There is nothing worse than having to deal with extremely hot weather and the same thing goes for animals. Extreme heat tends to drain your energy, cause fatigue and at times, results in the malfunction of body organs. Keeping that in mind, it is most necessary to be take precautions when traveling with horses during summer, especially if you are located in regions where air temperatures can rise up to 100F degrees. Having the knowledge of what to do is important when it comes to traveling safely on the road with your horse on a hot day.
Hot weather results in possible dehydration, exhaustion, and heat stroke in animals. Experts recommend that all horse owners should take precautionary measures when hauling horses especially during summer months. Here are tips on how you can enjoy summer traveling with your horse without worrying about your horse’s overall condition.
Traveling at Night
If possible, try hauling or traveling with your horse when air temperature is cooler, such as early in the morning or late in the evening. Also make sure the horse is not exhausted before setting out. Travel at night can also be tiring for the driver- rest up before heading out on the road.
Pack plenty of Fluids
Hydration is very important when traveling with your horse. Take a supply of water from your farm because some horses will refuse to drink water from unfamiliar places – to them it could taste strange and you my not be sure of the quality of water from different areas. Make sure you bring with you extra water in case there is a breakdown and you cannot find a source of water nearby.
Adding electrolytes to the water can help when you are transporting your horse under the summer heat. A tip though – give the electrolytes a few days prior to the travel so your horse will be accustomed to the taste of electrolytes in water.
Keep your horse trailer clean and with proper ventilation. Make sure you keep the vents and windows open , but not allowing the horse neck/head to be exposed outside of the truck – float. Make sure your trailer is well maintained , so your horse will not be too stressed all throughout the traveling period.
Horse Care During Summer Traveling
No matter how extensive your preparations are for the trip, at some point, you and your horse will experience difficulty during the entire duration of the trip. You must know how to understand your horse especially if it is showing signs of being uncomfortable. Usually, horses have bright eyes and their ears are always forward. Check for signs of stress and stop to rest.
A horse can wrinkle out its forehead as a sign of being worried or stressed. In worse cases, your horse could shake in agitation. To a more extreme level, your horse could kick and exhibit fidgety behavior to let you know that he is not feeling too comfortable about the situation.
To remedy this, try to give it a supply of hay – this would keep him occupied as remain settled in the trailer. There are different types of hay for different regions so make sure that the supply of hay comes from your barn or farm because horses tend to ignore a taste they are not familiar with.
Check for Dehydration
Check your horse for signs of dehydration by pinching its neck and pulling the skin away. If the skin takes time to return to its position, you might consider giving your horse water and electrolytes.
Other Tips for a Safe Summer Travel
- Bring fly spray . Flies can be abundant during summer and you should protect your horse from them. Traveling during summer can be hard enough, and flies and other buzzing insects are a pest to your horse?
- Ensure your preparedness for the trip. Plan your routes and make sure you know when you are going to stop. Do not leave the trip to chance; if you want your horse to arrive safely at the target destination, you need to plan for the trip.
- Check your trailer once in a while, more importantly, check it days before you leave and on the day you are leaving for any defects.
- Lastly, it helps to practice driving while you have a load in the trailer. There is a huge difference when traveling with an empty trailer and one that contains a horse – or even two horses.
Make summertime a fun time to travel with your horse, whether you want to take him out to a show or simply want to enjoy a relaxing trip. Travel safely with these tips in mind and you and your horse will reach your destination successfully.