For those of you who have done a long driven journey with your horses you will know there is a lot to think about. Resting the horses over night stops, water, feed, hay electrolytes equipment. We have to consider so many elements to try to maintain a high level of welfare for travelling horses.
These issues are even more important when you are flying horses to the other side of the world there are some very real risks. Travel sickness is a potentially fatal condition that affects the lunges and can happen when horses stay still particularly with their heads up for long periods of time. The lack of movement can also increase the risk of colic and dehydration and exhaustion are all things to be considered.
In addition to this there is an increased risk of injury through panic or accident. So how did I minimise these risks for our ponies? Well in the days leading up to the flight I ensured the ponies had as much movement as possible increased turn out and walker time. I also put them all on a magnesium calming supplement which relaxes mind and muscles.
At 8pm I returned to feed the ponies hay again so as they have something in their stomachs before the journey begins Haulage companies tend not to feed hay during transport.
I give them all a nice groom and make sure that everything is tidy and organised so as we can leave promptly and have a calm atmosphere. Preparation for travelling with horses is very important, every pony has a specially printed tag for their head collar and a matching card for their travel bag so I ensure that they are all attached correctly. There will not be much room on the travel pallets so I need to pack everything they need carefully into one bag each considering the restrictions for airport security.
When the driver arrives we load the ponies according to their friendship groups, taking care that the one marish mare who can kick is last and only next to the other mare. We double check that we have all the passports and the correct documents prepared by Horse Services International. They all load extremely well and we set off on our three-hour drive to Frankfurt airport.
On arrival the ponies stay on the lorry for a short time whilst the paperwork is completed and the crates that they will be loaded onto the flight are prepared.
Check back in with me on my next blog to find out all about flying horses!! Many thanks for reading please like our page on FB nad sign up at Freefilly.blog we will ask you for your email but dont worry its just to let you know when i have Blogged!!