Travelling long-distances with your horse

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    Thanks to modern transport links and high-tech horseboxes, shuttling horses around the UK — and abroad — is easier and faster than it’s ever been. Scottish showjumper Scott Brash reveals his tips for stress-free travel

    Scott Brash, who is based near Peebles, recently made an eight-hour trek to Peter Charles’s Hampshire yard to pick up his fellow rider and horses en route to the Aachen Meydan FEI Nations Cup in Germany.

    Having also driven to shows in France, Switzerland and Spain — a four-day trip, averaging 450 miles a day — this year, Scott has lots of advice for long-distance travellers.

    “Ideally, we try to stop every four to five hours to give the horses a drink, although we offer them water throughout the trip,” he says.

    “I also give them carrots so that they can get their heads down.”

    Scott, who does all the driving in his seven-horse Ford Scania, advises wetting the ramp at each stop, too.

    “It gets some moisture into the box and freshens up the air. We’ve never had a sick horse yet,” he adds.

    Vet tips for long distance travel

    • Keep box windows open

    • Don’t box-up horses straight after competition — they need time to recover and relax

    • Do regular temperature checks — if they are getting hot, you need to do something about it quickly

    • Don’t allow them to get dehydrated

    • Drive as smoothly as you can to avoid extra stress

    • Get the horses off the lorry every four hours. They shouldn’t travel for more than eight hours without stopping for a graze and a break

    • If you can’t get them off the lorry, at least untie them so that they can get their heads down and have a drink

    For the full article on travelling horses by land, sea and air, see the current issue of Horse & Hound (29 July, ’10)

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