With futurity season in full swing, I thought I would talk to you about what I do when hauling horses long distances to shows.
First and foremost, all of my trucks and trailers get full inspections before we take road trips. This includes checking all the bearings and tires on everything. We run heavy-duty tires on everything and make sure they are in good shape. If you tend to blow tires, you need to make sure your axles are not bent. Regular maintenance usually will deter these issues when going down the road. Of course, changing the fuel filters regularly is also a must.
As far as the horses go, one thing I really believe causes the most problems when hauling is lack of hydration. I will give my horses electrolytes several days in advance before hauling, and if they are are going a really long distance, I will consider giving them IV fluids. My horses get watered every four hours on the trailer, but some horses just do not drink enough. I find if we hydrate them before hauling, they do much better.
Another thing I find helps my horses is not changing the feed in any way. We always carry as much feed as we can, and then begin to mix if we have to purchase more while on the road. We also keep the horses eating at their regular feeding times. I find they are much happier when we keep their lives as consistent as possible.
I hope these tips will help you get down the road safely and keep your horses happier while traveling!