Transport & Equipment

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If you have ever owned a horse that had difficulties loading you know how determined a horse can be to not get in the trailer. It is easy to accuse the horse of being stubborn or obstinate, or we can make excuses for them, especially if they have ever been hurt or scared in a trailer. Unfortunately, sympathy will get you about as far as being frustrated will — basically nowhere.

To help you understand what your horse experiences during transport he might suggest that you stand inside the horse trailer, with your hands in your pockets and your eyes closed, while he drives you around. I knew someone who considered himself to be an extraordinary driver, yet the horses he hauled always had more than their fair share of mysterious nicks and bumps, and every horse that stepped off his rig was sweated. I tried to tell him that it isn’t about handling his rig as if it’s a sports car; it’s about providing the horses in his rig with the most comfortable ride possible.

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With spring just around the corner our thoughts turn to riding, riding, and more riding. While not nearly as enrapturing, save some consideration for that lonely chariot outside, which gets our beloved steeds to and from events, shows, and trails. Every trailer that has been parked or stored for the winter should undergo a methodical inspection and maintenance routine before hitting the road each year. Safety should always be of primary concern, but comfort is important as well – every time a horse has an unpleasant trailering experience, he or she will go through that much more stress on the next trip.

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A Guide to Getting Jack Into the Box - The most common transport-related injuries to horses are from failure to adequately and properly train the horse to load and haul. It’s solely a matter of investing the time and having the willingness to teach the horse in the way he can best learn and accept the concept. Think about the second half of that statement for a moment; as with any form of teaching, if method A isn’t working, there are 25 more letters in the alphabet!

A new study will investigate how to optimize the welfare of horses being transported by air. Horses are among the most travelled domestic species, and although there has been plenty of research into road travel, less is known about how they cope with travelling by air.

Developing guidelines for health and well-being of horses transported by air.

By Mark Andrews

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From The Horse's Perspective - Until recently, no major studies had been conducted about the effect of travel on horses. The best advice most folks could hope for was to glean some pearls of wisdom from the ocean of opinions and tales of other road warriors.

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It’s no secret that the horse transport industry attracts people who think in terms of a fast or easy buck; the rate of start-ups claiming to be “horse haulers” is testament to that. The number of disreputable haulers makes the choice even more difficult. So, what’s a caring horse owner to do when the commercial horse transport landscape is as alien as the far side of the moon?

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