Thursday, June 28, 2012

Prepare horses for long trips in trailer - Full Article

Tuesday, 26 June 2012 20:16 By MINDY RIFFLE, Country World Staff Writer
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June 21, 2012 - With summer heat coming in early, preparing horses for trips in the hauler is more important than ever.

[Getting a horse used to eating and drinking on the trailer will reduce stress during trips. -- Staff photo by Riffle]

"Many of us travel short distances from the farm to the arena or an event, but if you ever have to travel a long distance, there are some things you need to know," Dr. Valerie Bixler DVM.

"You want your horse to be well hydrated before they ever get on the trailer," said Bixler. "Because, a lot of horses do not drink while they are on the trailer. They will learn if you do it enough, but most of them don't."

The idea is to have them well-hydrated long before they step into the trailer. Beginning three or four days before a trip, Bixler suggests supplementing with electrolytes, so that the horses will begin to take in more water. This way, they are prepared for a longer period without water once they are on the trailer.

"If they are not hydrated and you get to where you are going, you are going to be behind the eight ball," Bixler said.

While a bit extreme for the average Texas rodeo horse, Bixler pointed out that hydration is so important for equine athletes that those involved with Fdration Equestre Internationale (FEI) and other high level equestrians that travel all over the world will have a vet come out, put a catheter in the vein and run liters of fluids to horses before they put them on the trailer...

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