Tips To Keep Your Horse Calm While Trailering
While it’s natural for horses to feel a little uneasy on the road, the stress of trailering can contribute to colic, self-mutilation, and damage to the trailer itself. Use these tips to help your horse feel safe and stay calm when traveling.
Less-Stress Trailering Starts With Loading
Always be patient when loading your horse, especially if it’s their first time trailering. If possible, allow your horse to become familiar with the trailer at least a few days before the trip. You can even feed your horse inside the trailer to help them develop a positive association with it.
Basic groundwork skills not only make loading much easier, but also aid the trust between you and your horse, making them feel more confident about trailering. Incorporate the trailer into groundwork exercises, if possible, focusing on helping your horse feel safe in a potentially intimidating enclosed space.
Keeping Your Nervous Horse Calm In The Trailer
One of the biggest sources of stress in trailered horses is the sensation of losing their balance. Smooth, steady driving will make a huge difference in your horse’s ability to relax. It can be helpful to take a ride in the trailer to get an idea of how your horse will feel when you stop, turn, and change speeds.
Practice driving without your horse, then work your way up to short distances with your horse inside. It may make sense to ride with someone who is more experienced with trailering if you’re new to driving with a trailer.
Horses tend to feel calmer when traveling with a buddy. If you can’t bring more than one horse along, you can install a mirror in the trailer to make your horse feel less alone. Trailering with a mirror has been shown to reduce behavioral signs of stress in horses riding on their own.
Perfect Prep supplements contain a combination of amino acids, vitamins and minerals that are naturally found in your horse’s body to help induce feelings of calmness and security. A Hemp for Pets supplement can also help your horse stay calm.
If your horse still has moderate to severe anxiety when trailering, talk to your veterinarian about medications and other options that can help your horse stay calm on the road.