The weather is going to be very, very hot over the next few days. So, if you have no choice but to transport your horse, remember to take as many precautions as possible to ensure your passenger does not suffer during transport.
The risks of dehydration and heat stroke for your horse are not to be taken lightly. Therefore, in order to help you, we have listed some useful travel tips.
Step 1: Choose the right hours
If you can, travel at night or early in the morning: it is usually cooler, and the sun is less aggressive. Try to avoid the warmest times of the day as much as possible.
Step 2: Open the horsebox
To keep your horse cooler, you need to let as much air as possible circulate inside the truck. The easiest way to do so is to open all the windows of the horse area.
Air extractors can also help to improve this circulation. They enable air to be "mechanically" extracted from the truck, and thus ensure air circulation even when the vehicle is idling. So, check whether your vehicle is equipped and do not forget to activate them!
If you have a choice between several vehicles, prefer those with as many openings as possible.
Step 3: Choose the right route
As explained above, the most important thing is the air circulation in the horsebox, to prevent the temperature from rising. Consequently, if you have opened the air vents properly, the watchword is now to DRIVE!
Look at your itinerary and avoid as much as possible the areas with a risk of traffic jams! When you are stationary, the air does not circulate well, and the temperature inside the horsebox increases.
Choose roads with smooth traffic, even if they are a little longer, so that you are always on the move and the air in the truck is constantly being renewed. In the same way, filling up with petrol before you leave can save your horses from having to wait at the petrol station...
Step 4: Hydration
If your journey is long, stop regularly in the shade to give the horses something to drink. Remember to take a water bottle and a bucket with you, as you will not necessarily find any on the road.
Step 5: Equipment
Your horse is like you: when it is warm, you avoid wearing coats! Take off everything that is superfluous: halter ruffles, fly covers and if your horse travels well, choose low protections instead.
Step 6: After transport
Once you have arrived at your destination, if your horse got warm, you can shower him gradually to help bring his temperature down and/or put him in the shade.
Also think about electrolytes! They help you to compensate for the loss of trace elements (salts, minerals) caused by perspiration and therefore help your horse to recover better from his journey.
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