If you are planning to transport your horse over a long distance, you will likely be using a horse trailer. In order to ensure that the animal remains healthy throughout the trip and incurs minimal discomfort, there are precautions that your horse vet will likely advise you to take. Here are a few of them:
Take along a friend.
You may not need a human companion during the trip, but your horse may benefit from having a buddy to travel with it. By having another horse travel beside your horse throughout the journey, you can ensure that your horse does not become lonely. If your horse feels abandoned or alone, it may incur unnecessary stress during your travel.
If you do choose to bring along an additional horse, be sure that there is enough space in your horse trailer to easily accommodate both animals safely and comfortably.
Ensure proper headroom for your horse.
Since your horse trailer will likely be enclosed, it is important to ensure that your horse has enough headroom when its head is fully lifted as well as enough room for the horse's head to be lowered. If your horse is unable to lower its head during transport, it may be unable to clear its respiratory tract. Particles of dust, hay, or other matter may cause your horse to have breathing difficulties. This can quickly become a respiratory emergency for the animal.
Consider the temperature of the trailer's interior.
As your horse is transported, it may be exposed to higher-than-normal temperatures inside the trailer. Although your horse trailer may be well ventilated, it is still best to check the interior temperature to avoid overheating your animal. You may also want to consider travelling during the early morning or night hours if the trip will take place during hot summer months.
Put bedding in the trailer.
To help keep your animal as comfortable as possible, you may want to place some bedding on the trailer floor. This can minimize the stress that your horse incurs on its joints during transport.
Verify that there are no sharp edges within the trailer.
Although your driving may usually be safe and uneventful, road conditions can cause you to have to make a quick unexpected turn or stop. At these times, your horse may come in contact with the inner sides of the trailer. Sharp points or other dangerous objects could harm the animal, so check the trailer thoroughly before the start of the trip. If your animal does incur harm during the trip, be sure it is seen by a horse vet as soon as possible.
To learn more ways to ensure that your horse stays safe during trailer transport, schedule a consultation with a horse vet in your area such as Edisto Equine Clinic.