Keeping Your Horse Safe in the Trailer

If you are a horse owner or horse transporter, then you know that every horse needs to be transported at some point in its life. You could have a show horse that is routinely hauled to shows or you may only use your trailer to take your horse to the vet for regular checkups. It does not matter what the circumstances are, you always want to make sure that the horse is safe while they are in the trailer. There are many simple things that you can do to ensure that both you and the horse are safe during loading, travel, and unloading.

• If it is possible, use two people to load the horse.

• Never stand directly behind the horse when loading or unloading.

• Train the horse so that it can be sent into the trailer by itself.

• Make sure that the ground around and behind the trailer has good footing before loading or unloading a horse.

• Remove all equipment (saddles, bridles, etc.) before loading. The only thing that should be on the horse is its halter.

• Always speak to a horse that is in a trailer before attempting to handle it. You want to make sure that your horse knows you are there; this will keep him from becoming startled.

• If you are having trouble either loading or unloading a horse, seek professional help.

• Always secure the butt bar or chain before tying the horse. Make sure that you use care when reaching for it to avoid being kicked and always gently let it down when you unfasten it so that you do not accidentally bump the horse’s legs.

• When you are unloading a horse, always untie the horse before you open the door.

• Use some type of bedding or matting in the trailer floor. This will keep the floor from getting slick and prevent the horse from falling.

• Always check the trailer regularly for rotten or weakened floorboards, weakened door hinges, broken hitch welds, and worn or broken wheel bearings and spring shackles.

• Make sure that your trailer meets all state requirements for brakes and lights.

• When driving, double check all connections like lights, brakes, and safety chains and always drive in a defensive manner.

• If you are only hauling a single horse, it is safest to load it on the left side of the trailer.

• You should always check on the horses and the trailer hitch at every stop.

If you are careful and observant, you will ensure that both you and the horse are safe no matter how far you have to travel.

Tips on Loading Livestock

The process of loading livestock can be a very stressful one on the animals because they are going to be exposed to many unfamiliar sounds and surroundings. Many of the animals will never have seen these things before and will be very frightened. Planning the loading procedure well in advance will allow adequate time for the livestock to be loaded quietly and with care. This will allow the animals to be loaded in a way that will reduce their stress level and it will not cause them any injury. One thing to remember is that if you are loading the animals at night, you should use some source of artificial lighting to illuminate the surroundings and the loading ramp. This will allow you to see better and make loading the animals much easier.

There are several methods that are currently used to assist in loading livestock and they include:

  • Making use of the behavioral and group characteristics of the particular species.
  • Electric prods. These types of devices should be approved for use and should only be powered by batteries or dynamo. Their use should be restricted to the minimum that is necessary to complete loading. They should never be used on young animals or horses.
  • A length of cane with a short strap of leather or canvas attached (called flappers) or metallic rattles are ideal because they encourage the livestock to move in response to sound.
  • Well trained dogs are also useful to assist in loading livestock. You should muzzle dogs that are known to bite and only use the number of dogs that are needed to complete the task.

When you are loading, it is important to make sure that the doors to the transport vehicle are properly aligned with the loading ramp to ensure the smooth movement of livestock. This will ensure that there are no injuries to the animals and it will also minimize bruising.

It is also important to remember that different species of animals should be separated from one another during transport. For example, sheep and goats should not be permitted to travel together.

All loading procedures should be supervised by experienced stockmen and supervisors to ensure that spectators do not interfere with the smooth loading of the animals. The driver who will be transporting the animals should also be provided with the name and phone number of the owner or stock agent in case of delays or injuries that would require emergency actions.

LIVESTOCK TRANSPORT LAUNCHES

MANALAPAN, NJ (July 31, 2007) – Livestock Transport announces the launch of its company, which will provide services to link livestock haulers with shippers. The website (www.livestock-transport.com) offers features such as a searchable database of livestock haulers and trip tickets as well as shipping requests posted by livestock shippers.

Livestock haulers are able to promote their services on the site on the hauler’s page and are connected with shippers requesting their services. They are also able to post an unlimited number of trip tickets on the database for shippers to see. Common livestock transported includes pigs, cows, goats, sheep, horses and various types of poultry. In addition to viewing hauling service information and trip tickets, livestock shippers may also post shipping requests on the site for free and have haulers contact them.

“We saw a need for a company like Livestock Transport in the industry and were happy to satisfy it. Livestock Transport will save many hardworking livestock shippers and haulers valuable time and money by linking them together through our website,” said Mark Skrobola, Founder.

Visitors to the site are also able to read articles on topics like “Loading Livestock” and get up-to-date news on the livestock industry. They may also browse the Livestock Transport Store for items such as books, apparel and automotive gear.

For more information, visit http://www.livestock-transport.com or contact Mark Skrobola at 732 577 7903.

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