Shipping horses, whether a long distance or just down the road, can be stressful. Add into the equation competition, and stress levels ratchet up even higher. The best rule of thumb to remember when traveling with a horse is to keep things as consistent as possible and to minimize change. These two things can help reduce colic-inducing conditions, like:
- Limit a horse's access to pasture if he's used to a hay-only diet; eating a lot of grass when his gut is not used to it can lead to excess gas
- Introduce hay gradually to a horse used to pasture so he's accustomed to drier feed
- Make sure the horse is completely cool before offering him grain meals
- Add water to dry, complete feeds to increase water intake
- Bring the horse's normal feed from home so he is not transitioned to a new feed immediately
- Ensure the horse's fitness level is adequate for the level of competition that will be asked of him
Read more at Horse Illustrated.
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