This time a year ago I was living 250 miles north, in a city environment, no fears about moving into 6th form. One year later, I'm living in South Devon, a mile from the nearest road, with my horses in my garden. Its safe to say that I didn't go without a fuss, but it was a move that I’m glad I made! Travelling Sprout down was difficult, he doesn't travel well anyway, so a 7 hour lorry journey was not fun for him. I thought I’d share some tips for tricky loaders/travellers this month, in the hope that it helps people.
Firstly, protection. If you have an unstable (pun intended) traveller, then they're a lot more likely to knock themselves while in transit. Strong boots/bandages are essential, but for tricky horses I’d recommend boots over bandages. Lots of boots have rubber casing around the bottom to avoid injury if your horse steps on themselves, and they are a lot easier to remove quickly in a panic. If bandages were to come undone mid journey, it could make the experience a whole lot worse for the horse.
Next you have to think about space. If your horse is unsteady, cross tying make help them keep their balance. You may also find your horse travels better herringbone as opposed to front facing, or vice versa. On Sprout’s long journey, we made the partition slightly narrower than normal, to give him something to lean on.
Finally, the most important thing to the horse…food. Your horse is going to sweat a lot if they get stressed, and it may not be safe to keep giving them water. I gave Sprout haylage instead of hay while travelling as the high moisture content means that it will replace some of the water lot through sweating.
In my opinion, if you are travelling with a stresshead, its best to just leave them to it. Don't constantly check on them, don't take them off if you stop for a break (you might not get them back on) and just let them be. They can sort themselves out and avoiding injury to yourself if the main priority, you're useless to them if you're injured!
I hope this helped, please dm me on instragram (@rf_equine) or email me if you have any other questions!