Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Blog Hop: Traveling With Horses

"What is your best tip for traveling with horses?"

 L from Viva Carlos asks us what our must dos/ must haves for when we travel with our four-hooved partner. This blog hop comes quite timely, as Summer-time brings an influx of shows all around the region, where hundreds of horsey enthusiasts haul to compete for a chance at winning pretty ribbons, money, or exclusive bragging rights.

Bringing Suzie 13hrs home.
I honestly haven't traveled very far before, but I've hauled out dozens of times. The farthest I've had a horse hauled was back in March 2013 when the Hubs, friends, and I took turns driving the 13 hour road-trip when I first bought Suzie. I haven't made that long of a trip since then, but I have made dozens of little ones.

My best tip is to check over the trailer FULLY.  I do not own a trailer, and therefore rely on borrowing off of horsey friends. So, inspecting the trailer fully before departing is something I do not rush and I certainly do not take for granted that the trailer is "fine".

Mentally, I run over a check-list that is similar to this:
  • Check that all the lights work including the "stop" lights.
  • Ensure all connections are working and trailer is hitched up properly (no chains dragging, etc).
  • Inspect floor mats, windows, doors to check for damage, defectiveness, etc.
  • Make sure the trailer is insured (you'd think this would be a dead give away!)
  • Ensure that the brakes are working properly.
  • Check the tires to make sure they are inflated properly.
  • Let someone know where you are going so if you run into trouble (flat tire) they can come lend a hand.
 I think that a lot of people like to worry so much about their horse rather than the trailer, and if your trailer is defective or not working 100%, it will cause you more problems than if your horse doesn't have shavings scattered on the rubber mats, or his shipping boots on!

Trailer, trailer, in the mirror...

I, for one, haul horses with minimal gear. Suzie goes in the trailer with just a halter and lead. Nothing else. She doesn't need shipping boots on (and I swear I've seen more problems with shipping boots than I have seen without), she certainly doesn't need a poll-guard (although I can see how that would be useful if you have a horse who likes to slam his head around), and I do not tie a hay-net inside (just asking for a disaster!). We haul 15 min - an hour maximum and I have no concern for her legs stocking up or her being uncomfortable. To me, it is more about the trailer than it is about the horse.

If your trailer is in good, working order, your horse shouldn't be coming out with scrapes, bruises, bumps and cuts. Of course, it also depends on if your horse is a complete wacko in the trailer, and in that case, taking certain precautionary measures is always recommended!

1. Viva Carlos  4. Equestrian Journey  
2. That Red Mare  5. MN Equestrian  
3. All In- Henry and Karley  6. Forging Fiction  


  1. I forgot about checking the trailer when I joined the blog hop! This is my number one must do before we leave too. The truck also. I make sure to fill it up with gas beforehand, check the oil and water, check the lights, check the tires, etc. The truck we haul with isn't the one we drive every day so we check it and the trailer every single time we haul. :) I also haul my horse in minimal gear. It's too hot to put blankets on them around here.

    1. Doing a "truck check" is great to remember as well! Even if we DO drive it every day, some things are easily over-looked!

      And high-five for hauling "naked" horses!

  2. I completely agree about the hay nets. Putting one in the trailer is just asking for a wreck to happen.

    1. It scares me. Even just the "bag" hay nets are asking for problems as well. All it takes is for a horse to paw (and most do in trailers) and they are not only stuck, but can become violent in a confined space. Scary!

  3. After hearing horror stories of trailer floors falling out enroute, inspecting a vehicle is pretty damn important.