Trailmeister.com - Full Article
As Published in the July, 2011, issue of The Northwest Horse Source.
by Robert Eversole
Summer is officially here, and in spite of high fuel prices, trail riders are hitting the highways in large numbers to haul their horses, and mules, to “work” as they travel to that perfect riding destination. In my last article we discussed the fundamentals of trailer maintenance and how to check your equine partner’s travel accommodations for safety. Let’s expand on that topic and talk about how to create an equine friendly environment while we roll over the blacktop. There are several topics to discuss around trailering such as; front or slant load, bumper pull or goose neck, step up or ramp, tie or not tie, and more, but today we’ll narrow our focus and concentrate on two factors; dealing with heat and driving styles. Regardless of how far we haul we’re asking a lot of our horses and we’re creating stress on them in several ways; from the stress of heat to the stresses of being bounced around inside a trailer.
Dealing with heat – Most horses’ comfort range is between 30 to 75 degrees depending upon the breed. While this is a wide temperature range consider the wide range of horse breeds from cold loving Icelandics to thin coated Arabians. They each have adapted to different environments. Now consider the trailer and how hot it can become on a warm sunny (think perfect riding weather) day. Studies have shown that temperatures inside trailers can easily be 10 to 15 degrees greater than outside temperatures. That perfect 80 degree day just became a hot and humid 95 plus degrees inside the trailer. In order to ease heat stress on your animals you can take the following precautions...
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