Perform a safety check on the truck.,
Prepare the horse for the trip.,
Prepare the Truck for travel.,
Load the horse on to the trailer, though take into consideration, that many trucks don’t have spacers of dividers, and multiple horses should be happy to share the close proximity of each other.,
Hit the road.
You should ensure that the truck is registered and road legal. A specialised truck mechanic is able to inspect your vehicle, or you can get the vehicle inspected by the Roads and Traffic Authority. You can also do a basic safety check on the truck, you should check the following:-Break lights, Indicator lights, Tire pressure and tire tread, Gas or fuel, Water and any necessary fluid or oil
, Ensure that the horse is ready for the haul, many horses will baulk the first time they travel on a truck, as many are used to the common two and 3 horse floats. Keep everything familiar, by doing the same preparation procedures to what you would do with a horse float. In horse floats, they can become quite warm inside, and horses only require a light travel sheet, however, with trucks, many of them are not fully enclosed and can be quite drafty. This means that a light sheet would probably suffice, but be prepared by having a heavier rug available for when the weather cools down. Travel boots are essential, as the ramps or tailgate of a truck is much steeper and larger than a common horse flat, if a horse was to slip off the edge, worst-case scenario, then the horse would injure its legs. A breakaway halter is best suited for travelling; however, a good quality halter will suffice. You should however, make sure that the lead rope is good quality and longer than a normal lead. Because in Trucks the tie up access loops will be in a different position to a float, (more often they will be higher) a longer lead is needed to ensure the safety and comfort of the horse, however the horse should not be tied.
, If you have a steep ramp or tailgate, then it will be necessary to put some wood shavings on the ramp to make it more inviting and so the horse doesn’t slip. Most trucks will have open rails, or windows for ventilation, open these to make the truck brighter. This will make it more inviting for the horse. Horses are easily bribed by using a feed temptation. To temp stubborn or nervous horses, place a hay net or feed bucket on the floor of the truck. For horses that easily travel and float, simply have a hay net or feed bucket available for the trip. Because most trucks have mechanical ramp devices that can be quite loud and noisy, it is better to lower the ramp prior to the horse coming to the truck, this way, there is a lesser chance of the horse becoming agitated or nervous from the sound. Make sure that you have all necessary equipment for the trip, including:- Registration papers and horse documentation, a first aid kit for both humans and horses, a mobile or cell phone, a torch, spare tyre, mechanical equipment, such as jack, wrench etc. As well as water and food for both parties. Ensure all or most equipment is stored within easy access, such as in the glove box or in the cab.
, If you have a horse that is green to travelling, load an experienced and gentle horse first, the greener horse will get confidence from the first horse, and will be less likely to baulk or become agitated. If you have only green travellers, ensure that the greenest horse goes on first, as if a horse gets agitated, it may spark a chain reaction amongst the other horses. If travelling with multiple horses, load them as normal, but try putting the easier to handle horses towards the rear, if there should be a problem during the trip, you can take them off and you will have less of a problem if you have to stop on the side of a road, because the horses will be easy to handle. Again never tie your horse when in the trailer.
, Many people simply drive away and don’t worry about the load until they get to their destination. If you are travelling for a short time, then this will probably be the case, but if you plan to travel for longer than 2 hours, then it is best to plan for stops along the way. The horses will probably be ok, but if you become tired you may be putting you and your horses in danger. Plan your stops, and if you are going to a show, allow extra time for stops or breaks. If your are travelling extreme distances, make sure that you let your horses off the truck and walk them around, like humans, they need blood flow to the legs and body. If you were to sit for hours on end, you legs may become numb and fall asleep, horses are the same, and require movement for blood flow. You may be fortunate enough to be able to have a stop over at a friend’s house, or at a horse motel, but if not, plan your trip and allow time for stops.