Giving water in a trailer with no escape door
I am moving with my family this summer and will be trailering our two horses for approximately 11 hours. We have a 3 horse slant load with no escape door. I am already worrying how I will be able to give water to the horses. My horses are not the best at trailering so unloading is not an option, I do not want to risk it. So...how on earth do you (if its possible) give water to horses without an escape door?
I would suggest you work on trailering and get them near perfect with loading/unloading.
Not only will you not be able to safely give them water, you'll have them stuck in one spot for 11 hours continuously. I would -never- haul a horse more than 4 hours tops without unloading them and atleast letting them walk around a little somewhere.
In my opinion, there is no way to safely water them in a slant load (because I know that my BO would never even try to water in her 4-horse slant. There's no safe way without taking them all out aside from the first horse, in which you would have to openthe divider up anyway.
So, I suggest you start working with them now on it until they're great at it and have no problems. On any trip, something can happen that involves taking the horses out of the trailer. Lucky (my lease horse) actually fell and went down in the trailer just going down the driveway to the show a few weeks ago. BO was basically throwing the leads to me to get the other horses off to get to Lucky and get her up because she was in the first stall of the slant load. Thankfully we were on a back road and traffic spooks weren't an issue (even though all the horses are fine with traffic, but it could've been a lot worse than it was if any of the horses had an issue with unloading. The other horses had a bit of trouble going back on (because I'm sure they realised how stressed Lucky was), but I'm sure you can imagine how bad it would've been had the other horses not wanted to unload and If Lucky wouldn't have calmly waited until help got to her. I wouldn't risk it, and definitely suggest that you get them loading/unloading with no issues.
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There are waterproof, canvas corner feeders for slant load trailers. I've had some (rotted out and not replaced) and would put water and hay in them for longer trips. I always unload my horses, tie them up, refresh their feeders (don't want to let the feed ferment) then reload them.
Another way to get water into a slant is to use an RV 12V water pump. Then you just have to run a hose in your trailers window to get water in there.
Wow, 11 hours in a trailer. Seems like a too-long haul to me too. Even if you look at just that someone needs to drive for that long -- even trading off drivers -- that's a heck of a long day. Those horses need a break. I would break that into two days if I could at all -- or if you wanted to do it with trading off drivers: haul for 4, break for 1/2, haul for 4, break for an hour and haul for 3 to the end. That means taking the horses out in between for 1 -1/2 hours total. So the stops will be longer than that. An 11 hour drive will now be something closer to 13 1/2 hours.
I hauled my friends horse for 6 hours without a break, except a water break without unloading (10 minutes maybe). I wanted to stop to walk the horse in between but my friend insisted on carrying on. When we arrived her mare was tucked up and my friend was worried about her. I didn't have the heart to say I told you so. Thankfully, nothing came of it, but it was tough on this very experienced, easy-loading mare.
I would also unload to give horses a rest at the very least once with a long break. If you do not unload though,I would take breaks often just to give a break from moving. I would take the first divider out and haul the first horse in the front two stalls, and the second horse in the last stall. there is much more room in the last stall. This configuration will give both horses extra wiggle room. I have watered horses through the windows with buckets offering H2O at every stop. A ladder helps.
thanks for the replies. Of course I plan on working with them at getting them good at loading and unloading. 11 hours is just an estimation. It takes 8 hours with the trailer with no horses. So I added in breaks to let their legs rest. My moms horse is blind in one eye and extremely spooky in new situations- so it would be too risky to unload him in an unfamiliar spot. The trailer is a "big horse" trailer and if I took out the second second divider there is a lot of room. It is still an option to have them professionally hauled I am just trying to weigh out both my options.
Unloading does not give horses a rest. Not sure where this is coming from. Way less stress to leave them in the trailer than to unload and load in some strange area next to a highway.
Leave the horses in the trailer, tie the buckets, maybe those soft rubber, black recycled ones, in the trailer ahead of time, then figure out how to get a hose in the window, surely you have some windows or something. Lots of small battery operated pumps. or even a hose and a funnel, and several 2 litter soda bottles of water.
For an 11 hour drive, figure on a pit stop every three, leave the horses loaded, just park in the shade, open up some ventilation and give them some wet hay and water. and let them chill for a half hour.
joe4d is right I would not unload if something happens you could be in for big trouble I would put water pail in the corner and fill them 1/2 way I have see this done ,I own a straight load, hope this helps
i have hauled horses 11 hours or more many times, please do not take them out of the trailer unless they are GREAT at loading and at a barn ! i would try to get buckets in when you stop to let them rest assuming you have windows] or soak their hay. i try to stop every 3-4hrs to give them at least a 30min rest.
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