I am moving from Cali to Washington about 1000 miles, I have never traveled this far with my horse before. I purchased shipping boots to protect her precious legs. I also purchased a bottle of Red Cell to boost her red cells since she's moving to a much higher elevation. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks! :D
Make sure you're stopping every 3 or so hours to offer water. A lot of horses don't like to drink when they're trailering so try picking up some Horse Quencher or you can put a good amount of grain in the bottom of the bucket and fill with water. Once they realize there's grain at the bottom a lot of horses will drink up! I've found that giving a bran mash and electrolytes the morning of a long trailer ride helps them drink throughout the drive as well.
Make sure all windows and vents are open on the trailer and, if it's going to be REALLY hot, drive at night when it's cooler and make your "rest" stops during the day. Try to really plan out exact locations to take short breaks and make sure you know where all the barns are that you'll be overnighting at. Make sure you have multiple maps! REAL, PAPER maps as well as GPS devices. Do you have a toolbox in your truck and trailer? Make sure your spares are filled and ready to go just in case.
I'm sure I'll think of more.
Welcome to Washington, hope you like rain! ;)
Make sure you bring more feed than you think you'll need, and travel with more water than you think you'll need. Should you break down somewhere along the way, you'll be prepared.
Has your horse ever trailered with shipping boots? If not, take them for some drives with them on. Some horses don't like them at all, and they do make their legs quite hot.
I would not stop every 3 hours. Offer water when fueling, or using rest rooms.
I also would not trailer at night and rest during the day, as that is much hotter on horse, and more tiring too. I'd do driving from 7 to 5 ish, give or take, and find your overnight spot. Time it so you will arrive at your destination in the daytime hours, which may mean you stay overnight 2 nights.
That way horse can settle in and be able to see what is happening.
Add Gatorade to your horse's water now, powdered, so that when you offer it on trip, might drink it better.
Be alert when you stop, and always after leaving your trailer, check your hookups, hitch, and all your doors to make sure no one has done anything to your trailer.
Make sure you have a trailer aid so that you can change tire if you need to.
And secure everything in bed of truck as the wind will whip around in the bed and carry out every single thing you have in there, even things you think it won't.
Find the spots you will be overnighting in, and find out if you need your own hay/buckets or what have you, and if they have a place to drop trailer if you want to.
And don't get your horses out to "let them walk around", that is dangerous and a good way to get one lost too. I've seen people walking their horses around letting them graze at rest areas which is just flat out foolish. We've all seen our horse refuse to load easily, plus, most rest areas spray their grass for weeds.
And too much danger for you yourself if you are trying to load horse and someone comes along that is dangerous. Be alert to your surroundings.
Where in Washington are you going that has such high altitude?
my mare thinks the trailer is going to eat her lol
Be warned: RedCell = ENERGY! If he's not exercised thoroughly daily, it will make my extremely mild-mannered boy insane. Don't start feeding it until after your horse is well settled in. Feeding it during the trip would be a bad idea. ;)
Shipping boots are a good idea. Also, make sure your trailer is deeply bedded, and muck it out daily. If you don't already have a hay bag, you should purchase one and keep it stuffed full (even if it's only with low-quality grass hay). Take a ton of your current hay with you so you can transition over to the new stuff. Make sure you're stopping frequently to give your horse water, and if he or she might get stressed and not want to drink, bring electrolytes along and add it to his or her grain.
Hand walk your horse every day, and make sure you have your route planned out, including stops and places to spend the night.
MAKE SURE you have a complete and well-supplied vet kit, tool kits, plenty of feed, etc. Spare tires are a must. Getting a kit of fleece lining for your halter is always a nice thing to do for your horse, but isn't truly necessary.
Everyone has offered good trailering advice so I'll offer the low to high elevation experience. We moved from OR at ~300ft above sea level to NM at ~7000 ft above sea level. Our horses spent about 3mos adjusting. They did a lot of laying down to sleep and would tire quickly. So work them slowly at first and don't be shocked about how much they actually lay down. After the 3 mos they snapped out of it and you know what? Took us 3 months too.
I've never used shipping boots as they often slide down and the horse steps on them. While one foot is standing on the boot he can't move the other and may panic. Mine had an 8 hr trip, loose in a stock trailer and was allowed the freedom to stand how he wanted, backwards. He travels well like this.
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