In this article, the team at C&C Horse Transport, a division of Millbry Hill, share their best tips for transporting your horse safely.
Whether you're moving your horse to a different area, going to the vet or heading to a competition, there are a number of things you need to do to prepare your horse for a journey.
To help you out, we've put together five top tips for getting your horse from A to B. By taking these into consideration, you'll be well on your way to ensuring your journey goes as smoothly as possible.
Leave plenty of time to load your horse
Loading can be a stressful part of a journey for horses, especially those who are inexperienced, so you should allow plenty of time for this.
You should try to remain calm at all times, and be gentle when talking to or handling your horse to avoid panicking him.
If your horse is young or inexperienced, he might benefit from practising the process before you make your journey.
Loading him a few times in the weeks before you travel could help him to feel much more comfortable, and this will make a huge difference when it comes to doing it on the day.
A loading bay will also help create an inviting environment if you have access to one.
Prepare for emergencies
Make sure you have a plan in place in case there's an emergency.
Make sure you have sufficient breakdown cover for your vehicle that can cater for horseboxes and livestock, and keep a human and equine first-aid kit in the vehicle at all times.
You should also allow plenty of time for any delays.
Plan plenty of rest stops
If you're making a long-distance journey, you should plan your rest stops beforehand.
You should try to stop at least once every four hours to offer food and water. Aim for your breaks to last a minimum of 20 minutes.
Check your vehicle
It's important that your vehicle or trailer is roadworthy and safe. The area where your horse is should be free of any sharp edges and have anti-slip flooring. It should also be well-lit and ventilated.
Check your vehicle or trailer before each journey for roadworthiness and ensure it's serviced regularly by a qualified mechanic.
Plan your journey
If you're travelling to an unfamiliar destination, always plan your journey in advance using a map and stick to the main roads as much as possible.
Don't rely on a satnav, as it might take you through narrow back roads, slowing you down and making the journey uncomfortable for the horse.
Make sure to give your horse time to rest and recover before your return journey as well — we recommend at least an hour after fast work.
Travelling with your horse isn't easy — it takes a lot of care and preparation. By taking these five tips on board, you'll be well on your way to ensuring your journey goes as smoothly as possible.