Hold Your Horses: Reducing Stress on Your Horses during Transport

using horse trailer for a safe transportThe biggest concern when hauling horses is safety on the road. Accidents and other problems are all too common on the road, usually because of the long drive and the problems with the tow vehicle.

Trailering often adds extra stress for you and your horse. Even the calmest of horses experience a lot of stress from the start of loading. Your horses will likely experience dehydration and exhaustion from the long drive, which is why you need to keep them comfortable during the whole trip. Any stress-reducing measures you can do, such as buying cosy horse floats in Victoria, Australia, will keep your horse comfortable and healthy. Here are other things you can do to improve their travel.

To Tie or Not to Tie

Horses usually lower their heads below their shoulder level during transport. This helps them breathe easier and reduces the chances of them suffering from respiratory stress. Tying them then can be a problem, as the rope tied to the post can keep them from lowering their heads.

When looking for horse floats for sale in Victoria or elsewhere, choose those with enough room for your horses. It’s best to leave your horses untied in the trailers, but if you must tie them, make sure it’s loose and that there’s extra rope hanging so they can move about and carry their heads in a natural, mucus-draining position.

Clean and Clear

Keep your horse floats clean and clear of any waste. Germs and bacteria from dried manure can worsen your horse’s respiratory system weakened by travel stress. If your trip is long, clear out the manure at each stop. Clean the whole trailer thoroughly at the end of each trip to remove all manure and urine.

You should also maintain good air quality inside the trailer. This means having good ventilation, but minimising drafts, and keeping certain windows closed to reduce dust.

Sympathetic Driving

The travel is what causes the most stress to your horses. Be a sympathetic driver and make it a slow, steady journey. Don’t drive too fast, especially if on rough roads. Drive as if your little kids are in the backseat, and you don’t want them tossing and turning at every speed bump and turns.

Sometimes, horse trailering is just common sense. Always keep safety in mind, and look after yourself and your precious cargo. This is one of the few times that your prized horse will be counting on you, so make sure you care for them properly.

About the Author

As a psychology professor at a university in Texas. Athrun also teaches at a personality development institute in the same state.