Safe Travels – Top tips for getting out with your horse

Horse ready for travelling wide shot

There are lots of things to consider when it comes to travelling your horses, but we are here to help you ensure the safest possible set up for getting out and about with your equine friends.

Service savvy

Make sure you are on top of your lorry or trailer maintenance. Is the transport serviced and safe?

  • Check all tyres and tyre pressure regularly, not just for uneven wear but for any signs of perishing too
  • Lift mats and test the floor often
  • Test ramps and grease hinges and catches
  • Start your horsebox and let it run a little while before driving to let it warm up
  • Check the oil and water levels before every journey
  • Check brakes, especially if it hasn’t been used for a while.
  • Check tie ups and partitions are all secure

Safety first

For tricky loaders or unknown horses, it might be an idea to pop on your helmet and gloves when loading up and if you need a little extra control, put a bridle on over the headcollar – remember to remove it before you set off though. Make sure you have baler twine or equi-ties to securely tie your horse to inside the horsebox or trailer. Quick release options are vital for increasing safety in an emergency.

Top tip – leave ropes safely secured in place and just switch the clips on loading.

Ensure you’re loading in a secure area by closing any gates to the road or fields.

Top tip – get your trailer or horsebox organised before you start trying to load so that you are ready for the off as soon as possible.

Try and have an extra pair of hands ready to help you if you need it, and if you’re likely to need some additional tools for persuasion, such as a lunge line or treats, have them within easy reach.

Loading a horse for travelling

Practice makes perfect

Have a dry run. If you can, try loading your horse a few days before the event or outing at a time where you have no other commitments. Check they are happy loading, reward good behaviour with a treat, such as our Premier Horse Treats, and note anything that might need addressing before a show or time-constrained outing.

Problem solving

Asking your horse to walk onto a moving metal box is a big question and one that should be taken seriously. Remember, horses are flight animals so building up their trust to happily load onto transport is the key to success.

Horses can be fearful and one of the most common reactions is planting, standing firm at the bottom of the ramp and not wanting to move forwards. Make sure you produce a positive walk before approaching the box, have a friend encourage him forwards from behind, and don’t be tempted to drag him as he’ll only resist more.

The use of horse-safe mirrors and wireless radios are commonly used for travelling a nervous horse, just ensure that these are secured safely before you begin your journey.

Our Calming Cookies are an ideal product for nervous or anxious travellers. 1-2 cookies 30 minutes before loading might just be enough to give your horse the confidence he needs to become a really happy loader and traveller. You could even try a loading dose the night and morning before for particularly tricky ones.

Most importantly, keep your cool. It might be tricky to stay calm when time is short and horses aren’t programmed to be perfectly behaved. If you feel that adrenalin surge and nervous/frustrated energy building up, step away for a few minutes, grab a drink or try our Human Kalm Bites, then come back with a fresh mindset and try again.

We love to hear from you, tag us in your successful loading stories on our Facebook and Instagram pages and we will re-share them!

Loading a horse for travelling

Premier Performance Team

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