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How To Stay Organized On The Road With Your Horse

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TrailerHorsesMost horses take a trip in the trailer at least once or twice a year. Whether you are traveling to a friend’s barn or local trail head for a day trip or heading to your next competition for an overnight, staying organized on the road is an important part of smooth and fun horse travel. Use this list of items and tips to help you stay organized on the road with your equine partner.

Planning for Your Trip

  • Step 1: Plan your route. Before you even load the first trunk onto the trailer, you should know how long it will take you to reach your destination. Be sure to have the necessary travel documents ready, as well as GPS / phone chargers and interstate maps handy.
  • Step 2: Where are you going to stay? Hotel or camping? Close to your horse or a 15-minute drive? If you will be staying overnight, knowing the details of where you are going to stay is an important step in remaining organized and limiting stress while you are on the road with your horse.
  • Step 3: Check your vehicle. Make sure that your truck is in good repair and that you have a full tank of gas. Check that the trailer has good lights, brakes and tires.

 

Packing and Organizing
Knowing what to pack is as equally important as knowing how to pack. s come in all shapes and sizes; they are the perfect travel storage units for traveling short or long distances with your equine partner. Plastic trunks are ideal for storing medical supplies, liquid items (soap, wound care, fly spray, etc.), and miscellaneous items (hay nets, halters, etc.). Hardwood or customized show trunks are ideal for storing individual horse needs, such as: blankets, show scrims, show bridles, show boots and monogrammed show accessories. On longer trips, each horse should have one trunk that is dedicated to their specific needs. With this in mind, below you will find a list of essential items to bring with you on your next road trip.

 

  • Food: Hay, grain, supplements and any medication that might be needed in an emergency or for the show (Bute, Banamine and wound care are the top three items to bring on any trip). Make sure you bring enough hay and grain for your length of stay. Day trips will likely not necessitate bringing grain.
  • Shavings. Nothing is worse than arriving at your destination, only to realize that you can’t unload the horses because the extra bedding hasn’t arrived. Bring a few bags of shavings with you to ensure that you can bed the stalls upon arrival for any overnight stays.
  • Stall and barn aisle cleaning items: a muck tub or wheelbarrow,, shovel, broom and pitchfork are all essential for cleaning out both rented stables and your trailer.
  • Feed and water buckets. Don’t forget to bring extra bucket hooks for hanging the buckets at your destination. A tool kit and hardware (screw eyes, snaps, duct tape, etc.) may also come in handy.
  • Water in plastic jugs for breaks during longer trips and for while you are at the destination on day trips..
  • First-aid kit for horses and people.
  • Horse tack: saddle, bridle, girth, saddle pads, halter and lead shank, horse boots, leg wraps, cooler, blankets, braiding yarn and any other items that your horse will need upon arrival at your destination. (This list will vary by horse and by event, so plan accordingly.)
  • Grooming kit (curry comb, brushes, tail wraps, ear plugs, shampoos, conditioners, touch-up clippers, fly spray, hoof polish, etc.), and tack cleaning kit (soap, sponges and leather conditioner).
  • Stall ID card. This card should have the horse and owner information, as well as two emergency telephone numbers.
  • Emergency cash. Having a bit of spare cash is always a good idea when you are traveling with horses. Whether you need to buy a last minute item or need cash for a quick tank of gas, it is good to have some back-up money for emergency use.

 

Staying organized with your horse on the road is as easy as planning for your trip, packing in easy-to-organize trunks and running through a checklist of must-bring items. Following the above guidelines will help you to have a smooth, organized and fun trip with your equine partner.

 

ashlyAshly Snell of Dover Saddlery is an equestrian expert who enjoyes eventing and caring for her two Dutch Warmbloods.

 

 

 

 

 

Ashly Snell of Dover Saddlery is an equestrian expert who enjoys eventing and caring for her two Dutch Warmbloods.

Photo Credit:  Shutterstock

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