Trailering horses in hot weather is sometimes necessary, even though it is not desirable. Try traveling when it is cooler, such as in the early morning or late evening, to help reduce heat stress on those enclosed horses.
Keep in mind that the inside of a horse trailer can easily become 20 degrees warmer than the air temperature outside. Horses working to keep their balance in such conditions can quickly become stressed, fatigued and dangerously overheated.
Here are more tips to help you keep your horses cool while traveling in hot weather:
- Open trailer windows and vents, but make sure that doing so does not encourage a horse to assume an inappropriate position while you are moving.
- Do not put sheets or coolers on traveling horses, even to "keep them clean." They'll overheat and arrive sweat-stained anyway.
- Skip heavy quilts and bandages on legs and go with lighter-weight shipping boots. If all the horses in the trailer are experienced travelers, you may want to ship with just bell boots on to protect coronary bands.
- If you have to stop on the way, park in a shady spot if possible. Offer the horses water before you set out again.
- Once you've arrived at your destination, unload and offer more water as soon as you can do so safely.
Feel free to comment on this article if you have other tips to keep traveling horses cool.