Tag Archives: travel

Hit the road – Travelling with your horse

Travelling with your horse can open up a wonderful world of possibilities, from summer shows to horsey holidays. However, it’s important to make sure you’re well prepared so that your horse reaches your destination in good form.

 All kitted out
Before you set off on your journey, make sure your horse is suitably attired. It’s advisable that he wears…

  • travel boots or bandages to protect his legs. Whichever option you choose, it’s important that they fit correctly – too loose and they may slip and become a hazard, too tight and they may restrict blood flow
  • a leather headcollar, which will break much more easily in an emergency. Choose one with padded sections at the nose and poll for extra comfort
  • a tail bandage and guard to protect his tail. For longer journeys it’s often better to just use a tail guard, as a bandage could affect  his circulation if it’s too tight. Choosing one with an attached tail bag will help keep his tail clean
  • a cooler or fleece rug to stop him getting chilly. However, keep in mind that it can get very warm in the back of a lorry or trailer, so unnecessary rugging may make him hot and uncomfortable
  • a poll guard to protect his head if he’s a nervous traveller

Take a break
It’s important to stop at least every three or four hours to give your horse a break and allow him to lower his head. This helps to drain his nasal passages of hay, dust and other debris that might otherwise enter his lungs and cause respiratory disease. However, unless you’re parked in an enclosed area you know is safe, don’t take him off the trailer or lorry – not only is there a chance he won’t load again, but being in an unfamiliar environment with lots of potential hazards could make him unpredictable and put you both in danger.

Suitably refreshed
Your rest stops are a good time to offer your horse a drink. Dehydration is a real danger when travelling long distances, particularly when the weather’s warm, so it’s important that he keeps drinking to minimise the risk of impaction colic. If he’s reluctant, try adding a splash of apple juice to the water or offering him a slushy, soaked feed, such as sugar beet. It’s also important to make sure he has plenty of forage to keep him amused and also provide an essential source of fibre, which helps to keep his digestive system working efficiently. Hang this in easy reach just below his nose.

Good working order
Making sure your lorry or trailer is in good working order is key to reducing the risk of accidents or breakdowns. Before you set off, check your tyre pressure, headlights and indicator bulbs. Breakdown cover is essential, but make sure that your policy covers removing livestock from the scene. Store the details in your lorry cab or towing vehicle, along with other essentials, such as a torch, first aid kit, high-vis tabard, phone charger and battery booster pack.

For all your horsey needs, including travel essentials such as travel boots, bandages and leather headcollars, visit bridlewayequestrian.com.

Off On Holiday? Keep Calm and Gallop On!

Whether heading off on holiday or taking part in a show, visiting a new place can be stressful if you’re worried about keeping your horse calm when venturing away from home. If your horse struggles to adapt to new places or is simply not used to traveling, don’t panic – with our simple tips you could soon be calm and relaxed no matter what adventures lie ahead: –

Stick to your everyday routine
Horses like routine, so avoid breaking it where possible even if you are on holiday or competing. If you do have to make changes, plan in advance and tweak your day-to-day routine while at home to give your horse time to adjust.

Safety in numbers
Why not bring a friend or companion for you and your horse? Having a friend to support you will help you to stay calm and allow you to maintain control if your horse becomes anxious. The same can be said for your horse; a companion horse can work wonders to ease their nerves.

Practice the situation
If you are entering a competition, take your horse to a practice show beforehand so you can learn how your horse reacts in that particular situation and adapt the care you provide. If you’re planning a horse-friendly holiday, why not ask a fellow horse-loving friend if your horses can swap stables for the night. This will give your horse the opportunity to get used to being in a new environment and you will be able to gauge how they feel.

Stay confident
Horses can be spooked if they feel a lack of confidence from their rider. If you are feeling at all nervous, remember the days and weeks of training you have put in with your horse and the strong relationship you have. Simply by taking some deep breaths and walking your horse in figures of eight can calm both of you down and focus any nervous energy on the activity in hand.

Create a distraction with stable toys
Stable toys are a relatively new phenomenon but a great way to maintain your horse’s attention with something recognisable from their home environment. Most involve food and encourage natural foraging behaviour. Footballs are also great toys and some racehorse trainers simply use empty containers filled with nuts to hold their horse’s attention. Generally horses only focus on one thing at a time, so if you can maintain their attention with a toy they recognise any worries over their new environment should soon be forgotten.

 

Explore Some Horse Holidays

With so many horse holidays to choose from, it can be difficult to decide where to go and what to do, so we’ve rounded-up some of the top riding holidays from UK-based luxury weekends away, to getting stuck-in on a working ranch in the US – they should provide a few ideas to get you started.

1)    A luxury country house escape 

For anyone looking for luxury in a riding holiday, a two-night stay at a Country House Hotel in Cheshire could be perfect. Enjoy a chance to improve your skills with tuition from an equestrian expert in the morning (tuition is available for all levels of ability) and then take in the wonderful Cheshire countryside during an afternoon of hacking. And you’ll even have time to relax and enjoy a beauty treatment or two.

2)    Young rider holidays

For young riders looking to take on their own adventure, why not visit Kilnsey Trekking and Riding Centre in North Yorkshire? These stables are the perfect starting point to explore the Yorkshire Dales National Park and discover the natural wildlife habitats and stunning scenery in this part of the UK. The centre offers Pony Club camps for young riders to spend a fun week learning new skills, and can accommodate children with and without their own horse or pony.

3)    The Inca Challenge

If you’re looking for a real adventure why not try trekking across the Inca trail? The British Horse Society (BHS) organises this challenge. The trek takes riders from Cusco in Peru to Machu Picchu and includes trails high-up in the Andes (not for the faint hearted!) and ends with a chance to explore the ancient ruins of the Inca civilisation. For a full itinerary and further information visit BHS.

4)    The Beach Riding Experience

With beautiful coastlines around the UK, riders don’t have to venture too far afield to enjoy impressive views and miles of open countryside. A favourite spot along the Dorset coast is Studland Beach. There are friendly stables in the village of Studland and from there riders can enjoy beach, forest, heath and coastal ridge rides. There is so much to do with horses and rides to suit all abilities.

5)    Learn How To Be A Real Cowboy

Kara Creek Ranch in Wyoming is a working ranch where the main activity is cattle management, much of which takes place on horseback. Guests will be able to get involved in day-to-day tasks on the ranch, which is open almost all summer. However the best times to visit are spring and autumn when the ranch is at its busiest. Acting like a real cowboy does involve getting stuck in (sometimes working eight hours a day), so this trip is for intermediate or advanced riders looking for a challenge and the trip of a lifetime. To find out more about ranch holidays (including more laid-back trips) visit: American Roundup.

Creating an on-trend holiday wardrobe

Riders looking to freshen-up their wardrobe ready for their equestrian holiday should check out our latest summer range. The new collection has been designed to set the trend for stylish, practical and fun riding. The season is based on vibrant, bright colours that co-ordinate across the range. To find your nearest retailer, visit our website.