Traveling Is Hard on Your Horse
Traveling is harder on your horse than you think. Tired, stressed horses are more likely to hurt themselves in the trailer, and they are more susceptible to illness during and after the trip.
Traveling in a trailer causes:
- A decrease in immune function
- Muscle fatigue
- Respiratory stress
- Digestive imbalances and dehydration
The longer a horse is in the trailer the more stress their systems are put under.
8 things you can do to reduce travel stress:
- Drive smoothly to reduce muscle fatigue from constant shifting in the trailer.
- Make sure your horse is fit enough for long trips.
- Adjust vents and windows to improve ventilation; remove soiled bedding to reduce ammonia buildup.
- Keep the trailer at a comfortable temp; check blanketed horses often.
- On long trips, stop periodically to allow your horse a chance to lower his head and relax. Lowering of the head allows the airway to clear itself of airborne particles that tend to collect during travel.
- After a short competition give your horse an hour or so to rehydrate and relax before hauling home.
- After a strenuous competition or events, stay overnight and leave the next morning when your horse is less tired and has had a chance to recover (especially when it is a long way home).
- Support your horses with the appropriate supplements.