Carrying horses is a very frequent operation for those who use their animals for sporting, agricultural or simply raising activities. Often it is necessary to bring your quadruped around, to make it run, to move it or even to let it visit the vet. Many times it becomes a delicate task, especially when it causes stress problems or certain trauma to the animal. Ensuring the essential conditions of well – being and care is therefore fundamental. Here are some considerations for ideal transport for horses.
Depending on the distance the animal has to travel, the appropriate means of transport varies, as do the regulations. Plane, truck, trailer or ship are some of the options. And it is increasingly common for the owner himself to carry the horse.
Regardless of this, the best health, hygiene and safety conditions must be guaranteed in order to minimize accidents and other consequences.
How to transport horses
Almost 90% of animal transported by land. And although the choice is made based on distance, you should always look for the best assistance, as appropriate.
This is because transport is often the cause of anxiety or injury. The stress is due to the fact that your pet has been separated from its herd. They lives this circumstance as something unusual.
Therefore, care must be taken to protect the heart, hydration and, of course, you will always have to drive carefully.
Transporting horses on trucks or trailers
- They must be designed and used to avoid injury. We recommend the use of non-slip floors or shavings to absorb urine.
- They must protect the animal from extreme temperatures and have adequate ventilation.
- The minimum height inside the compartments must be at least 75 cm higher than the height of the highest animal.
- Pay attention that water and food are necessary for the transport hours.
- Make stops every 6 hours, so that the horse feeds, drinks and does its needs.
- At each stop, the health status of the horses must be checked.
International standards establish a maximum of 8 hours of travel per day for horses. For longer journeys, the truck must include special equipment. For example, a floor with beds, spacers, ventilation systems and a temperature regulator (hot / cold).
Position in the means of transport
For proper transport, it is recommended to tie the animals, but always leaving a certain freedom of movement. You must allow the horse to lower its head. Among other things, for proper cleaning and drainage of its airways.
The position must never be transverse to the longitudinal axis of the vehicle. Otherwise, the animal will easily lose its balance, risking to fall causing serious injuries.
As for placing them forward or backward, there are different opinions. It has been shown that by placing the muzzle forward the animals suffer less stress.
Transporting horses: Equipment and planning
Every means of transport ideal for horses, in addition to the anti-slip and chipboard flooring, should also have windows. An airy environment minimizes possible phobias and the generation of stress in the animal.
There are studies that conclude that suspension of the trailer affects the quality of the journey. Less air pressure inside the tires makes driving smoother and reduces tiredness in the horse.
For personal safety, we recommend the supply of blankets and special socks. With them the body heat generated by the animal is absorbed.
Transport a horse by plane
When the distances are large, you could choose to use an airplane. In this case, some of the precautions to take into consideration are …
- A pressurized environment with air conditioning.
- Use of boxes designed to carry horses, of appropriate size.
- Medical analyzes carried out before the trip.
- Choose a company with qualified personnel experienced in managing these transports, without the use of medicines or anxiolytics.
Relationship with the horse to improve transport
- Do not transmit nervousness. Avoid showing accessories and tools used during transport.
- Let the horse rest 24 hours before the journey begins.
- Teach them patiently to recognize the truck. Make it go up and down sometimes in the previous days, so that you get used to it.
- The first few times, you can make them travel with another expert horse that gives them confidence and will help them to behave more calmly.
- Give your horse plenty of water. Exposure to heat, fatigue and nervousness of the journey are all elements that promote dehydration.
- In the warm months, travel in the hours of least heat and set up an adequate thermal insulation for the trailer.
The tranquility, safety and health of your horse are always the primary objective. Especially when you travel!