hauling tips and advice!
   

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hauling tips and advice!

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        06-18-2014, 07:07 PM
      #1
    Weanling
    hauling tips and advice!

    So I have been running barrels competitively for around 3 years now but now I am advancing and going to bigger and further away barrel races and rodeos.

    My horses all trailer and haul fine but the longest they have been in one is like 2 and a half-3 hours. I have a 4 horse Featherlite and my horses seem to really like it but I just want them to be as comfortable as possible especially for the longer hauls.

    So I was just wondering what are your hauling tips and tricks? Do you do anything special? What is some advice for the longer hauls?
         
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        06-18-2014, 07:12 PM
      #2
    Foal
    For long hauls I have learned, especially since my horse doesn't like the trailer all that much, to tie quick release knots when you tie them in the trailers. Also to make sure you have hay to keep them distracted for the duration of the trip.
    EquestrianCowgirl4 likes this.
         
        06-19-2014, 09:22 AM
      #3
    Green Broke
    In general, my horses have quick release snaps on their ties and breakaway halters. In the event that we get into a wreck, I want to know that they aren't going to fall and be hung by their own leadrope.

    Always make sure (if you have the option) to load your horses so they stand over the axels of the trailer. So for example, let's say you have a 4-horse slant trailer but are only going to be hauling 2 horses. Most likely, you are going to want to put your horses in the 2nd and 3rd stalls, or the 3rd and 4th stalls ... depending on where exactly the axels on your trailer sit. The smoothest ride for them is over the axels.

    For everything else, it will depend on the horse. Some people haul with soft ride boots on the horse's feet. The farthest I travel (and doesn't happen a ton) is 3 hours. I have Back-On-Track quick wraps for my one gelding that I trailer him to places with. I have some home-made shipping boots that I use in other cases, or for the ride home. If I would be hauling anywhere that is 5 or 6 or more hours, I would not put anything on their legs. (because wraps build heat)

    Make sure you arrive at your destination with plenty of time to let the horses relax and stretch their legs, before they are expected to perform. If they don't eat/drink well on the road (or it is very hot) an electrolyte is a good idea. You can get it in paste form for those horses who do not eat/drink well.

    And that's just what I can think of off the top of my head right now!
    EquestrianCowgirl4 likes this.
         
        06-19-2014, 01:35 PM
      #4
    Yearling
    We make two trips a year that are quite a distance. One is 7-8hrs and the other is 12hr drive.

    I personally always wrap my horses legs with Back On Track No Bows and Standing Wraps (regular No-Bows on other horses since mine get the BOT). I also put Soft Rides on and notice a huge difference especially on the longer hauls. I also have fly masks on them since there is always shavings (at least 12" deep) and windows are dropped.

    I also put slow feed hay nets in their so they always have hay to much on and keep busy. When we stop to fuel we usually also drop windows and offer water, we also NEVER unload them. The only time they get unloaded is when we reach out destination or our stay when laying over for the night. If you have a picky horse always bring some water from home so they will drink while hauling. Also before the haul you can put Gatorade in their water source as it has electrolytes (not a lot for a horses body) but will also help mask the taste of other places water when it comes time to haul. We learned that from a horse hauler many years ago and it really does work.
    EquestrianCowgirl4 likes this.
         
        06-19-2014, 05:05 PM
      #5
    Weanling
    [QUOTE=BarrelRacingLvr;5627154]We make two trips a year that are quite a distance. One is 7-8hrs and the other is 12hr drive.

    " we also NEVER unload them. The only time they get unloaded is when we reach out destination or our stay when laying over for the night."

    Why do you not unload them? I have heard both sides of that and I am just not sure what side to be on yet...

    I have heard to unload them to let them stretch their legs. Then I have also heard don't unload them just stop and park for 15 min so they can rest without having to constantly keep their balance.
         
        06-19-2014, 05:24 PM
      #6
    Green Broke
    I agree with BarrelRacingLvr that I would NOT unload my horses from the trailer during stops for rest or for gas.

    Places that you stop (usually gas stations) are not a safe environment for unloading your horse, in my opinion. It is safer to just leave them on the trailer and unload them when you get to your final destination. Just make sure you arrive early to your event so your horse will have plenty of time of stretch their legs there.

    At least if you are at your destination, it isn't the end of the world if you horse gives you problems loading onto the trailer. If you are parked in the middle of a gas station?? Yes, then it's a problem. Granted I've never had a problem with my horses not loading (because I"ve taken the time to train them) you just never know 100%.

    Not to mention all the other idiots buzzing around at a rest stop or gas station.
         
        06-19-2014, 09:49 PM
      #7
    Yearling
    [quote=EquestrianCowgirl4;5628810]
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BarrelRacingLvr    
    We make two trips a year that are quite a distance. One is 7-8hrs and the other is 12hr drive.

    " we also NEVER unload them. The only time they get unloaded is when we reach out destination or our stay when laying over for the night."

    Why do you not unload them? I have heard both sides of that and I am just not sure what side to be on yet...

    I have heard to unload them to let them stretch their legs. Then I have also heard don't unload them just stop and park for 15 min so they can rest without having to constantly keep their balance.

    Because like Beau said, it just isn't safe. You have clueless people buzzing around you who are not going to care if your horse is freaking out. Also if your horse gets loose your pretty much screwed, especially if your close to a highway or busy street. I would rather know my horse is safe than take a stupid chance of them spooking and breaking loose and getting hit by a car. They get a chance to rest while we are fueling, getting snacks and using the restroom.
         
        07-14-2014, 11:11 PM
      #8
    Foal
    Just for a difference of opinion, I'll toss in my two cents.

    I typically unload my horses if I am traveling more than six hours; typically every 3-4 hours. They run much better if they can get a chance to walk around and stretch their legs during the trip. I have seen some horses who don't need to get out, and some who do.

    I typically unload at rest stops instead of gas stations or truck stops. At a rest stop along the interstate there are usually plenty of places to park away from other vehicles, and grass to walk around on. I don't let my horses graze, because you never know own what is on, or in, the grass there. They have hay in the trailer, and are offered water when I stop.

    Other than that, I usually don't boot, but I have rarely used the Back On Track boots. I like them a lot, I just don't need them much. I am blessed with horses that travel well.

    Good luck on the road!
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    SueC likes this.
         
        07-15-2014, 03:52 AM
      #9
    Green Broke
    We don't usually travel that far but we have a few times. I definitely wouldn't unload at a gas station or truck stop. At a rest area where there isn't a lot of traffic, I would as long as I know the horse will load easily and will not likely spook.

    As for tips, ventilate the trailer the best you can during the trip. Some say to not drive with the windows dropped but if there is a guard to keep the horse from sticking it's head out, it should be OK.

    Our trailer is like a stock trailer with open slots on the sides. We also use fly masks to help keep debris from hitting their face or going in their eyes. We did once wrap their legs but haven't since. Haven't seen a difference after hauling without.

    Since our trailer is so open, we don't use bedding in it. The wind would blow it around too much and the horses could breathe it in.

    For short trips, we don't offer the horses hay. A long trip, over 2 hours, they would get hay in a hay bag. Also, when we stopped for gas or potty breaks, we would offer them water. That is on trips closer to 4 hours or more and if it's is pretty warm out.
    Posted via Mobile Device
         
        07-15-2014, 04:23 PM
      #10
    Foal
    Another thing I might add- always have a backup plan.

    I travel alone with two horses. I know how to change tires, oil, batteries, and other small things. But when my alternator went out halfway through a 12 hour trip, I was in trouble. Took quite a bit of work and research on the side of the road and a repair shop to figure out what to do with my horses for the night and following day while my truck was in the shop. Nowdays, I always find 'emergency landing' places, where if something were to go wrong, I could stay. Some are boarding barns, or private homes of people I know. I keep all the phone numbers on me.

    I also have a 'cheat sheet' of emergency contacts, veterinarians, farriers, where I'm from and where I'm going, and some other health information for both me, the horses, and my dog, just in case of a wreck and I can't answer. I've been very blessed and haven't needed it yet, but I feel better knowing its there.
    SueC likes this.
         

    Tags
    barrel horses, hauling, rodeo, trailering

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