Travel is back in full swing this year, and we know many people are enjoying things they had to put off during the pandemic. If you have a horse, you may be attending various fairs, rodeos, and other equestrian events. Or perhaps you’re more interested in taking Silver to a dude ranch or training center. Read on for some tips on traveling with horses in summer.
Heat is going to be your biggest concern. Temperature inside the trailer will be much hotter than it is in an air-conditioned cab! Keep vents open and windows cracked. Avoid putting heavy wraps or blankets on Silver: he’ll just sweat through them anyway. If you’re using shipping boots, opt for lightweight ones or even bell boots. We also recommend traveling in the mornings or evenings, when it’s cooler.
If you have to stop, look for a shady area. Be sure to give your horses water before you hit the road again. Keep in mind that trailers heat up fast when they are sitting. Make any necessary stops short and sweet. That may mean calling ahead for a takeout order, rather than eating in a restaurant.
Staying hydrated is crucial in summer. Consider giving your horse electrolytes before traveling. You can add it to his feed or just give it to him by mouth. It’s best not to put it in Silver’s water, though: if he doesn’t like the taste, he won’t drink it. That could contribute to dehydration, which is what you’re trying to avoid.
Keep a close eye on Silver during travel. You may want to install a camera in the trailer for this. Watch for signs of heat distress, such as sweating, shallow/rapid breathing, flared nostrils, lethargy, and discolored gums. As soon as you see any indication that Silver is getting too hot, get him to a cool, shaded area, and hose him off.
Make a list of all of equine veterinarians and boarding facilities along the way. If you have to make an emergency stop, having this information in advance can make a world of difference.
Try to avoid going through busy areas, where you may end up being stuck in traffic. Chances are, that long way round will also be a prettier drive!
As your animal clinic, we’re here to help! Call us anytime!