong immune system and healthy neuromuscular functions.
- Vitamin E requirements increase when a horse is stressed. Without adequate amounts of natural vitamin E your horse is more susceptible to illness.
- Provide extra energy if needed.
- Depending on what activity your horse will be participating in while away from home, he might need more energy than your regular ration provides