For a lot of horses, it’s time to head South for the winter. Sometimes, a long trailer ride from cold weather to hot weather is hard on horses – they can become dehydrated, colicky, and can get shipping fever. I asked a few respected trainers and barn managers how to avoid health problems for their horses when they ship south. Their wise comments are below.
Barn manager from PA: I give them mash and electrolytes and oil.
Trainer from NJ: The night before they travel, we give the horses a mash with lots of mineral oil. The morning of the trailer ride, we give the horses a small meal with some type of stomach medicine like omeprozale powder or gastroguard. I always check the weather for the route, and blanket appropriately. I instruct the driver when to take sheets off.
Trainer from RI: We try not to clip right before. We give the horses a mash with oil for two feedings before. And then I cross my fingers.
Trainer from NY: We give the horses a mash the morning before and the morning of departure, with a little mineral oil. If they are furry, we clip before as it’s bad for them to arrive and be hot – best is to clip 3 weeks or a month prior, then again when they arrive. And we start them on Cavalor Resist C five days before they ship.
Barn manager from MA: We bodyclip at least 2 weeks before the trip (clip before you ship). And we make sure that their fall vaccinations are done well before, 2 to 3 weeks or so. Then we give them mash with mineral oil the night before and the night before that. The morning of the ride, they get half their normal grain with a Gastrogard. Then we figure out what they should wear to depart, and when and where their clothes should come off. We take all of their temperatures upon arrival, and for the next few days.
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