Horses are one of the most popular animals and used for many purposes. Horses come in a range of breeds and can be used in carriages, to manage herds in farmland, or for racing on a race track. The horse races are popular among people for centuries, and wealthy people also keep a ranch and breed horses and then use the strongest horse for races and winning championships.
Horses are known for their strength so much so that the power in car engines is denoted with horsepower and more the horsepower the more power the car has. Horses have big lungs that allow them to run or walk for long distances without any difficulty. But when wanting to transport horses, usually trailer is used to prevent any injury to the horse. During racing season and competitions, the horses are needed to be shipped, and usually, horse owners employ services of companies that offer equine transportation services.
The horse transportation companies do not always quote a flat price for picking and delivering a horse, as there are many factors that are considered to determine the total cost of horse transportation. Long haul transportation of a horse can be a stressful and confusing task as there are many things to consider. Some of the things you need to keep in mind are
- Plan according to the situation and save time
For cross country transportation, you need to see if you are sending one horse or a group of horses. A single trailer is best to transport one horse, but a big truck is required to deliver 4 or 5 horses. You need to plan as it will allow you to plan the trip and allocate a sufficient budget for the complete transportation activity.
- Employ expert equine transportation services
You need to research and then employ professional services as you need to give proper care to the horses as it is not easy for them to endure a long journey in a confined space of the trailer. You need to train the horses to load and unload from the trailer as it is the most crucial part of the transportation. Horses are big animals and do not like to be placed in a small compartment of the trailer. The safety equipment should be present in the trailer and a sufficient amount of food and water for the horse to stay hydrated. The drivers should be experienced as it is not easy to drive a vehicle with horses, and there are numerous stories where the trailer or traveling vehicle was involved in accidents.
- Calculate the total cost of services
The cost of transporting a horse takes into consideration all the factors from the picking point to the final destination of the horse. The main factor is the total distance, and secondary factors include the stops made during the travel, the fuel consumption, road tolls to be paid, and weather delays.
- Proper care for the horse to be transported
The horse should be medically fit to travel, and a vet service should be at the ready if the horse suffers an injury or is not feeling well. The essential traveling equipment that must be administered includes a rope to tie the horse, leg protection, head collar, and first aid kid.
You need to properly prepare for horse transportation and consider all the precautions. The most important step, according to experts, is to train the horse for loading and to unload from the trailer as it can take weeks to make the horse comfortable to walk the ramp finally. The next step is to travel for short distances to let the horse get familiar with the traveling. It is better to travel with a couple of people who can monitor the condition of the horse during the trip and notice if the horse is unhappy or uncomfortable.
The next step is to arrange for all the safety and protection tools and accessories that should easily fit the horse; otherwise, it will feel uncomfortable because of the protective gear rather than traveling in the trailer. The horse should always wear the head collar, leg protection, and poll guards. The horse needs to feel comfortable wearing protective equipment; otherwise, in the complete journey, the horse can get aggressive and hurt itself.
The lorry or trailer for the journey needs to be inspected thoroughly, and different parameters should be examined, such as ventilation, size of the trailer, and rubber flooring. The trailer should be airy and easy for the horse to stand or sit. There should be hay inside that can absorb the sweat and urine of the horse. The floor should be even and flat; otherwise, during bumps, the horse can hit the top or sides of the trailer and get injured.
The trip should not be lengthy as it will affect the condition of the horse, and the horse can feel fatigued and stressed due to being tied up in the trailer for long hours. Dehydration is another factor that needs to be addressed, particularly if the horse is transported in summer months. There should be a good amount of water available for the horse to drink when traveling inside the trailer. The suspension system of the trailer must be checked as on uneven road surfaces; the bumps can irritate the horse and make it feel uneasy. Some of the tips to reduce the stress of the horse during the trip are
- Train the horse regularly to reduce the stress level of the horse
- Ensure that the horse is vaccinated and medically fit to travel long distances
- Make sure all the documents are there to ensure movement of horse from one state to another
- A trailer with correct size specifications must be selected
- The shortest route should be selected for the trip
- Sufficient water and food should be present on the trailer
- The trailer should be properly ventilated
The vehicle attached to the trailer must also be checked so that any inconvenient situation can be avoided. The driver must be experienced and rest before driving the vehicle and trailer.
Jim Howard is an experienced equestrian and also works in a horse transportation company that offers professional horse services. He ensures that all the requirements and considerations are met to pick and deliver the horse safely.