Tips to Keep Your Horse-Showing Travels Safe
There is an old saying among touring rock ’n’ roll bands that goes something like this: “What happens on the road, stays on the road.”
Devised to keep peace with those back at home, this playful old adage seems to work in practice. (Most of the time, at least.) Sadly, horse owners cannot be so carefree. When traveling with horses, what happens on the road can come back to haunt you for a long, long time.
Competitive riders face two main challenges: maintaining their horse’s health while in transit, and ensuring that the horses are ready to compete once they have arrived at their destination. Dr. Catherine W. Kohn, professor at Ohio State University’s Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, advises riders and trainers to allow for plenty of recovery time between the arrival date and the first event.
“One of the first things that the competitor or coach needs to consider is the medication rules that apply to the particular discipline that the horse is engaged in,” Dr. Kohn says. “(Some shows require that there) is no use of therapeutic drugs during a specified period of time prior to the competition. Transport, particularly over long distances, can cause disease in horses, so we recommend to clients that if they have to haul or fly their horse from New York to California, they should allow a few extra days at the other end in case they need to treat the horse. (This way,) they can do that and still comply with the medication rules of whatever discipline they are competing in.”
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