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Heading to the Fair? Tips for Transporting Your Horse


horse trailer

It's that time of year again: The temperatures are rising, and it's starting to feel like the fair season. If you're taking your horses to be shown, be sure you, your horses, and your trailer are ready for the excursion.

You will want to have your horse checked by the veterinarian close to your trip, within about a month. This will ensure that if there is anything going on, you can get it handled before you travel. Make sure to discuss with your vet exactly what type of trip (how long, to where what kind of climate you're expecting) so they can give you advice as well.

It is also a good idea to practice loading and unloading your horse(s) into the trailer. This is as much for the horse's benefit as yours, so you're both familiar with the procedure before the big day. If your horse will be wearing special equipment, such as shipping boots, make sure you put them on him in advance so he has a chance to get used to wearing them. This will increase his comfort during the ride.

The next thing you want to check is the trailer your horse will be riding in. Make sure there are no visible signs of wear (broken windows, rust, holes, frame damage) and that the lights are working properly. It is also important to check to make sure there is enough ventilation in the trailer, as horses are very prone to overheating. Also make sure your horse is well-hydrated, offering water from a familiar bucket each time you stop, and every four hours at a minimum.

Most importantly, check the tires. Make sure there are no visible signs of damage. If there are several cracks in the sidewall of the tire, this is a sign of dry rot, and your tires need to be replaced immediately. Make sure the tires are inflated to the maximum air pressure recommended on the sidewall and make sure your trailer is not overloaded. It is also recommended that you carry two extra trailer tires, in case of emergency. A blown out trailer tire is dangerous to you, your horses, and other motorists on the road, so make sure you inspect your tires thoroughly.

If you plan ahead properly, you'll be able to transport your horse stress-free. Following these simple tips will have you on your way to a blue-ribbon fair season!

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