How often to stop when Hauling Horses
When you are planning your hauls, pay careful attention to how long it will actually take you to transport a horse. Some haulers plan their trips without stopping to get a horse there quickly. The rational is they don’t want to risk injuring the horse loading and unloading him out of the trailer. Here are few effects on the horse if it travels for up to five hours without stopping.
- Dehydration. Because horses often refuse to drink while traveling, they may lose enough body weight to become clinically dehydrated (loss of at least 5 percent of body weight).
- Pleuropneumonia or “shipping fever.” Impaired clearance of crud, dust, bacteria and any foreign substance from the respiratory system is often the result of standing in the vehicle for many hours and not being able to lower the head. This leads to pleuropneumonia, a bacterial infection of both the lungs and the pleural space that surrounds the lungs.
- Colic, primarily secondary to dehydration. When horses lose body water, the highly fibrous food (hay) that is in their digestive tracts also becomes dehydrated. This is a very big risk factor for impaction colic.
Plan your trips to stop at least every two hours. This should give the horse enough time to get out and walk around.