Horses, especially Paint Horses, are easily stressed and frightened. This tendency is exacerbated during travel, which is one of the most stressful events a horse can experience. Horses have been known to lose between three and ten percent of their body weight on long-distance journeys, highlighting the importance of safe, secure, and fluid horse transport. Below, we have detailed a few essential steps to transporting your Paint Horse safely and securely.
Prepare your Horse Float or Bumper Pull Trailer—The trailer itself should be correctly fitted and secured before you load the horse. Check brake lights, tire pressure, and gas to prevent last-minute accidents, and ensure that the horse’s legal and medical documents are in the towing vehicle. Make the space look and feel more inviting to the horse by providing a loading ramp, food, and bedding and by opening all doors and windows during the loading process.
Prepare your horse—Use a breakaway-style halter and a protective head bumper, as well as leg wraps and shipping boots, to ensure your horse’s safety while in the trailer. A hot temperature day may necessitate fly spray; if there are too many insects in the trailer, your horse may attempt to move around, facilitating injury. Remain calm throughout the process, as the horse will be able to pick up on any stress you may be feeling.
Load and secure the horse—Slowly and calmly lead the horse up the ramp. Ensure the heavier horse (or the horse, if only one is traveling) is on the driver’s side of the trailer, and leave space between each of the horses—if they are able to touch, a fight may break out. Close all doors and lock them, then check to see if any windows or latches may swing open. Address these potential problems before leaving.
Hit the road—While towing a horse trailer, try to avoid highways, drive at or below the speed limit, and limit the number of sharp turns.