Tag Archives: equine transport

Things to do to Avoid Stress and Fatigue When Hauling a Horse

rigThis is the time of year when many horse owners will do the most hauling. Some horse owners will travel to some type of horse related competition while other owners will travel many miles to send their broodmares to breeding farms. Whatever the reason for hitting the road, it is important to ensure that every precaution is taken to reduce the amount of stress each horse will suffer.

The first thing that horse owners should consider when hauling their horses is their position in the trailer. Two separate studies have been performed that evaluated a horse’s heart rate and behavior both before and after a trip. What these studies found was that horses that were hauled facing backwards had significantly lower heart rates and were not as fatigued because they were able to rest on their rumps during the trip. On the other hand, horses that were hauled facing forward tend to be more restless and hold their heads higher during the journey, resulting in a horse that is more fatigued at the end of the trip.

Another factor that will determine a horse’s level of stress and fatigue at the end of a long journey is the temperature inside the trailer. While this is usually not a problem in open stock trailers, it can be a serious problem in completely enclosed trailers. This is why it is important to open the windows in enclosed trailers and maintain good quality airflow. Another way to keep a horse cool on a trip is to ensure that the horse has access to clean water several times during the journey. Overheating can have an effect on a horse’s health for several weeks after a journey.

It is also important that horses have a good immune system before they endure a long journey. This will reduce the risk of them contracting an illness during the journey. Owners can help to stimulate the immune system by feeding their horse supplements like vitamin C for several weeks before a trip.

Handlers should also take precautions to ensure that horses do not injure their legs during a journey. Both the front and back legs of a horse should be wrapped in protective bandages so that the horse will avoid injury as they are moving around in the trailer. Bandages should be applies so that the coronary band above the hoof is also protected.

Transporting Mares and Foals

With breeding season just around the corner, many mare owners will be forced to haul their mares to breeding farms with a new foal on their side. While traveling is a stressful experience for any horse, it can be especially stressful for a new baby. This is why a great amount of preparation should be performed before attempting to haul a new foal.

The first thing that people should consider is whether the mare will be traveling with the foal. If the mare will be traveling with the baby, then owners or haulers will need to properly prepare the trailer to ensure that both the mare and baby are safe during the trip. The safest way to haul a mare and baby is to place a partition between the two to ensure that the foal is not accidently hurt by the mare during the trip. If it is possible, an owner may even consider leaving the mare at home so that more attention can be given to the foal at the vet clinic. However, this is something that owners will need to discuss with their veterinarian.

Another thing that owners will need to consider when hauling a foal is the condition of their health. A foal that is sick will have a very difficult time maintaining their body temperature during travel and can become very cold. This is because new foals do not have a great amount of body fat to serve as insulation and being sick will only make it more difficult for the foal to keep warm.

If it is absolutely necessary to transport a sick foal, special considerations will need to be made to ensure that the foal does not get cold during the trip. One way to help a foal stay warm during transportation is to haul them in a trailer that is fully enclosed. This will prevent any cold air from blowing on the foal during the trip. However, this may not be a possible solution for every owner.

In the situation that the foal must be transported in an open stock trailer, the owner should use a foal sized blanket to preserve as much body heat as possible. However, a great amount of heat can be lost through the legs. One way to prevent this type of heat loss is to wrap the legs. A foal should be constantly supervised any time leg wraps are used to prevent the foal from injuring itself.