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Transporting Horses for Camping

Transport your horse to your camping trip confidently with these tips for horse hauling.

| January 2019

Photo courtesy of Getty Images/xavierarnau

Horse Hauling

Transporting horses and horse campers to the trailhead can be a smooth, trouble-free experience, providing the vehicles are properly equipped and maintained. Most groups will have two or more vehicles, and those should travel as a convoy. Then, if one vehicle has a problem, the other can help solve it.

If no one in the party has been to the trail-head before, make certain that you have maps, and pay attention to the signs. Making a wrong turn on backcountry roads can get you lost, and there won’t be anyone around to set you straight. Find out where you are going ahead of time, rather than en route.

All preparations for the trip should be made before the horses are loaded. Once the horses are loaded, the vehicles should move out. Horses don’t like to be loaded and then made to stand in an enclosed area – which amounts to a horse straightjacket – while a half-hour’s worth of last minute preparations are made. They will become impatient, and will paw, bite, or kick. So be sure to have air in the tires, the fuel tank filled, and the coolant and oil checked before the horses are loaded.

You won’t know how a horse reacts to hauling until you have taken it on a trip. Most horses accept travel and do not cause any problems. There are ways to solve hauling problems when they develop. If a horse persists in pawing, put hobbles on its front feet. If a horse feels compelled to bite, put a nosebag or cavesson strap over its nose. Horses can sometimes be tied short enough to be prevented from biting other horses.

Like people, horses are compatible with some of their own kind and not with others. Load compatible horses, not feuding horses, next to one another.

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