Press "Enter" to skip to content

5 Tips to Make Traveling with Horses a Little Less Stressful This Summer

Last updated on May 10, 2024

5 Tips to Make Traveling with Horses a Little Less Stressful This Summer

Warm weather is upon us! Bees are buzzin’, birds, are chirping, and the summer warriors in the equine world are traveling with horses to the next competition spot! In many areas of the country, warmer weather is the signal for shows, rodeos, jackpots, brandings, and gatherings to start popping up on calendars. 

And although many equestrians haul and compete year-round, there are decidedly more horse owners taking to the road in warmer months. So to take a little bit of stress off your shoulders, we have a few tips and reminders to make traveling with horses this spring and summer more enjoyable…for you and your horse. 


5 Things to Do When You’re Traveling With Horses 

1. Plan for stops

  • If you’ve ever had to stand in one spot for a long time, then you know it can be exhausting on your legs and feet. Add that to trying to keep your balance through the turns, weaves, and bumps on the road. Hauling can be a LOT of work on a horse’s legs.
  • Just the simple act of letting your horse out of the trailer to walk around, get a good drink, and maybe even graze on some fresh green grass can make the trip much easier on them.

2. Keep feed as consistent as possible

  • We know that loading hay, grain, and supplements from home can be an added chore. We get it. However, having the extra stress of switching feed while on the road can be detrimental to a horse’s gut and overall performance. As much as you possibly can, pack feed from home. It can be a game changer for your horse and their gut health.

3. Encourage water consumption

  • Electrolytes have long since been a staple in many horse owners’ programs. But did you know that electrolytes not only help encourage water consumption, but they help to maintain the right blood acidity and pressure? When a horse is sweating extra during travel or competition, they can lose important minerals that will cause muscle weakness and cramping.
  • Some horsemen even go so far as to fill water tanks with water from their home place to encourage good hydration habits when on the road because some horses are so picky about their water.

Curious about how much water your horse actually needs each day? Check out this blog.

4. Help ease butterflies with In The Zone Calming Paste

  • Just like you and I get butterflies when we are in a new or unknown situation, that can happen with horses, too. The problem is, due to the nature of a horse’s foregut and the constant stomach acid production, those “butterflies” can actually turn into ulcers if not properly handled.
  • In addition to the power combo of Foundation Daily Detox and Nutrack Digestive Support, using ITZ calming paste when hauling or in a new situation can help give your horse’s stomach beneficial ingredients to help ease the physiological symptoms of stress and anxiety.
  • Animal Element advocate and dealer, Jessica Wharton has noticed a huge difference in her barrel horse, Gator, while on the road. This spring, she added NuTrack to his feed program, and he now drinks “literally BUCKETS of water daily, and eats 100% of his grain. He has never eaten grain on the road, or drank well.” To read more about Jessica and Gator, check out this blog.

5. Don’t freak out when traveling with horses

  • A wise horseman once said: When you’re on a horse, only one of you gets to freak out at a time, and it’s never your turn.
  • As the leader in the horse/human relationship, you HAVE to stay calm. Human angst added to horse angst is a recipe for disaster.
  • Especially when hauling a young or “unseasoned” horse, unexpected reactions to outside stimuli may occur. That horse may have never seen a flag or a banner before. Maybe they’ve never seen fireworks or had another horse brush up against them in the warm-up pen. It is YOUR job as the rider to stay calm in the situation and reassure your horse that it’s okay. As a prey animal, they are hardwired to get OUT of scary situations. You have to let them know that they are safe!

Traveling With Horses Can Be (Mostly) Stress-Free!

So as you turn your eyes towards the road and start planning out your summer events, keep in mind that traveling with horses can be just as stressful for your horse as it can be for you! What might be mildly off-putting for a veteran horse can be panic-inducing in a younger horse. Planning out times and locations to stop and unload your horse, keeping your feeding program as normal as possible, and paying attention to water consumption are three essential things to make traveling with your horse easier for everybody. Also, try to remember to stay calm and bring along tubes of In The Zone calming paste (for the horse…not you)! 

Need to stock up on FDD, NuTrack, and ITZ before your road trip? Head straight to our website or call your local AE dealer to order all your supplements essential to hauling. If your area doesn’t have an authorized dealer, and you want to be that person, call Mark Kaylor! You can reach him at (509) 301-1798 to get started.