5 Tips for long-distance horse transport

November 2, 2016

horse transportation can be a very entertaining and fun experience, but long-distance joruneys can take a big toll on the animal and on you! Especially if you’re not doing the driving yourself. Choosing the right shipping company and taking the right precautions are the key to a successful cross-country trip so here are 5 awesome tips for you to always keep in mind!

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Get your papers in order!

When you’re shipping or driving your horses across several states it’s vital that you make sure all your documentation is in order. Keep in mind that some state authorities might request documentation to prove the horses’ health and fitness to prevent contagious diseases from spreading. The documents that you absolutely need are a health certificate, brand inspection and a negative Coggins test. It’s also important to talk to your vet before the trip and make sure you have everything you need, remember that different states have different requirements so planning is key! Make sure you also check up on current vaccination requirements from every state you’ll be traveling through in case you need to get any shots beforehand. 

Make sure you plan water and meals accordingly

A full and hydrated horse is a happy horse! Ideally you should pack one bag of hay for each horse in the trip. You can try using slow-feeder bags (hay nets) for horses that tend to gobble down food so you can eliminate the risk of choking. Packing hay from your own barn is important since some equine buddies are a little stubborn when it comes to trying new things.  Water is also important so make sure that you have water available to give them at every rest stop. To make sure they’re properly hydrated we also recommend that you start them on an oral intake of electrolytes and probiotics a day before the trip; this will help with hydration and also with colic prevention. 

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Stay ahead of ‘Shipping Fever’.

‘shipping fever’ is the name given to respiratiory infections caused by a virus or bacteria. The symptoms include a strong cough that can last for weeks after a trip and are brought on by stress and a change in the environment. Here are some things you can do to prevent Shipping Fever:

  • Try to ship your horse with a companion, horses that travel alone have a much bigger chance of getting stressed
  • Make sure the horse can easily drop his head during the travel so he can clear his respiratory system from unwanted waste
  • Make sure that the horse is on tip-top shape and does not have contact with other sick animals in the days prior.
  • Make sure the temperature and ventilation are appropriate in the trailer to reduce stress.
  • Starting your horse on a vitamin C a few days before the trip and administering it during and after the trip will also help with prevention.

Don’t forget your shipping boots!

There’s going to be a lot of movement and unrest so it’s absolutely crucial that you make sure shipping boots are placed correctly. They will help protect the horse agains trauma and they can also serve as support for the horse which prevents swelling. Keep a close eye on the wraps and make sure you change them out daily and let the legs breathe a little during longer stops. To easily identify improperly placed wraps look for rubs, red spots and irritation.

When in doubt: leave it to the pros

If you are driving the trailer yourself you can count on these tips and remember to stop every 2-3 hours to check on food and vital signs but if you’re not feeling 100% confident about doing a long drive yourself just leave it to the pros! There’s no need to risk your horse’s health when you can find safe, secure and effective transportation easily. Equo is an amazing app that connects horse riders with drivers that will take this huge weight off your shoulders. Every Equo driver is a seasoned professional that goes through rigorous vetting procedures and safety inspections before becoming available. The transportation industry is changing and Equo is at the forefront of the equine transport revolution!

 

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