Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
To answer your question, most of the time I leave them in the trailer. They are safe, and they get a break from balancing every 2 hours. DH started this practice to ensure that neither of us would drive tired, especially since we did a lot of summer driving through the night. Sirius radio REALLY helps at night! I usually trailer to my (Amish) farrier one hour every 6-8 weeks. Don't load up the hay nets for short trips, but everybody that I was acquainted with when I started traveling recommended feeding bc it gives the horses something to eat and something to do, and THAT makes longer trips more palatable for them, IMHO. I suggest you err on the side of caution regarding everything with trailering. Make your own opinions, and stick to it. Neither feeding nor abstaining while travelling is abusive.
Speaking of trailering stories, we had an older (19yo when we bought him) TWH who loaded fine, but rushed backwards when unloading. We finally fixed this by DH, who closed up the back before I unhooked him. He hit the back door--left a dent and spooked himself. He was totally cured of the habit after this, and afterwards took baby steps backwards, including letting me monitor and tell him "down" for each foot as he stepped off of my stock-type trailer, as I do when I unload everybody else. Speaking of trailering, I suggest that you NOT let your horse turn around in the trailer to unload, unless, of course, he is loaded facing backwards. Most trailers are designed to load facing forwards and unload backing, and it certainly is good horse manners for a horse to back obediently! I was thrilled to see Ryan Gingerich demonstrate backing out of a trailer (via a box for initial training) by watching your horse's feet and telling him when he is stepping off of the trailer, whether to the ground or onto the ramp bc I have always done this, for all four feet. I used to think people thought I was a little nuts for doing this. =d
One last thought--I stick with the semis when I drive. They cannot start fast or stop fast, just like us, and you can set your cruise control to stay with a convoy. Very rarely has a semi-trailer driver cut me off, but I wish I had a dollar for each time a compact car cut me off while trailering. **mad face**
Last edited by Corporal; 11-07-2011 at 01:57 PM.