12 Trailering Myths: Busted!
The Trail Rider|March 2017

Learn the truth behind 12 common trailering myths to help keep your horse safe on the road.

Rebecca Gimenez, Phd.

When you embark on your equestrian travels, should you apply shipping boots? Throw a blanket on your horse? Tie him in your trailer? Park your rig under a bridge in case of a tornado? Even experienced travelers are susceptible to misinformation passed around barns and over pasture fences by well-meaning horse friends.

Here, I’ll dispel 12 such myths. First, I’ll give you the myth. Then I’ll bust the myth and describe my best practices, based on my years of experience, skills, and training.

Myth #1: Applying shipping boots or leg wraps to your horse is a waste of time, especially for short trips. Busted: I highly recommend leg protection when you trailer your horse. I use shipping boots instead of leg wraps; ease of use means you’ll be more likely to apply them every time you trailer your horse. You’ll also avoid the risk of placing too much pressure on his tendons.

Myth #2: You should drive alone when you haul your horse to avoid distractions, especially in inclement weather. Busted: It’s best to take a driving buddy on the road with you when you haul horses. This person can help you drive, check the weather apps, navigate, alert you to road hazards, keep an eye on the horse monitor, and make necessary calls.

Myth #3: You should always blanket your traveling horse. Busted: It’s true that a blanket or sheet provides warmth and wind protection in cold months, and can offer some protection in the event of a bump, bite/kick, or an accident. You may also wish to use a blanket to keep your horse’s coat clean. And older or compromised animals may need a light sheet. But normally, horses don’t need to be blanketed in the trailer, because they generate plenty of their own heat. Watch for heat stress; trailers are typically very poorly ventilated.

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