Long gone are the days where horses would transport people from A to B. Nowadays, it’s more like people transporting horses from A to B. However often and necessary this has become, it hasn’t gotten any easier. Travelling long distances can be stressful for horses, and have an impact on their health. Here are six basic steps that should be followed to ensure your trip goes smooth sailing.
- Plan your route – As simple as it may sound, be sure to know your exact route, how long you will be travelling for, and where you should stop for breaks. Think about what time you are setting off as travelling at the hottest times of the day can make your horse’s carriage uncomfortable.
- Health and Weight – Do not travel if your horse is not in good health, as they will arrive in a much worse condition. Weighing your horse before a journey is key to assessing their health after.
- Be prepared – Hopefully, you will arrive at your destination with no issues. However, you cannot be certain of what situations may arise. Be safe and carry an equine first aid kit in case of emergencies.
- Stay hydrated – Be sure to supply your horse with enough water throughout the trip. Every three to six hours is recommended. But don’t forget, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. Some horses may not drink water if it smells or tastes different to what they are used to. To avoid carrying large amounts of water from home, a good tip is to add juice to water before the journey. Get your horse used to a certain flavour, which can then be added to water along the journey. This should mask the new smell or taste the water may have.
- Regular stops should occur roughly every four hours, for at least twenty minutes. But the horse should stay in the carriage as it can be more stressful moving the horse. Take into consideration the road side noises that can scare your horse.
- When you have arrived at the destination, the horse will need a day or two to recover. Check their weight once again and compare it to before the trip. This will give you a big indication on how long they need to recover.
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