Travelling with horses by vehicle is often necessary when you are involved in the equestrian field. This can be particularly stressful for the animals but there are steps you can take to ensure the trip goes as smoothly as possible for both you and the horse.
1. Take note of the weather
If at all possible you should schedule your trip around the weather. Avoid driving on rainy days so that you avoid the risk of skidding and getting into accidents. It is much more difficult to brake properly and in time when on a wet road with a trailer attached to your vehicle – never mind the heavy animal being chauffeured behind you!
Try and plan the trip to fall on days that are not too hot so that you avoid overheating and dehydration of your horse. If your trip is in the summer you should attempt to miss the peak of the day’s temperature by leaving early in the morning.
2. Make frequent stops
If your horse seems calm and the destination is not too far you can drive straight through. However, if it is a long journey stop at least every hour and a half to check on your horse. Make sure you have space for your horse to stretch its legs once you arrive at your destination.
3. Make sure the animal is fed and hydrated
Your horse should eat and drink its fill before the trip. Take food and water along in the event that you are delayed for any reason. A stressed horse dehydrates faster than it normally would and travelling is undeniably stressful to the animal. Be on the lookout for signs of dehydration during and after the journey. These include:
- Reduced appetite
- Licking surfaces
- Gulping water
- Infrequent urination
If the problem persists you can aid your animal with a nutritional tonic for horses in the form of ReCharge to rehydrate the horse and replenish its lost electrolytes.
4. Keep stress to a minimum
By following the steps mentioned above you can minimise stress on the trip. In order to prepare your horse for a long journey you can take to practicing loading and unloading the animal prior to the trip. While on the expedition look for signs of a stressed horse, these include:
- Excessive sweating
- Upset stomach and excessive urination
- Weaving – swaying of the head and neck from one side to the other repetitively
5. Give your horse a calmative
The easiest way to avoid stressing your animal to the point of dehydration is to provide the horse with a calmative. The natural qualities of Rigly Tranquil for horses provide the animal with vitamin B which has a calming effect on the nervous system. This can be used in any situation that has caused your horse stress. It may be the only sure-fire way to ensure that your horse is calm and healthy when you reach your destination.