Moving to the other side of the country is an epic undertaking, especially when the country is the United States of America and the household includes a horse, two cats and a race car. Octavia Pollock (pictured above) stepped up to the challenge of helping to get an eventer and a showjumper from California to South Carolina by road.
Just getting to our local equestrian centre can sometime feel a long haul, but if you really are planning a long trip on the road, here are Octavia’s top tips for covering big distances on the lorry — wherever in the the world you are.
Carry five gallons of water per horse with you, and take more hay/alfalfa than you think you’ll need.
2. Don’t forget to pack…
Take cash, all the horses’ papers, including vaccine sheets, and extra hay for overnight stays.
Stop every four-and-a-half hours to rest the horses and offer them water. They don’t have to come off the trailer, they just need to stand still for half an hour. Ideally, maximum travel time should be 12 hours, including stops. Remember, everything takes longer than you think it will, so leave plenty of time.
We pick the horseboxes that will keep you — and your horses — sane when you’re travelling far afield
4. Medical kit
Make sure you have a full medical kit with you for the horses, in an accessible spot. If your horse is prone to ulcers or other stress-related conditions, it can be a good idea to give him a preventative before travel.
For finding overnight equine accommodation in the UK, the British Horse Society runs a Horses Welcome scheme, with a network of approved equine B&Bs across the country. Telephone 02476 840496 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. In America www.horsemotel.com and www.horsetrip.com are good places to start.
Read Octavia’s full account of taking two horses 3,000 miles across America in Horse & Hound magazine (16 July 2015)