September 15, 2006, Newsletter Issue #31: Preparing a Horse for Travel

Tip of the Week

Even in the best of conditions, traveling by road is stressful for a horse. Horse transportation can be a difficult for the animal, and it is common for the horse to stop drinking, resulting in dehydration and digestive illness.

To help your horse make the journey successfully, start adding electrolytes to its water a few days before the trip. These will help the horse feel thirsty and want to drink enough water. Also, three days before departure, start adding mineral oil to its feed to ensure proper digestion, and cut back on high-grain and sugary feeds, replacing alfalfa with grass hay.

If your horse tends to be nervous or hard to control, it's important to let your hauler know in advance. Ask your veterinarian what measures can be taken to calm the horse's nerves during the journey.

Two or three weeks before traveling, have your farrier trim your horse's hooves and replace shoes as needed. A couple of days before, have the farrier stop by to round off the hooves one last time.

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