We are planning a move from Boise,Idaho to Warroad,Minnesota.1600 miles one way.We have 8 horses.My question is how often should we unload and let the "kids" stretch their legs.It is about a 24 hour drive.We are trying to do it in two 12 hour drives.2 drivers to each truck and trailer.Any suggestions from someone having this type of experience would be greatly appreciated.Thanks much!
We have hauled all over the US while running for the world standings. Our horses had to be ready to perform after hauling long distances.
I would suggest first that you have a lot of shavings over and above a good mat to keep the road heat from getting to your horses. I would also suggest that you stop every 4-6 hours and longe your horses around at a jog to get their circulation going. (about 15 min. or so)This will make a big difference in their travel tolerance.
If you are stabling over night, they should get adequate leg rest, providing they are bedded down.
Water intake may be an issue. You can either carry water from home, or prepare them to accept other water. You can start early by adding Gatorade or cola to their water. That way, while on the road, you can ad the Gatorade or cola to any water and they will think it is just like home.
I would also carry some electolyte paste to make certain that they stay hydrated. If you give your own shots, perpare an emergency kit with Banamine, topical spray, bandages,etc., in case of colic or accident.
I would caution against wrapping legs too firmly, especially if you do not usually wrap legs. It can cause more problems than help. A shipping boot designed to protect the leg will be fine, as long as it fits properly.(watch for them to slip down, they get tighter when that happens) You may decide to use a light rub on the legs at night which would help circulation and tendon refreshment.
A simple grass hay to keep them happy during the journey will help them stay calm and ready to drink. Make sure that any hay nets are tied high so that a front leg may not get caught if a horse should paw. You may want to check the net and refill so that it does not drop lower from lack of hay.
Thanks for the advice.I had not thought of the shavings on the floor.My Hubby thinks stopping once and unloading the horses is enough.BUT-I will put my foot down and prevail!We get cramped driving so I can imagine how the horses feel.Anybody have any suggestions on finding an affordable place to stay with 8 horses overnight-in Montana preferably?We don't mind roughing it either.Prefer to be near our horses.They are used to being pastured together,so don't forsee to many issues other than my bitchy herd boss arab mare!We did breed her-so her sweet self-should be back any day now...lol.
Check out Horse Motels International at www.horesmotel.com. They are a complete directory. If I remember correctly, there is a very nice ranch with cabins and RV spaces and either stalls or outside paddocks where your horses can stay together. (Buffalo Ranch or something?)
One stop would be fine for a healthy,fit individual that is used to trailering and is in good muscular condition. Otherwize, they may need more breaks.They are constantly balancing and the lactic acid build up could become a problem in some cases. Are they able to be loose or turn backwards for travel? That would be the most stress free position, easier on the heart etc. Prehaps you have a stock trailer that they can be loaded and turned around for travel. If not, a slant load is the next best arrangement.
Thanks for the motel link.I found a place 10 hours from me,that will work out.Also we will be transporting a very new foal-with Mom,on the trip to MN.Any hints on hauling a foal that far? My husband was hoping to wean the foal and sell her before we move.I told him that I think 4 months is the soonest baby should be taken from Mommy.We are moving the end of August.Needless to say-baby IS going with us!Just curious on whether to tie Mom and let baby loose,next to her?The most room I can spare will be 2 slant spots with the divider removed.Wait-just did some figuring..I can maybe spare 3 slant spaces for her and baby.Any tips would be appreciated.Thanks!
The best situation would be to have room to turn both mare and foal loose. (like a stock trailer with a separate compartment)I would be concerned that the baby can not get under the dividers and underfoot of another horse. That would be a disaster.You may need to secure plyboard to the divider so that the foal will be safe. Watch for spaces that can catch a small hoof and leg.
If the mare is large, and could not turn around easily in the area, then tie her so that she does not get hurt. The rope should be tied up so that the foal can not get caught in it.( caught by the neck ) Same thing with the hay net. With enough room, the mare can avoid the foal and all should be well. You may want to help urge nursing during stops so that the foal stays hydrated. (every couple of hours)The foal should lie down and rest most of the time.
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