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Hold Your Horses: How to Minimize Stress During Horse Transport

Hold Your Horses: How to Minimize Stress During Horse Transport

Whether you’re traveling to a show or switching stables, the time will eventually come when you need to trailer your horse from one location to the next.

As horse lovers, we know how transporting your equine friend can cause stress. There are some ways to help your horse be as comfortable and at ease as possible while trailering them from place to place. Here are some tips to minimize the stress of horse transport on the road.

How to Avoid Horse Transport Stress

Not all horses struggle with the same amount of stress during travel. But whether they’re bombproof or extra skittish, you want to take the appropriate measures to make sure they’re safe and comfortable.


When your horse is in a trailer they are experiencing loud noises, new smells, and are also being confined to a much smaller space than they are used to. It’s no wonder that these things can increase your horse’s stress!

Let’s look at the ways that you can make their experience better.

Trailer Conditions

Depending on  the trailer, your horse may be exposed to the elements during transportation. This could mean frigid temperatures or high humidity and heat. It’s important to take this into account before planning to trailer your horse.

A horse’s comfort zone is  41 degrees Fahrenheit with a summer coat and 18 degrees with a winter coat. This changes when you take into account wind and humidity. It’s important to take this into account by providing blankets or air conditioning as needed.

Trailers in the sun can instantly get hot when staying stationary even for a short period of time. So keep stopping to a minimum.

The trailer should be clean and sanitary and the flooring should be nonslip throughout the trip. This can be done by having soft bedding to soak up any urine or manure. Otherwise, your horse could fall and have a severe injury.

The trailer should also be the right size for your horse. Before transporting your horse they should already practice loading and unloading quietly. Horses should be comfortable with shorter trips before attempting a long-haul.

Travel Buddies

Your horse’s stress may also increase depending on who they are traveling with. Do they have a positive relationship with the horse or horses in the trailer with them? If not it may be difficult for them to relax next to an unfamiliar horse.

If possible, keep horses who get along together or introduce horses who are traveling together. This works great when one horse gets less stressed by travel and can offer some comfort to the high-stress horse.

Health Check-Up

Make sure your horse is in a healthy physical condition and is up to date on all of their vaccinations. Check that they are at a good weight and make sure they are drinking the right amount of water leading up to their trip.

Your horse’s health should be a priority throughout the length of the trip. So plan the route ahead of time to allow for frequent breaks. You should also be sure to provide ample food and water. Horses are known to lose a range of 0.45 to 0.55% of their total body weight per hour of transport!

This weight loss is due to a lack of intake and sweating during travel but can be very  serious for your horse especially on international flights and long trips. Weighing your horse before and after travel will help you track their health.

Keep Your Horse Safe & Happy

No matter how long the horse transport takes, keep in mind that your horse has gone through some amount of stress. Be sure to give your horse some time to adjust and recover from the trip. And their getting used to their new surroundings.

We hope these tips will help you keep your horse safe and happy during their trip. Looking for more helpful tips? Check out  these articles for more.

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