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Traveling with horses can be an incredible experience, allowing you to explore new terrain, participate in competitions or clinics, or simply enjoy a change of scenery with your equine partner. However, it’s crucial to remember that traveling with horses requires careful planning and preparation to ensure a safe and comfortable journey for everyone involved. Here are some best practices to keep in mind when traveling with horses, based on our experience at Vantage:

Prepare your horse trailer

The first step to ensuring a smooth trip is to make sure your horse trailer is in excellent condition. Before hitting the road, bring your trailer in for a thorough inspection of the brakes, bearings, and tires. Flat tires are more common on long trips, so it’s essential to make sure all the tires, including the spare, are in good condition. It’s also a good idea to check the living quarters, lights, and other components to ensure they’re in working order.

Prepare your horses for travel

Before hitting the road, make sure your horses are up-to-date on their vaccinations and have been recently seen by a veterinarian. Additionally, groom and condition your horses thoroughly for the journey ahead to help prevent any potential discomfort or injury during the trip. Packing extra hay, water, feed, medications, and other supplies, like fly masks and liniments, will also ensure your horses are comfortable and well-cared for during the trip.

Ensure safety during travel

During the journey, make sure your horses are safe and secure in their trailer. We recommend using tie-rings to ensure they stay in place during the journey and wrapping their legs to prevent injuries. Also, ensure all dividers on the horse trailer are securely latched and all doors are closed and locked.

Allow for breaks

Horses need regular breaks for hydration during long-distance travel, so be sure to plan your trip to include stops for food and water. Giving your horse a chance to rest, exercise, and stretch their legs helps mitigate stiffness upon arrival. If you decide to drive straight through to your destination without pulling your horses out of the trailer, make sure you give them adequate time to recover.

Be prepared

Being prepared is key to a successful trip. Make sure you have the right equipment in your horse trailer such as a first-aid kit, an emergency contact list, and maps of the area you’ll be traveling. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations of the area you’ll be visiting, to ensure you and your horses stay compliant.

Traveling with horses can be an enjoyable and memorable experience, as long as you plan ahead and follow these best practices. Remember to prioritize your horses’ safety and comfort, and you’ll be able to create lifelong memories with your equine partner.