Travelling Your Horse and What to Look For

In this issue, the team at Bucas provide advice on travelling your horse and offer tips on how to do this safely and what to consider before setting out.
Whether you’re travelling to a competition, the vet or the farrier, making sure your horse is safe whilst travelling is key.
Travelling can be a stressful time for your horse, so it is important to reduce this for them as much as possible which also means you will be calmer and more relaxed.
The first thing to consider is the type of horsebox or trailer that you are using. Choosing the right kind of horsebox is very important to ensure that your horse’s journey can be as smooth as possible and that there is enough room. Things to consider include the size, weight, ramp and loading, and rear, front or herringbone facing travel for your horse.

Before travelling you must make sure to load your horse correctly and allow plenty of time so that your horse feels more relaxed before the journey. This will also help you to feel less rushed and result in a much more pleasant journey. Another way to make the drive as smooth as possible is to plan your journey ahead of time and use a satnav to check for traffic and road closures. A less stressful journey benefits both you and your horse.
Another factor to consider when travelling your horse is the ventilation in the horse’s space. One easy and simple way to allow for ventilation, particularly on long journeys, is to open all available windows. Ventilation is especially important when the weather is hot. If you are worried about hydration when travelling your horse, try providing a soaked haynet or a sloppy mash, especially on lengthy journeys.
Offering protection to your horse from injury is essential and this can be done by using travel boots and lightweight rugs. Wearing travel boots while in the horsebox will protect your horse from small injuries such as knocks and scrapes and also absorbs shock if they are suitably padded.

The Bucas 2020 Travel Boots are perfect for protecting your horse’s legs during travel. When it comes to rugs for travelling think about the temperature in the horsebox they want to be neither too hot nor too cold and obviously this will vary depending on the time of year.
The Bucas Competition Cooler is a ‘must have’ all year round. Smart, practical and classically made the rug has a Stay-dry lining on the upper part and fly mesh material on the lower section.
It is the perfect light-weight cooler for travelling on warm competition days as the stay-dry lining will keep your horse dry and comfortable while the lower mesh part will cool the horse, allowing air to circulate.
This versatile rug is packed with innovative features to help make rugging easy and hassle-free.
Your horse should be wearing a well-fitted leather headcollar and tied to a breakable tie in the case of an emergency.
Make sure that you carry extra food and water for unforeseen circumstances, for both horses and humans. You may need this if your journey is delayed for any reason or if you find yourself out for longer than anticipated. Ensure that you arrive at your destination earlier than required so that your horse has time to settle into the new location before being tacked up.
When travelling away from home, you should always carry a basic equine first aid kit on board to treat minor injuries.
On longer journeys, it is important to make frequent stops to allow your horse to stretch down and clear the airways and to have some food and water as refreshment. Making frequent stops will also help you to stay alert and drive carefully, ensuring both you and your horse arrive at your destination safely.
To summarise, travelling with your horse can be stressful, but by doing the correct preparations and using the required equipment, both horse and rider can have minimum stress and focus on the destination!