Keeping Horses Safe Before, During and After Returning Home from a Trip

As the summer months approach, many horse owners will be hitting the road for some type of equine related activity.  There are several things that owners can do to ensure that their horses remain safe during all aspects of the journey.

One of the most important things that horse owners can do to ensure that their horse remains healthy is to keep them current on all vaccinations and keep them on a regular de-worming program.  It is very important to give vaccines early enough so that they will be able to induce the proper immune response before the trip.  Giving a vaccine just a few days before the journey will not give the vaccine enough time to properly work on the immune system and the horse will still be susceptible to the disease that the vaccine is designed to prevent.

During the trip, it is important to make sure that the horse is comfortable inside the trailer.  Most horse owners will bed the trailer with shavings and give their horse a good supply of hay to eat on the journey.  It is also important to offer the horse water frequently during the trip.

Once you have arrived at the final destination, it is important to carefully inspect the stall or pen in which the horse will be kept.  It is important to look for loose metal, nails and other materials that could possibly harm the horse.  If possible, it is a good idea to sweep the stall and remove any feces that may be on the ground or stuck to the stall panels.  This will keep the horse safe and hopefully prevent the horse from contracting any illnesses that the previous horse might have had.  It is also important to use your own buckets and feed so prevent the spreading of illnesses and to make the horse feel more comfortable.

After returning home from the journey, it is important to keep the horse separated from any other horses on the property for a few days, ideally two weeks.  This will prevent the horses that live on the property from contracting any diseases or illnesses that the traveling horse may have carried home.  It is also a good idea to take the traveling horses temperature twice a day to determine if they are becoming ill because fever is often the first sign of an illness.

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