As the temperatures remain low and the threat of snow still lingers, we’ve put together some top tips to ensure the safety and comfort of both you and your horse when travelling this winter.
1.Horsebox Safety checks.
It is very important to check your electrics are in good working order before you travel. All lights including brake lights and indicators should be tested before each journey. Connections and wires can become loose or worn over time.
Tyres are incredibly important to keep you firmly on the road. Check your tyres every time you travel, this should include checking the tread (should be at least 1.6mm) and tyre pressures. Over inflation of tyres can be as risky as under inflation so be sure to check your vehicle’s handbook. Checking wheel nuts is also a 5-minute job that can reassure you.
- Plan your journey
You should try to plan a route which takes into consideration any issues due to winter weather, such as avoiding flooding or untreated roads. Always let someone know where you are going especially if you’re traveling alone. Alert them of your travel times. Use your common sense and avoid travel if possible, during periods of extreme or unpredictable weather.
- Pack essential items.
Along with the current essentials you should always carry (first aid kit, water etc), pack a torch, spare batteries, extra warm and waterproof clothing for yourself and a spare rug for your horse. Hi vis items should always be carried and be stored where they can be accessed quickly. Food for yourself and your horse in case of any unplanned stops will always be welcome!
5) Keep your horse comfortable
Your horsebox should be kept well ventilated during travel, even in the colder months. Consider how your horse travels; rug to suit especially if your horse is clipped. If your horse gets hot and sweaty whilst travelling, be careful not to over rug.
Many horses don’t drink as much during the winter, offer water regularly when travelling, before leaving and on arrival at your destination.
Some horses can get disorientated when leaving a dark box and entering a fully lit arena. Consider soft lighting within the horse area, this can help calm your horse and help with adjusting to the brightness when you arrive.
- Safe loading and unloading
Take your time when loading and unloading. Try to find softer ground, this will minimize the risk of your horse slipping on wet, slippery concrete. Light the area and horsebox ramp as much as you can to minimise the risk of your horse knocking themselves.