TIPS ON FLOAT TRAINING
TRAIN YOUR HORSE PROPERLY BEFORE YOU SET OFF ON YOUR FIRST JOURNEY
TIE YOUR HORSE TO MINIMISE THE RISK OF TRAVEL SICKNESS
Train the horse to walk onto the float without hesitation. It is very important that your horse will walk on and then stand while the breeching door/gate is secured. Part of the training should include getting them used to wearing floating boots or bandages. This training can take quite some time, and if not done thoroughly the horse can easily let you down when it comes to loading, when you least need a problem. Horses that are not properly trained can also put you and others at risk by running out of the float or around in order to avoid going on to the float. Don’t allow yourself to be talked into blindfolding your horse, if you have to use a whip it shouldn’t be any stronger than a tap. Lighting can be a factor stopping a horse loading, some horses don’t like dark places (just like some humans). Horses never forget being frightened or harassed, so you have to be careful not to cause long term standing problems that will be difficult to overcome. The team at FLEETCARE can fit sky lights and windows to help with this.
Tie the horse securely with a quick release knot. Give the horse enough rope to allow it to lower its head. Research has shown that if horses are prevented from lowering their head, there is a significantly increased risk of travel sickness. This head lowering action allows the horse to clear airways the way that nature intended them to, and by tying the horse high and on a short rope (as was a customary practice) you could pre-dispose him to the onset of travel stress or travel sickness. Tie your horse so that he cannot get his head around the central head divider partition and into his traveling companion’s compartment (even if it is empty). The team at FLEETCARE can alter the tie points if they aren’t in suitable places.
Hay can provide a useful distraction for an anxious horse on a long journey, but it can also be a potential source of danger if the horse breathes in particles of hay and thus chokes (you could dampen the hay net or soak the hay, as a precaution). If you need feed bags mounted FLEETCARE can take care of it for you.
Many frequent travelers carry their own water to be sure that their horse will drink. FLEETCARE can supply & mount water tanks.