If you are planning any kind of transportation for horses, there are a number of ways that you need to prepare to ensure that the process runs as smoothly as possible.
Here at NRT we are professionals with over 30 years’ experience in transportation for horses, but even our wealth of expertise cannot overcome bad preparation on the part of the owner. At best it will cause unnecessary hassle and make travelling much more arduous, at worst it could play a part in damaging a horse’s health. Either way, poor preparation will result in a journey that is terribly stressful for both owner and horse.
Below we have listed a few points to consider when preparing. Take these into consideration and the risk of any mishaps will be greatly reduced.
Ensure your Horse is Healthy
One thing’s for sure: if you load a horse that is feeling ill onto a horsebox, when you come to unloading it at the other end it will feel a whole lot worse. Make sure that all preventative health programmes, especially vaccinations, are completely up to date and if there are any signs of sickness at all, postpone your trip. The one exception, of course is when your destination is the equine vet.
Not only should you make sure your horse is healthy, but you should also be prepared to prove it – especially if you are crossing any kind of border. Make sure you have all of the proper health records for your horse ready prior to travelling.
Avoid unnecessary medication
You should make sure that only essential medication is used before travel. Not only is it becoming more and more difficult to to take injectable medication onto flights due to ever-stricter regulations, but adverse reactions are always a possibility and if this happens during transit it is likely to end very badly indeed.
Consult your vet for proper advice on what medication is best recommended for the journey that you are planning to take.
Weigh your horse
You should expect your horse to lose some weight during travel. This is a normal occurrence and can be up to 5% of overall bodyweight for long-haul trips.
By weighing your horse before and after travel, you will be able to assess how much weight it has lost and therefore properly gauge how much recovery time is required.
Train your horse to load and unload
If your horse has never travelled before (or even if it has) it is a very good idea to get it used to loading and unloading. If possible spend some time familiarising your horse with a horse box or trailer.
For most horses, the thought of stepping into a confined space does not fill them with joy, so spend some time around the trailer with the horse and practice leading it on and off. Don’t rush the horse and never force it! Allow it to investigate in its own time.
The key is training the horse to feel positive about entering the box or trailer. With this in mind, try leaving a bucket of feed inside the stall as a tasty reward. The last thing you want is for the horse to associate a horsebox with stress or any other negativity.
Factor-in Recovery Time
When planning transportation for horses, it is important to leave enough recovery time after arrival at your destination. As mentioned above, the stress of travel can cause a horse to lose up to 5% in bodyweight which will take time to put back on.
You will also need to regularly check temperature, appetite and thirst so that you can quickly act on any signs of discomfort.
If in Doubt, Call the Professionals
If you are at all unsure about any aspect of the horse transport process, then speak to the experts. If you embark on a journey without the correct preparation and expertise, you are putting your horse at risk. Is it really worth it?
Professional Transportation For Horses
If you are looking for professional transportation for horses, NRT can help. Our dedicated team are not only highly-qualified experts in their field, they are also horse-lovers and are happy to help. They can offer you all the guidance and advice that you need to ensure the safest and most stress-free of journeys.
We will be on hand throughout the process to ensure that all the correct preparations are made and our state-of-the-art fleet of horseboxes are custom designed to ensure the utmost comfort and safety.
Call us today on 01638 663155 for a chat about what your requirements are and what we can do to help. Alternatively, find out more about the services we offer here.