There is going to be a day when you are going to be faced with having to transport your horse away from your property. If your horse hasn't been trained to load and unload from a trailer, you are in for an interesting experience. The fact of the matter is horse transportation can be a stressful time for both you and your horse.
Not to mention the level of frustration you are going to feel if the process doesn't go smoothly. This can also end up becoming a dangerous situation too.
Therefore I strongly recommend you read the rest of this article and start practicing loading and unloading your horse soon.
Horse Transportation Safety Points
The trailer you choose to use to move your horse in must be strong and safe for highway transportation. In addition to these considerations, the trailer should be safe on the inside as well. Here are a few items to check to ensure the experience is a positive one for both you and your horse.
These should be smooth and free of jagged edges or any bumpy or sharp points. Otherwise these can become hazards that may injure your horse.
The flooring of your horse trailer should have a non-slip surface. The loading ramp should have foot patters to provide a secure grip as your horse walks on it.
There should be enough headspace inside the trailer to permit your horse to stand in a natural posture. The space should not be cramped and provide free airflow.
If your trailer is large enough to transport two horses, be sure that the boards between the horses are adjusted to provide equal room for each. The adjustable partition between two horses should measure no less than 600mm high and 600mm off the floor.
Securing Two Horses
When moving two horses in a float, the heavier horse should be secured on the driver’s side.
Horse Care Transportation Tips
- Outside air direction from your vehicle should not filter inside the horse float
- A clean horse float prevents injury and sickness
- Before loading your horse, have all protective gear (hock/knee boots, rugs, bandages, hoods) stored securely
- The easiest way to load or unload your horse is with the use of lead ropes and headstalls
- Don't use heavy leather straps, belts, sticks, metal pipes, plastic rods or any other foreign object to load or unload your horse
- If you are hauling your horse for a considerable distance, be sure to stop and check on them regularly
- When you get to where you are going, enter the float quietly and untie your horse before you drop the ramp. This allows them to back out at their own pace
- Once you unload your horse, ensure you feed and water them immediately. Plus, give them some space to walk around and exercise their legs after standing for the duration of the trip
Post Transportation Care
Because your horse is a living being, it requires some basic needs such as food, water and shelter. Here’s a further breakdown of what they require.
Okay, it’s not as if your horse is going to get into a gang and do something wrong. But you really should keep an eye on your them post horse transportation. This means checking on them at least twice a day. Part of your check should be to ensure that your horse has enough feed and water. Give them a quick visual check to see if any injuries had occurred. And watch for signs of illness and know the contact information for a farrier or vet when needed.
Shelter And Exercise Space
You’ve heard the saying, “I need some space” haven’t you? Well, your horse is very much in need of it in order to exercise by moving around. Your horse will want to be able to walk, trot, wander, explore, roll and run in a space that is safe and open.
Your horse requires a shelter that will provide shade and protection from the elements. And it's also a good idea to cover them with a waterproof rug or blanket for those cold and rainy days.
The fencing that surrounds the shelter and open space that your horse has as a playground should be in good condition. To prevent injuries and the occasional escape, check the fencing on a regular basis and repair when needed. Also make sure that the grazing paddock doesn't contain anything that may injure your horse or make them sick in any way.
Horse Transportation Tips Conclusion
It may sound like a lot of work, and there are times when that is very true, but taking good care of a horse requires attention and dedication. When you are able to handle horse transportation without problems as well as provide basic care needs, your horse will remain healthy and strong. With a healthy and strong horse, you have a loyal companion that can take you on many outdoor riding adventures.