Traveling with your horse

Don’t forget to bring extra of items that you or your horse may break or loose, such as an extra halter, lead rope, hoof pick, bridle or bit. Those little items make the difference.

If you are blessed with having an equine in your life, there comes a time when you realize there is a big horsey world out there just calling you and your horse’s name. It’s time to travel with your horse.

Trail rides, horse shows, barrel races, clinics and more are available to share with your horse. In addition, at these events you can meet new friends who have the same horse passion you enjoy.

When it comes time to travel, here are some tips to make the trip as fun and safe as possible.

Keep up with regular maintenance on your truck and trailer:

Before leaving on your trip make sure to check or change the oil on your truck, check all fluid levels and make sure the windshield wipers are in good working order with the washer fluid filled. Check the electrical connection between your truck and trailer; are the lights and flashers working together on both vehicles? Check the tire tread and condition on both the truck and trailer and make sure to have spare tires and something to change them. Jumper cables, an emergency medical kit for you and your horse along with a fire extinguisher should also find your way into your vehicle.

Create a checklist for tack, equipment and supplies:

We’ve all experienced that feeling of knowing you forgot something when you leave for a trip. Take the time to compile a list of supplies days ahead and keep adding to it until you leave. By having a checklist of things to do, or to bring, it will give you peace of mind. One of the most forgotten, but necessary items, is your mobile phone charger as a plug in and also for your vehicle. Bring extra water buckets, feed pans, electro-lights, grain and hay. Bottled water is also a good idea to have on board. Don’t forget to bring extra of items that you or your horse may break or loose, such as an extra halter, lead rope, hoof pick, bridle or bit. Those little items make the difference.

Become familiar with the route you will travel:

Don’t wait until the day of your depart to make sure the route you choose is the safest and most direct. Check the route to make sure there are not road closures, construction, or even worse, bridges or tunnels your rig will not fit thru. Along this route make notes where there are gas stations or rest areas. Just having this information prior to the trip will give you peace of mind.

Designate a contact at your home base:

Let someone know where you will be traveling and when you are expected to arrive. Give them phone numbers and addresses of where you will be. In case of an emergency you can be found more easily. Happy Travels and Happy Trails!

LORI RICIGLIANO is a horse judge, trainer, riding instructor, equine photographer and clinician. She also hosts a weekly syndicated equine radio talk show “Hoof Beats with Lori”. Lori has held her horse judges license as a USEF / AHA — “R” rated licensed horse judge for more than 25 years and currently operates Ricigliano Farms Horse Training and Riding Academy near Kent, Minn. She can be reached by email or phone for any questions at 218- 557-8762 or riciglianofarms@gmail. com. Her website is www. RiciglianoFarms.com

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