Horse transport: safety, advice and best practices


A bad road trip can remain engraved in the memory of a horse which will then refuse to get back into a vehicle. Even if a trip to van or in truck will never be the favorite moment of an equine, it is possible to bring him a comfort maximum. Our advice for transporting a horse in the best conditions.

Horses: means of transport

There are mainly two solutions to transport a horse:

  • the towed van. Spacious, detachable and less expensive than a truck, this mode of transport is widely used by individuals. A B license is sufficient to tow a van provided that the total permissible gross vehicle weight (GVWR) – including the weight of the loaded car and the van with the horses – does not exceed 3.5 tons. 1-seater vans are generally included in this category and only require an extended warranty at the level of theassurance. The vans offering two places for horses generally exceed this weight and as such, they ask for a B96 license dispensed in driving schools. Beyond 4.25 tons (either a 4 × 4 vehicle with a three-seater van, require the possession of a BE license;
  • the two seater truck. This mode of transport has many advantages: stable, secure, manoeuvrable and less bulky than a towed van. It is also more easy to drive and does not require a specific license, unless the PTAC exceeds 3.5 tons. In this in case a C1 or C permit will be required. The small two-seater truck is more comfortable for horses traveling with their head to the rear. Other positive points: the door on the side facilitates disembarkation. On the other hand, the driver can see and hear his animals. However, this vehicle turns out to be more expensive when buying a van.

Horse transport: before departure

Ideally, you should get used to earlier your horse to travel by starting with short distances and then gradually increasing their duration. For a first trip, here are some recommendations:

  • Check the voucher functioning of your vehicle before setting off: tire pressure, headlights and brakes are essential safety elements to consider. The floor of the truck will also need to be inspected. Stock up on fuel before loading the animals;
  • Fill in a hay net because while grazing, the horse will concentrate on something other than the sloshing of the vehicle and the noise of the traffic. Always planwater to quench his thirst;
  • Protect them members your equine using padded protections to prevent him from injuring himself by losing his balance, in a turn for example or following a brake application;
  • When boarding, do not rush your animal and ask him to step forward. soft. Talk to him calmly to reassure and encourage him;
  • You can place hay or sweets inside the vehicle to encourage your horse to ride in it;
  • Pull gently on the loin and discontinuously to help him board;
  • Be patient because you will probably alternate several phases of retreat and advance. Encourage him with every little victory;
  • Congratulate warmly your pet when it has managed to get into the truck or van;
  • Tie up your horse to keep it from rearing up and banging its head. The loin should be loose enough so that he can turn his head and eat his hay.

Horse transport: during the journey

First of all, make sure that the equines are not exposed to Air Currents and that the truck / van has good ventilation. Do not cover them too much as they may sweat to excess. On the way, a caution of every moment is required so that the animal keeps its balance inside the vehicle. Make sure you anticipate any change in pace, braking or a turn. Drive slowly, especially in roundabouts and on the speed bumps. Adopt a conduct soft : downshift often, accelerate smoothly and tackle wide turns so that the horses retain their stability. On long journeys, program breaks regular to make them drink. It is not recommended to take the animal out of the vehicle as it may run away and cause a accident. He can also refuse to get back into the van or the truck, which will force you to repeat the ritual of boarding.

Horse transport: on arrival

The exit of the vehicle constitutes a delicate moment during which incidents can occur because the horse, returned nervous by travel, may react unpredictably. Just like boarding, the descent must take place in the calm. Back up your horse straight back. Don’t let it get to return to inside the van or truck as it may get stuck. Once out, remove his protections and warmly congratulate him for his good behavior during the journey. Take him for a walk so he can stretch his legs and find a quiet place for him to recover from his emotions. Equipped with a good memory, the horse could remember a bad experience. A long journey, without a break and turbulent is likely to traumatize to the point that he then refuses to get back into a vehicle. So, on the road too, spare your mount!