Whether you are travelling your horse or pony for training, competition or simply a new hacking venue or beach ride, let’s take a look at some essential items to help make it a safe and stress-free experience.
We often forget how unnatural travelling is for the horse, but a few simple checks and some forward planning can help make it a much easier process.
Apart from remembering to pack your saddle and bridle and riding gear, it is really important to make sure your horse has suitable protective travel equipment to help keep them safe and prevent injuries whilst loading and travelling.
Boots and Bandages
A must-have essential for protecting your horse’s legs and there are plenty on the market. Many people now choose boots as they are much easier to put on and provide plenty of padding around the knees, hocks, fetlocks and heels. Whichever you choose always make sure that they fit correctly.
Headcollar and Leadrope
A well-fitting headcollar and good quality leadrope is a must when travelling. A field safe or leather headcollar is ideal as it will break under extreme pressure and can easily be cut in the event of an accident. Your horse should be tied up using a quick-release knot to a breakable tie or safety release mechanism to allow quick release in an emergency.
A sweat-wicking rug or cooler rug is ideal to help provide extra protection and prevent horses from being cold especially after exercise. However a rug is not always needed especially if the weather is warm, but it is worth packing a travel rug just in case. Remember don’t over-rug your horse, it’s preferable that they are too cool than too hot. Pick a rug suitable for your horse and the season.
Whether you feed hay or haylage, having some forage in a net or bag can help keep your horse calm and occupied whilst travelling. Remember it needs to be accessible but in a safe position so they cannot become trapped in it.
Treats might also be handy to help keep your horse calm and are ideal as a reward for loading well.
Having a water container filled with fresh water is definitely an essential for travelling so your horse can have a drink. Don’t forget your water bucket!
First Aid Kit
Ideally a first aid kit for both horse and rider is essential when travelling… it’s always better to have one and not use it. Items to include are bandages, tape, dressings, antibacterial wash and cream and gloves.
Tail guards or bandages are ideal for preventing the tail or dock from being rubbed and injured whist travelling.
Poll guards may be needed to prevent larger horses or those that don’t travel well from hitting the top of their head. Made from either foam or leather they fix onto the headpiece of the headcollar.
Boots, gloves and a riding hat are needed for loading and unloading safely.
Emergency numbers such as insurance policies, breakdown and an emergency number for the vet are wise to have on hand just in case.
Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged and don’t forget to take a phone charger just in case.
Lastly don’t forget your horse passport by law it should accompany the horse.