Whether you’re travelling your pony in a trailer or box, for a long journey or a short one, it’s super-important that he wears the right kit to keep him comfortable and well-protected. While most journeys go without a problem, it’s always best to be prepared.
These are designed specifically to help protect your pony’s legs from knocks and scrapes, and being stepped on by other ponies while on the move. They’re made from a tough, thick material, often with extra protection around the hoof area.
It’s super-important to make sure they fit your pony correctly before you travel, otherwise they can slip. The boots are shaped, so it’s easy to see how they should fit his leg, and they must be fastened so they’re snug.
Top tip – Some ponies find the feeling of travel boots on their legs unusual to begin with and might walk strangely at first. Walk him around the yard in the boots before you load him up, so he can get used to how they feel.
Ponies often lean back to balance themselves while travelling, so a tail guard or bandage should be used to protect his dock and tail from rubs.
Some tail guards also come with tail bags attached – these help to keep his tail clean from muck stains and are particularly useful if your pony has a light-coloured tail!
To rug or not to rug?
Whether or not to put a rug on your pony to travel depends on a number of factors, such as…
- the outside temperature
- if he’s clipped or not
- whether he’s travelling with other ponies
In the summer, it’s unlikely you’ll need to put a rug on your pony. In colder weather over autumn and winter, particularly if he’s clipped, he might benefit from a breathable fleece cooler, as this will keep him warm without overheating.
Ponies generate lots of body heat, which means that when they’re in a small space, such as a lorry or trailer, it’s much warmer than the outside temperature. This is especially true if you’re transporting more than one pony, as it’ll become even warmer inside.
As well as making sure your pony’s kitted out, there are a few other things you’ll need to take with you. These include…
- a full haynet – this will keep your pony occupied while you’re on the move
- a bucket and water – vital if you end up stuck somewhere unexpected! Don’t forget to offer him water before and after the journey to keep him hydrated
- a fleece rug – although he might not need one to travel in, it’s a good idea to take one with you in case you’re waiting anywhere or the temperature drop
- a headcollar and leadrope – to keep him secure in the lorry or trailer
- your tack – you don’t want to get to a show and find out you’ve forgotten it!
- equine first-aid kit – to keep you covered in case he’s injured