Hauling horses during the winter months can be stressful at times. As horse owners, we always want our horses to be comfortable in the trailer. Horses are generally under high stress when they are being hauled so the best thing we can do for them is make them comfortable!
The most common question people ask themselves is: Should I blanket my horse? There are a couple different things to take into consideration before you decide this.
- How cold is the temperature?
As always when traveling, your trailer should be well ventilated. The combination of hay, shavings, manure and urine can create toxic air. Horses are most comfortable in 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit. An enclosed trailer can heat up quicker than a stock trailer causing your horse to sweat and lead to dehydration. Keep ventilation and air flow going through your enclosed trailer. If the airflow causes it to be below 50 degrees, you might consider blanketing your horse.
- How thick is your horse’s winter coat?
If you keep your horse under lights, you are trying to keep your horse from growing a winter coat. This calls for heavy layered blankets during cold temperatures. If your horse has a thick coat, he may not need a heavy blanket, but just a sheet to block the wind.
- Is your horse hydrated?
Keeping your horse hydrated during travel is extremely important. Even though it is cold outside, your horse will still get thirsty. Especially if they are in the trailer with heavy blankets that cause them to sweat. This will cause dehydration to set in quicker than you think. During long hauls, stop every 3-4 hours to offer your horse water.
Traveling during the winter can be stressful on you and your horse. Keep these thing things in mind to keep your horse happy, healthy, and comfortable during your trips.
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