How Can I Prepare My Horse to Travel?

Categories: Pets & Livestock
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Even in the best weather conditions, traveling by road is stressful for a horse. If a horse gets nervous during its travel, the horse could stop drinking, resulting in dehydration and digestive illness. To help your horse make a successful journey, start adding electrolytes to its water a few days before the trip. Also, three days before departure, start adding mineral oil to the horse 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 handle, it's important to let your hauler know in advance. Ask your veterinarian what measures can be taken to calm the horse's nerves throughout the journey. Two or three weeks before traveling, have your farrier trim your horse's hooves and replace shoes if needed. A couple of days before, have the farrier stop by to round off the hooves one last time.

Another important aspect of horse travel is disease. If the horse will be crossing state lines, you are required to present a negative Coggins test
(for Equine Infectious Anemia, or EIA). The test will have had to be done within the last 6 to 12 months depending on the destination state's laws. Most states also require a health certificate, within 10 to 30 days, again depending on the state. Some states require a brand inspection or an entry permit. The best thing to do is to check with your veterinarian as to what is required before transporting your horse.