Q: Cavallo Hoof Boots Q&A: What can I do to keep my horse safe while trailering?
Cavallo President Carole Herder shares her advice….
A: Preparation is prevention when it comes to trailering. More than 50 percent of the injuries horses sustain in transportation are to their lower limbs. Ranging in severity, from treatable surface wounds to irreparable impairment, the main causes are scrambling, loss of balance and conflict with other horses. With less frequency are collisions, fires, over-turned trailers, trappings, falling and tying up.
Although daunting, it is your responsibility to be aware of the risks for accidents and injuries and do the best you can to prepare for anything. You don’t want to be the one responsible for something that could have been prevented. Equally consider your own aptitude and preparation, your trailer safety and maintenance and your horses’ emotional and physical well-being.
Here’s a checklist of what to do to prepare for trailering trips….
Before you Leave:
- Be aware of the location of veterinarians and large animal rescue teams along your route.
- Make sure you have all required documentation and insurance coverage.
- Check all regulations and health requirements.
- Carry a first aid kit and know how to use it.
- Learn how to drive with the extra weight behind you and take it easy. Don’t be bullied into driving faster.
- Ensure you are well rested, stay alert and avoid any distractions.
- Know your vehicle and read the owner’s manual.
Prep Your Trailer:
- Check your brakes, wheels, landing poles and jacks. Lubricate as required.
- Replace batteries as required for lights, safety breakaway and camera monitors.
- Check your tire tread and pressure.
- Check your shocks. The vibration of travel can aggravate your horses’ joints, muscular and skeletal structure, making your horse sore and stiff. Always use Cavallo Transport Air Boots to absorb the shock of road travel.
- Make sure the inside of your trailer is clean and free of infestations, odors and bacteria.
- Make sure your flooring is solid with no soft or rusted areas.
- Check your hinges, doors, openings, side walls and roof for any problems.
- Cover protrusions like bolts or nuts with soft, protective material.
Prep Your Horse:
- We assume that anyone reading this would not try loading a horse without proper training. If your horse won’t load, you need to increase the training. Never use anything like forceful electric prods to get the job done. Succumbing to short term measures rarely end well for the horse.
- Horses are herd animals. Transportation in compatible groups gives them emotional comfort. I have a friend whose horse suffered during a tire blowout, sustaining an injury and confined in the trailer until the road was closed and he could safely exit. He became very reluctant to enter a trailer after that. My friend installed mirrors to reflect him as a “companion” for himself, which seemed to provide the comfort of a herd and make the trailer more inviting.
- Always protect your horse’s feet with Cavallo Transport Air Boots. These will ensure proper traction to prevent scrambling and minimize the impact of any incident.
- The sound of road travel is strange for some horses, so make sure it is not increased by things like clanking chains and squeaks in your trailer. Try to keep his immediate environment quiet.
- Avoid respiratory problems and shipping fever by maximize fresh air circulation. It obviously becomes a bigger problem if there is little wind or frequent stops. Installing a fan may help.
- Remove soiled bedding often.
- As a horse’s survival instinct is to flee, restraint can increase worry and compromise the immune system. Unfit hooves are a major source of anxiety. Another concern is restriction of their head and neck.
- Horses balance well and rest in a head down position, carrying their weight on the front quarters and resting one hind leg. Consider allowing a head free position in your trailer.
- There is some evidence that horses balance better facing in the opposite direction of travel.
- Allow room for your male horse to stretch out his hind quarters to urinate.
- Many of us are hesitant to use wraps or boots for fear of the leg overheating or the wraps coming undone. Simply use Transport Air Boots to prevent metal shoes from being pulled off or causing other damage to legs or your trailer.
- If your horse is uncomfortable, feels vulnerable, threatened or overly confined, he can refuse to eat or drink which can result in colic and gastro problems. Dehydration may be avoided by sprinkling a little salt on the grain to keep them thirsty.
- Not only is your horse vulnerable to the physical strain of road travel, but emotional stress and nervousness can be far-reaching. I always recommend feeding magnesium. It has a calming effect and can also keep them defecating.
- Always ensure horses’ buckets are clean and fresh and the contents neither too warm nor cold. You might bring along their own familiar bucket from home.
- A couple of weeks before you depart, you could start including something like apple juice, apple cider vinegar or even a drink mix powder like Gatorade, so that this familiar taste carries through when the water taste changes.
- Usually if they are drinking, they will eat. If your horse loves his hay, bring as much familiar hay from home as you can.
- Rather than removing the metal shoes before a trip to prevent injury, you can now use your Cavallo Transport Air for overall protection, increased traction and shock absorption.
Have a safe and successful trailing trip. Travel well. Travel safely. Travel Protected. Travel Cavallo.
Contest Extended! Enter Our Spring Giveaway:
Enter now at https://www.cavallo-inc.com/AHP-spring-giveawayfor a chance to win a pair of Cavallo Trek Boots for your horse! You pick the size if selected. Enter before the deadline, May 31, 2019. One winner will be notified by email and announced on the Cavallo Horse & Rider Facebook page within one week after the deadline. One entry per person/email address. Delivery to North America only. If the chosen winner does not respond by email within one week, the second-choice winner will be notified. No cash value, no returns or exchanges. One entry per person. Void where prohibited. Find out more about Cavallo Trek Horse Hoof Boots: https://www.cavallo-inc.com/product-category/hoof-boot/trek-hoof-boots, MSRP: $189.90 USD for a pair.
Cavallo Horse & Rider’s Trek Hoof Boots are the most flexible, durable, breathable and user friendly addition to the Cavallo Hoof Boot collection. The honeycomb design maximizes strength and minimizes weight for the comfort your horse deserves. Great for the relief of chronic pain or hoof sensitivity; rehabilitation from injuries, abscesses, navicular disease, laminitis/founder, punctures, sole bruising and contracted heels. Trek can easily be adjusted for close contact and snug fit to individual horse’s hooves. Can also be used for protection during trailering and breeding or taken on the trail as a “spare tire” for lost shoes. Trek Hoof Boots are now available in Red, Black and Green on Regular and Slim Sole styles.
Visit https://www.cavallo-inc.com to learn about the full line of hoof boots. Want more info? Sign up here for our free newsletter: https://www.cavallo-inc.com/email-signup-AHP. Call (877) 818-0037 from the USA or Canada or call direct, (604) 740-0037.
About the Source:
Carole Herder is the author of the #1 International Bestseller, There Are No Horseshoes in Heaven. She has been involved in horse health since 1993. Her company, Cavallo Horse & Rider Inc., develops, manufactures and distributes horse products in 26 countries. Herder designed and developed Cavallo Hoof Boots and Total Comfort System Saddle Pads. She presents trainings around the world to teach the benefits of keeping horses in a natural state. Herder is an honored recipient of the Royal Bank of Canada Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award. She is a member of the Women’s Presidents Organization, supporting female entrepreneurs in every industry.
Cavallo Horse & Rider
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