There and back again – Ten Top Travelling Tips – Part 1


An Overview of travelling your horse and what you need to think about.

Part 1

  1. Many equines do not display obvious signs of stress but recordings of heart rates, hydration levels, hormone levels and body temperature show that travelling is a genuinely stressful experience for any horse and their body reacts accordingly. Your horse may seem fine but don’t assume he is.
  2. Horses learn quickly and have excellent memories so bullying uncooperative horses to try and get them to load is fruitless. All you will be doing is affirming to the horse why horseboxes are to be feared and avoided.
  3. A horse that is new to travelling should be exposed to the idea gradually. Start by leading the horse around the vehicle and let them see and sniff it at leisure. Raise and lower the ramp without loading. Putting some food on the bottom of the ramp will also contribute to the positive experience! Progress one step at a time for no more than 20 minutes.
  4. Driving or towing equines safely and comfortably is a special skill that sadly does not always receive the attention it deserves. Get used to the box or trailer before driving with horses on board.
  5. Reversing a trailer is a difficult skill; master it with an empty vehicle. Trailer towing courses are highly recommended for anyone starting to use these vehicles.
  6. Recent research has shown that stress in travelling horses is significantly reduced when they are provided with the company of another equine. A stable mirror, carefully positioned in relation to the travelling horse, can also help alleviate stress.
  7. Taking a companion for show-bound horses is well worth considering. (Redwings has a guardian home Shetland in a home where her job is to travel with dressage horses!)
  8. Air circulation in horse boxes is often poor so windows should be opened fully to allow for maximum air movement.
  9. Anyone who passed their driving test after 1997 must take additional tests to legally drive a horse box or tow a trailer but even if you passed your test before then, consider professional training.
  10. The implementation of new European legislation now means that anyone transporting livestock, including horses, for commercial purposes must hold a Certificate of Competence. Any horse owner paying someone to transport their horse should always ask to see their certificate.

If you want further information or to download the brochure visit Redwings website here