Horse Riders' Information
Nancy Nellis, Phone (406) 685-3541 PO Box 526, Pony, MT 59747
Horse care and
copyright (c) 2005
Tips For Getting Your Horse Into A Trailer-
If your horse is very frightened to even go near the trailer, do familiar actions and routines beside the trailer. For example, you can heed the horse in large circles near the trailer because the circle is a familiar shape and you always want to be directing the horse what to do.
When you are reintroducing trailers as good things, you don't want the horse to be afraid to escape. So if he wants to escape, you let him. Stop at the point where he begins to hesitate and acts like he wants to escape. Let him investigate the trailer. Make sure you reinforce your trust and friendship with your horse.
Groom him, scratch him, talk nice and don't apply any loud pressures. Do this over and over until the scary spot gets closer and closer to the trailer.
More on Transporting Horses...
Many horses adapt well to hauling, while others undergo significant stress.
Researchers at U.C. Davis have looked at the stresses involved in hauling and determined there are physical, psychological, and climatic factors involved.
Physical factors include withholding food and water as well as noise and road conditions.
Psychological factors include separation from other horses and exposure to new environments.
Climatic factors include temperature and humidity. Horses stressed by transport were found to be more susceptible to diseases including pneumonia, colic, founder, and diarrhea.
To determine the effects of long distance transport, horses were hauled in a commercial equine van for 24 hours. The horses lost 6% of their body weight, possibly due to heat dissipation, sweat loss, and decreased consumption of food. Some dehydration occurred but was corrected within 12 hours after transport without treatment. Some muscle fatigue was also found. Stress was found to increase the concentration of cortisol in the blood, which decreases the immune system.
The researchers made several recommendations regarding the transport of horses. A horse with a respiratory disease should not be hauled except in an emergency. Horses should not be cross tied for long trips, but should be allowed to lower their head to decrease the chance of respiratory disease. Horses hauled long distances should be provided with feed and water. Unfortunately, horses may not drink and this can increase the chance of dehydration and impaction colic. Since pneumonia is common after transport, horses should be monitored closely for depression and lack of appetite.