Horse Safety When Trailering
By Kelly Sheehan & Ariana Curcio
Horse shows are the highlight of any equestrian’s life, this is you and your horse’s time to shine! But it can also be a very dangerous time, trailering can stress your horse and you out and that can lead to accidents or worse. The best course of action is to always put horse safety first and to always be prepared.
Aside from the basic necessities such as an equine first aid kit, below is a list of items you may not have thought to include in your emergency kit:
- Tie Safe® Cross Tie and Trailer Tie– These ties have a unique, tear-free design. The patented hook and loop design ‘breaks’ apart under a panic load, so if your horse panics the cross ties easily pull apart, there fore reducing the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your trailer walls.
- Reflective Gear– If you ever ride at night, you might already own reflective gear, a reflective vest is lightweight and will keep you safe on dark roads if you have to get out of the vehicle. Reflective tape is a good, easy to find adhesive in limited trailer light and can also be easily attached to clothing, halters and collars to keep humans, horses and dogs visible. Consider applying “Caution Horses” stickers around your trailer.
- Horse Quencher- Staying hydrated is key for horse health, Horse Quencher makes it easy to increase a horse’s water intake. It provides electrolytes and makes water more palatable. If an unexpected stop is made, limited water sources are available or even just if the county fairgrounds has a different water taste than home, Horse Quencher will ensure that your horses drink. Just be sure to start use at home and allow time for the horse to become familiar with the taste, as it
- Basic Equipment for Vitals- A thermometer and stethoscope may be helpful in the event of an emergency. If the horse is in a safe area, being able to offer vitals to a veterinarian while they are on the way may help them prepare for the needs of the horse.
- Your Phone- Keep an ICE (In Case of Emergency) contact on your phone, which can be accessed from the lock screen. Also consider setting the medical alert information on your phone to make first responders aware of any additional information. This information can often be entered through the “Health” app, on iPhones. Basic emergency information can be stored, along with a photo and notes can be added. Notes can also be added for any equine or canine passengers such as age, markings, and any relevant information (cannot tolerate sedatives, or approach from right when possible due to vision issue). Recent photos of the horse, with you in the picture, can also be kept on your phone to help identify the horse and support ownership claims.
- A Power Bank- Phones can die quickly in an emergency and if the emergency involves a power source such as a truck battery, you may not have a way to recharge the battery. Consider keeping a backup phone battery, or a power bank in your emergency kit.
- A Calming Product- Consider keeping a product like Equi+Calm on hand to help your horse relax in the event of an emergency. Try to not use medications, as they may mask symptoms. Calming products can help keep the horse comfortable while waiting for a veterinarian. It may also be appropriate to discuss concerns with your vet and decide if an oral sedative might be appropriate to include in your emergency kit, in case of a long distance haul.
These recommendations are not exhaustive and items such as latex gloves, self-adhesive bandages, writing utensils and notebooks are always a good idea to have on hand as well. Tailor your emergency essentials for life on the road to items that are helpful or comforting for the humans, equines and other animals traveling with you. Don’t forget the snacks!
Are you a tack shop interested in learning more about Tie Safe® Cross Tie and Trailer Ties or any of the other products featured above? Click the Buy Now button to learn more about these innovative and essential products to maximize horse safety: