Tis’ The Season
Rodeos, Races, and Trails the
Horses are calling and I must go… Somewhere.
I am not a Veterinarian. As always I recommend consulting with your Equine Veterinarian for any and all questions including solutions regarding hauling horses in the heat . The post below contains merely suggestions. Not all ideas will work for all horses. I have gathered these tips from those who travel with their faithful and sometimes not so faithful steeds.
Of course while working on the details of your up coming trip sometimes hauling in the heat can become an issue. We all want what is best for our horses. Opinions and Options are everywhere however sometimes it is just unavoidable. You just have to do what you have to do. Many equine enthusiasts enjoy much needed time with there horses and haul in the heat successfully!
I have always heard unload your horse every 4 hours. But I honestly don’t know anyone who has. Maybe stop every 4 hours.
But, I am one of the ones who believe that is not always a valid option. I like to get where I am going and I am sure my horses do too. I know what works for some horses may not work for yours.
However sometimes it is just unrealistic.
A. Let’s face it. Some horses easily excitable and they are simply safer where they are.
B. Unloading can lead to unwanted attention from innocent or not so innocent bystanders.
C. Or vise versa, maybe you could use a little help and none is available.
Ya… ya… we all know we need to have properly trained horses. Well I am here to tell ya some days are better than others.
Drive at Night
Obviously, cooler temperatures are desired when possible. Possibility of less traffic. However, it can be a trade off for more deer.
Provide Plenty of Ventilation
Air is good. I don’t believe I need to say this but open those windows protected by bars and or screens. Don’t forget the vents on top!
Some like to add battery operated fans to their horse trailer. Some put a fan over a cooler of ice, to help cool the trailer. This would probably be more of a hazard for me and my critters. Using a fly mask is not unheard of to keep debris flying into your horses eyes.
15-20 Minute Breaks
Take a few extra minutes when you are refueling, stopping to eat, pee extra. The horse is getting exercise while your traveling down the road. A few minutes to to rest pull your trailer in the shade if possible.
Offer Water When you Stop
Stopping every couple to three hours can be beneficial. Not everyone can go all day without needing or wanting to stop. I know there are those exceptions.
Optional Ideas to help hydrate your horse.
Soak apples and carrots in water place in cooler with ice until you stop. Add apples and carrots and or oats into the water buckets (they float) horses will get a little water as they are dunking for their snacks. Slice yourself some watermelon and share some with your horses. Flavor water with shredded beet pulp (soupy style). Be sure to read directions some beet pulp you must soak for two hours prior. Slurpy style Hydro hay available at many farm stores. Bran mash, any soupy mash mixed with few handfuls of grain. gatorade koolaid product called rain water. Can also be masked by a little apple cider vinegar.
1c rice bran 2 gal water, 1 oz salt
1 c rice bran 2 gal water
dinamite company dinaspark couple days before travel
Try Soaking your Hay
Soak a couple leaves of hay in water and put them in a hay bag. Offer on stops.
Use Precautionary Steps for traveling don’t try anything new when you go unless needed. Try new things a few weeks before to give your horse time to adjust. When in doubt contact your veterinarian.
(some Lytes work now some work later)
Always check with a vet before making any lyte decisions
Electrolytes can be a good and bad thing. They can make a horse want to drink. Do your research on this.
If the horse is colicky the horse may not drink and the lytes may pull water out of gut and into the muscles. Yet there are also many benefits to electrolytes.
Old School Recipe:
60 cc water and teaspoon of salt mix give this morning and night.
(Refer to your veterinarian).
Electrolytes are available at may farm n feed stores as well as online.
The unit can go in the trailer if your concerned about how hot it is in there and be read on a phone. Avaiable on Ebay Amazon Walmart…
Padding while Traveling
Not only can you mix a bag of ice with your saw dust in your trailer. You can also insulate the roof and floor fairly reasonable.
Place your pink or green insulation board under trailer mats and duct tape to the seams and cover with trailer mats. Other suggestions may be insulating the roof. Silver bubbly stuff or refextex insulation, solid foam. Use good duct tape, gorilla tape or furnace tape or you could install it properly. Watch for condensation some say yah some say neigh.
Sawdust in your Trailer
I was told one to two bags of shavings per horse. I normally don’t haul far so I just have a bag scattered to absorb urine. However if you do put a descent amount of shavings down you can mix ice in and it can help to cool the trailer be sure not to use to much as the wrong combination can become slippery. Some prefer to water the sawdust down. The air circulation in the trailer should help with humidity.
Other suggestions include straw, and compressed pellets.
If You Feel You Should Unload
Look for County Fairgrounds, Rodeo Grounds. Always good to call ahead to see if it is possible to unload there. State parks and Cabela’s and horse motels, and horse bnb’s, bale and board are other options. You can also search for horse overnights and rest stops online. Join trail riding Facebook groups they are an amazing bunch of people with spectacular ideas for just about everywhere you may travel. Many ideas not far off the beaten path.
Safe Travels To All,