12 Tips for Travelling
Travelling horses long distances in trailers or horseboxes can be stressful for horses and owners, sometimes even a short journey can feel like a big event. But travelling horses doesn’t have to be a stressful experience, there are a lot of things you can do in advance to make travelling your horse a smooth day out. As lockdown measures are lifted and we start to travel to training and competitions, we’ve put together 12 handy tips to make your day easier.
- Prepare the day before. This is key if you or your horse can get nervous about an excursion. Make sure the travel boots or bandages you want to wear, the rug you’ll travel in, your tack and your riding equipment are ready to roll so you can quickly put it in the car or lorry the morning of your trip. It’s one less thing to think about and you won’t have that nagging feeling of having forgotten something once you’re on the road
2. Put a Protechmasta poll guard under the headcollar. This is great to help keep your horse relaxed if they can get anxious. A happy horse + a happy human = a good day out
- Fuel! Always fuel up the day before an outing to save any worries about needing extra time to stop on show day. If you’re running late and there is no petrol in the tank at 4 am the morning of a show your stress levels will be sure to go through the roof (think we’ve all been there!)
- Fill up haynets the day before and always take one more than you need. If you breakdown at least your horse will be kept busy munching on the delicious picnic you packed
- Portable phone charger. ALWAYS keep a spare, fully charged one in the car or lorry. We’ve relied on ours more times than we can remember
- A pocket full of Calming Cookies can help take the edge off your horse and make the loading and travelling experience smoother
- Plenty of shavings in the horse area to encourage your horse to wee, especially if you’re going to be out all-day
- Know your route and remember if you’re using a Sat Nav it will assume you’re a normal car, not a lorry or a car pulling a trailer. So, add 30 minutes to the predicted journey time, this also allows for route diversions, coffee stops and getting lost! It’s also good to check the route in advance in case your Sat Nav takes you down a small country lane, doing a 50-point turn on a narrow lane is NOT fun (again, hands up if you’ve been there!)
9. Always take your horse’s passport and if you’re competing, take the rule book of the governing body with you. You never know when you might need to know rule 13.2.5
10. If you’re competing ALWAYS wear jogging bottoms over your white breeches or store them inside-out in the car or lorry. A chocolate stain on your left thigh never looks great as you’re trotting up the center line. And to this point, always take a spare set of clothes and the Masta pack-a-way rain sheet for the horse
11. A selection of rugs for your horse. As we all know, the weather can change very quickly so you’ll be thankful for having a variety of horse rugs on hand
12. And lastly, make sure you enjoy yourself. Day trips with horses should be fun whether you’re competing, training or going for a ride on the beach. So keep smiling, prepare the day before and remember why you’re there in the first place! Happy travelling.