When you are hauling a horse a long distance, it is very important to make sure that you thoroughly check both the vehicle and the trailer before you ever load your horse to ensure that they are both in good condition and safe for the long ride. Once you have done all of the necessary checks, it is time to think about what your horse will need to stay safe and comfortable on the long trip. One last thing that you will need to get before you leave for your trip is a copy of the horse’s registration papers, health certificate, negative coggins, and transport papers if your state requires them. Once you have all of the paperwork in order, it will be time to prepare your horse for the long trip.
The first thing that you should do is allow them to eat normally before you load them into the trailer. They should also have free access to all of the clean water that they will drink. If you are going on a long road trip, you could hang a hay net or bag full of hay for the horses to nibble on during the trip, however, it is very important to make sure that you hang the bag or net high enough so that it will not get tangled around their legs during travel. You should also take water with you that the horse is used to. Some horses will not drink water that smells or tastes different.
Once you have the hay net properly secured, it is time to load the horses. If your trailer has individual stalls, it is safest to tie each horse in their stall using a quick release knot. When you are tying the knot, you will want to make sure that the rope is loose enough for the horse to touch the butt bar or door behind them. This will prevent them from pulling back on the rope during travel.
Once the horses are loaded, you should leave as quickly as possible and remember to start out slowly so that the horses will be able to adjust to riding in the trailer. When you stop for fuel or to eat, offer the horses water, even though most of the time they probably will not drink. You should also plan to stop once or twice to eat a leisurely meal. This will give the horses a chance to rest.
If you take care to ensure that your horses are comfortable during their ride, you will arrive at your destination with horses that are in wonderful condition.