From Endurance to Dressage
Trailering: Safety Tip #5
This is part of an ongoing series of posts about trailering. If you're an old hand at hauling horses, please chime in!
Here is another safety feature that you might not have thought of to include, or do, when hauling your own horse.
I know you see dogs riding down the road with their noses hanging out the car window. You've seen horses traveling that way, too. In my humble opinion, neither of those practices is very safe. We don't let our dogs hang out the window and my horses definitely don't get that option either. When traveling at highway speed, a rock can crack your windshield - what might it do to your horse's face or eyes?
And yet, trailers can get very hot inside. How do we ventilate for our horses' comfort while still keeping them safe?
When the weather is cool, I slide open the window at the horse's head to allow for ventilation. There are three windows on the "tail" side of the trailer that slide open, but don't drop down. With the front and rear windows open, there is quite a lot of air moving through the horse compartment. The sliding windows have screens which provide an added layer of protection. The screen prevents dirt, bugs, and other debris from entering the trailer.
If it's hot, I drop the windows down. My trailer has bars across the window that prevent the horses from sticking their heads out into the air. To keep them even safer, I always use fly masks, even in the winter. Trailers can be very dusty places, especially if you use shavings, which I do (a later safety tip and explanation). The fly masks protect the horses' eyes from flying hay, dirt, bugs, and other foreign objects that might come in through the windows.
Safety Tip #5: Don't let your horse hang his head out the window, and use a fly mask to protect his eyes.
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About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
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CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
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