Hit the road, Jack! Travelling in Comfy Horse style
Many of us will soon start getting our horses back on the road again as the lockdown eases – but is your four-legged friend road ready?!
Your horse’s travel wardrobe needn’t be huge, but it should include some essentials to make sure they always travel in comfort, safety and, if we can help it, a little bit of style!
If you’re buying some new additions for this year, make sure you try everything on your horse before you intend to travel, so that you know everything fits comfortably and will not rub during transit, or even worse not give the protection it should.
Let’s work from the bottom up. Here’s our quick guide to comfy travel…
Legs, bums and tums!
Those precious legs need to be fully protected from any knocks in the horsebox or trailer, both while travelling and during loading and unloading.
The boots or bandages that you use need to protect from the knee or hock right down to the coronet band. It’s important they are correctly fitted so they’re not too tight, but not too loose that they slip down. Padded travel boots are the best option, particularly if your horse moves around a bit during travel. If they won’t wear them (some horses won’t tolerate them) then bandaging is an option, which you may want to pair with overreach boots.
We’ve picked out some comfy options, all of which are a million miles away from the stiff, rigid travel boots that once upon a time dominated the market.
Snuggy Hoods Fleece Boots – £32.50
These boots are a blessing for horses and ponies that don’t like the rigid, bulky design of traditional travel boots. They are flexible and comfortable as well as super protective, so are ideal for ‘fussy’ travellers, young or nervous horses/ponies, or those that simply prefer a lighter weight travel boot.
Cal Rei 3D Spacer Travel Boots – £150.00
At the higher end of the budget but these travel boots are constructed of 3D fabric which give excellent comfort and reduced perspiration during transport. Thanks to the open structure of the fabric the legs are ventilated and avoid an accumulation of moisture and/or sweat. Perfect for sensitive horses or horses with skin conditions.
Polypads Soft Travel Boots – from £64.99
A good ‘halfway house’ budget-wise, the soft and flexible cushioning material is unlike many travel boots on the market today. The front leg boots are fitted with the opening at the back of the leg, with the overall style designed to ensure a secure fit with comprehensive hock and knee coverage.
HUSK bandages and liners bundle – now £70.00 (save £20!)
If you do go down the bandaging route then these HUSK ones are very versatile. Use them for exercise, travelling and in the stable with no fear of overheating precious tendons. They are made of a unique 3D lightweight material that is fully ventilated.
Next up, the tail. No one wants a bad hair day, but if you don’t protect the tail when travelling then chances are you might end up with a bit of a ‘bog brush’ situation at the other end of your journey. Many horses like to stabilise themselves when travelling against the back wall, which puts lots of pressure on the dock.
There are two options here, the old fashioned tail bandage, which works perfectly well as long as it is fitted correctly, or a quicker and more convenient tail guard.
Tail guards fasten with velcro and can be taken on and off quicker, they are also padded unlike bandages offering more protection and many come with a tail bag to stop any accidents mucking up that beautiful tail!
Snuggy Hoods Soft Fleece Tail Guard – £12.50
This is made from a lovely soft fleece and is padded for extra protection. It can be purchased with a matching tail bag.
As with all rugging, your travel rug should be weather appropriate. Horses don’t need to travel with anything if the weather is particularly warm, though a rug will offer extra protection against any rubs or knocks.
Fleece or wicking rugs are ideal as they will adapt to the horse’s body temperature and stop them from overheating. Make sure your rug fits well so that there is nothing to snag on bolts, doors or corners!
Catago fleece travel rug – £40.99
A lovely fleece rug that is comfy and very versatile. Ideal for travel, after exercise, in the stable and at competitions.
Catago Hybrid cooler rug – from £135.00
If you want to push the boat out, the Catago Hybrid cooler rug provides optimum comfort for your horse on a warm summer day, during travelling or for cooling after training. The main muscles of the horse’s back are covered by the Hybrid fabric with Graphene print. The graphene makes the fabric thermoregulating, so the heat from the horse’s body is equally distributed all over the fabric surface to avoid cold spots or overheating.