Saturday, November 19, 2011

Trailering Horses Across Distances

Stephen sent the following question: ”How far, at one time should a horse be trailered. In my case, a mare. I know geldings require some special needs to urinate. Just wondering about a trip from Central Texas to Central Missouri , about 700 miles.”

Stephen, thanks for your question and you previously told me that you were a service member in the Army - thank you for your service to this Nation. 700 miles is about 14 hours or so of driving if you drove straight through. I think 14 hours in a trailer is unnecessary and unpleasant for a horse, especially if hauled by themselves. I would look up “horse hotels” which are stables that provide overnight pens for horses in transit. Baring any of these available on a route you can travel, I would look at planning an overnight stay where you can un-load the horse and either put her on picket line or maybe have some temporary travel panels to erect a overnight pen.

Makes for a much happier and sounder horse to consider her on the trip, maybe stopping at a rest area to un-load her every 3-4 hours or so. Much of this is dependent upon your trailer, your driving tendencies and your horse. One of the best suggestions I ever heard was that people need to go for a ride in the trailer (as a horse would) before they ever haul one, so they can feel what the horse feels on quick stops and sharp turns.

Newer trailers have a torsion bar suspension, rather than a conventional axle, which is much easier on horse as I believe it absorbs more shock. I have thick rubber mats in my trailers to provide better footing and more shock absorption. Make sure you pull your mates from time to time to clean out underneath and ensure your wooden trailer floor doesn't rot out.

Protective shipping leg wraps for your horse is a good idea.....consider these as well as even bell boots on the front end of your mare.

Some horses won't urinate in a trailer because of the splatter from the wooden or mat covered floor. While I don't do it, my wife always puts shavings in her trailer when she transport one of her horses. Good luck and safe journey.

1 comment:

  1. Well, that settles it, we'll stay in Texas. Too, cold in Missouri anyway. Thanks for the great information. Wish you were closer I know my horse and I would like to spend some time on your Ranch. Well, I would she might not :). Thanks again.