With spring in full swing and summer on the near horizon many equestrians are enjoying the opportunity to get their horses and ponies ‘out and about’, either to competitions, sponsored rides or lessons. Whether you are a seasoned competitor travelling regularly to shows, or simply want to enjoy a ride at the beach or complete essential tasks such as travelling to the vets, all horse owners will need to transport their equine at some point.
A bad traveller that becomes stressed and unhappy during transport can suffer detrimental health effects leading us to finding it difficult to justify going to shows, events or simply a fun ride.Whilst the majority of equines are amicable to being boxed or transported without incident, for those horses unfamiliar with loading know-how, or for those that have suffered a bad experience, loading can create a problem.
Difficulty loading can be worrying and frustrating resulting in an unhappy horse and handler. Mini Horslyx can help as the easy to hold, hand-held tub keeps your horse focused on licking whilst providing a healthy reward packed full of vitamins, minerals, trace elements and antioxidants. Our useful guide shows you how to maximise loading success whilst keeping stress levels to a minimum!
Ten Top Tips for Successful Loading and Travelling from Horslyx
- Keep your horse protected whilst loading and travelling with boots, rugs and a poll guard. Not only will this keep your horse protected from knocks and scrapes whilst onboard, it will reduce your need to worry about them too! Also don’t forget to make sure you, and any other handlers are also well protected when loading and unloading and always wear sturdy boots, gloves and a hard hat.
- Set aside plenty of time and don’t rush – you practice your dressage and jumping, make time to practice loading as well! If your horse is nervous and becomes stressed when loading, provide a calm, positive environment and make sure you keep your own stress levels to a minimum. Remember horses are very receptive to our emotions!
- Prepare your equine for a positive travelling experience before they step on board with sufficient bedding and forage to keep them content and comfortable during their journey.
- Always ensure the flooring of your trailer or lorry is in good condition with no sharp edges around the travelling space. Before setting off on any journey check that the tyres of your vehicle are in tip-top condition so you can rest assured you are totally safe to travel.
- If your horse is a reluctant loader try opening your jockey door or the door into the living space to increase light. A bright and airy space will encourage loading, as it is a natural reaction for the horse to avoid walking into dark spaces.
- If your horse is large, make sure he has room to move about – possibly even removing the partition for more space and avoid travelling with other horses if the space is particularly cramped.
- Hydration is crucial, and if you horse becomes fussy about ‘strange tasting drinking water’ away from home consider soaking your haynet to boost hydration and always take plenty of water from your own yard in the lorry water tanks or a portable canister.
- Consider, where possible, loading and travelling alongside another horse or pony which is relaxed about being transported in order to promote your equine’s confidence.
- Bribery can be incredibly effective in this kind of situation. Mini Horslyx is ideal as the hand-held healthy treat can persuade your equine to take those all important steps up the ramp and, unlike carrots or treats, they are unable to take the reward in one go!
- Don’t forget to reward and praise your horse for any advancement they make and be prepared to practice. Repeating the process and providing a Mini Horslyx reward will gradually build towards positive association.
Mini Horslyx can also prove useful as a distraction during visits from the vet or farrier or to complete equine stretching exercises! Happy travelling everyone! If you want to see how Mini Horslyx can also help encourage stretching exercises, check out our YouTube channel athttp://www.youtube.com/user/HorslyxVideos