Lets just start off by saying you will most definately hear Dante in the horse box before you see him! That box wobbling all over the place, yep that’s him… I honestly don’t know how Coco puts up with him, how she hasn’t bitten him on some of their journeys or point blank refused to go into the box is beyond me.
It is an unwritten rule of travelling that the bigger horse goes on the drivers side of the box…. well not my Dante! He goes on the left. How we got to this conclusion?
Keep reading to find out our travel issues & all the products we have used along the way & of course the travel tips we live by to help keep us all in one piece!
What’s the Issue?
So the title of this post, “How Do You Travel Your Horse” well to go into a bit more detail he finds it extremely hard to gather his balance in a box. He loads & unloads no problem, so he has no hate towards the physical side of being travelled.
Trying to Protect Dante alone when he is travelling can be heartbreaking. He has managed to fall, stumble, wobble around the place, he uses the divider in the box to lean against for support. He has to be travelled on right hand side of the box, the list goes on… As for minor injuries we have had cuts on his legs, on the top of his tail, the top of his back….
Luckily we have never had any serious travel injuries or have had any underlying issues from travelling so we are extremely lucky in that sense.
My Go To Travel Tips
- On take off, don’t be alarmed if you hear a loud crash as you begin to move, some peoples faces can be priceless if it is their first time towing Dante. He is simply letting you know that he is finding a way of planting his feet to find his balance! Always take off slowly to give them a good starting chance.
- Some horses travel better on one side than the other & that is normal. Be extra aware when you are turning on this side out on the road, Dante I know cannot cope with right hand turns. He is more unbalanced on this side when being ridden so it makes sense that it would translate. Keep your turns smooth, avoid stopping and starting as this only makes it worse.
- I tie him up quite tight in the box, this will give him extra support to help keep himself balanced. The back bar is also a must!! It supports his ever so groovy bum as it wiggles around the place, we have tried removing the back bar & this did not end well… use a back bar people!!
- Separate hay-nets if you are travelling with another horse in the box. Half the battle of his wobbling was looking back to him fight the other horse off his haynet. This would clearly be a cause for him moving around the place.
- Shavings under his back feet, a nice thick layer for extra grip. Sometimes loose bits of hay or even a slightly wet horse box floor can throw their balance off making them slip & slide around the place
- The quicker you go, the better he travels! Obviously within reason and never go over any speed limits. At a more stable consistant speed Dante seemed to be able to cope much better. So basically stop worrying & boot her on!!
- Dont stop & start, don’t drop down gears to accommodate the horse. He is a passenger in your box. It goes without says that bombing it over 100km/hr isn’t the answer either, but if you feel movement in the box don’t automatically think you must bring the box to a stop to let your horse gather themselves.
You name any horse travelling item & I have used it, and Dante has managed to rip them to pieces! Not one bit Ideal if you ask me, my bank account has really suffered over the years. If only I could put him in the car & strap him in with a seat belt!!
When I bought Dante first, I had no travel boots. Some people don’t believe in them. I wasn’t this person, I simply couldn’t afford to buy a €50+ set of boots at the time & with the very little travel we were doing I just couldn’t justify the spend.
As we began travelling more & more on the other side of things, I couldn’t justify not having his legs protected as everytime he stood out of the box a new scrape or cut would appear. His back legs were the main culprits.
Your Standard Travel Boot
From the most expensive set to the cheapest, these were great at the beginning, and by beginning I mean they done the job for so long… I got maybe at most 4 journeys out of every set of boots? His front legs were never an issue it was the back ones boots that always had my heart broken.
I honestly dont know how one horse can do so much damage, he would manage to tear a boot to shreds just by shuffling around in a horse box. At this stage, I didn’t know what I was going to do or how I was going to solve this issue. Having constant cuts on his back legs was pleasant.
My recent purchase, my RHINEGOLD RIPSTOP TRAVEL BOOTS were put to use the weekend just gone, and after one, yes one turn in the box, we arrived at the venue, opened the back door to find one boot has come off, & one velcro strap had been clean cut ripped off. My heart is breaking even writing this!
Something that was suggested to me by my yard owner, one I wasn’t too fond of to be honest. simply as it is so time consuming to do. It is fine before travelling as you are in the yard gathering your bits, but leaving a venue there are times when you just want to leave.
On paper they sound great, but if not bandaged or applied correctly gaps appears & in turn his legs are exposed to cuts. If you haven’t copped by now I am not good at applying polo bandages even with help, so these were automatically a write off before I even tried them..
The Product that Saved the Day
After some time searching & searching for any sort of boot that would pass as something Dante could use to travel in or at least something I could try him in I eventually came across these amazing leg wraps.
Look no further, let me reveal the secret weapon to horse travel boots, LEMIEUX FOUR SEASONS LEG WRAPS.
They have been a God sent. See below some of their amazing qualities. They are not labelled as travel boots but as a stable boot, so my outlook on it was my money is being spend on a product that has a use for more that one thing!
- Their Wicking Fleece controls temperature & moisture, so if your horse is travelling after a day out XC or at the beach these boots are perfect for damp legs
- Suitable for Front & Hind legs
- Provide protection from the top of the hoof upto under his knee, wrapping in under his tendon. Maximum protection!!
- Are extremely light, so if you have a horse who struggles to cope with big bulky travel boots these are your answer!
These boots are very appealing on the eye, they come in the navy pictured above & red. Dante doesn’t feel bogged down with these wraps on his legs, I am beginning to thing the other travel boots I had been using were maybe a bit too heavy & bulky around his legs.
Dante’s back legs always ran into issues when it came to travel, it never dawned on me that he may be uncomfortable in the larger full travel boot that goes up around his hock.
It could be something to look into when it comes to what boots you put on your horse, are they causing your horse discomfort? A lot of boots out there are quite stiff & hard, it was something that never crossed my mind.
I never wanted to be that person that had to travel their horse alone in a box, and that was another option given to me maybe he needs more space? He travels as bad in a lorry as he does in a box… his take off is always a bumpy start, but he settles & to be honest at this stage only time will tell with his travelling habits.
I have noticed the the more regular he gets out, the better he is at standing… So watch this space!
Have you ever had any travel issues with you horse? Or are you in a dilemma where you are restricted to not travelling because of certain issues?
Let me know in the comments below, As always, thanks for reading,