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A U.S. Equestrian Team veterinarian who has overseen the shipping of horses to six Olympic Games shares what steps to take before, during, and after a long-distance trailer ride.
Posted by Alayne Blickle | Jun 12, 2019
Steps to take before, during, and after a long-distance trailer ride
Sarah Burris bought a lovely young cowhorse from Idaho in an online sale. There was only one problem: She lives in North Carolina and needed to ship the filly across the country to get her home. The filly was sensitive and not a good eater to begin with, says Burris. As a result, she arrived underweight, depressed, slightly dehydrated, and sporting a snotty nose.
Many owners ship horses all over the country these days, whether to attend competitions or relocate. Some haul their horses themselves, while others hire carriers to do the job.
Regardless of who’s behind the steering wheel, long trailer rides are associated with many stresses, including temperature extremes and humidity, flies and other insects, air quality issues, and potential exhaustion, dehydration, and disease exposure. So what should you do if you are preparing a horse for a long haul?
Rick Mitchell, DVM, MRCVS, Dipl. ACVSMR, Certified ISELP, of Fairfield Equine Associates, in Connecticut, will help us answer this question. As a U.S. Equestrian team veterinarian for 25 years, he’s overseen the shipping of horses to six Olympic Games and still regularly manages horses traveling from New England to Florida and back...
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