September 5, 2009: Transportation Tips

  • September 01, 2009
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Trade Zone: Transportation Tips - Click Here to Download PDF

By Dr. Nancy Loving 

These days horses are part of an increasingly mobile population, traveling between barns and tracks, throughout the nation and internationally. Travel can be stressful to even the most seasoned competitor, and you, as the owner or trainer, can take steps to minimize the physiological impact of transport on your horse. With that in mind, let’s examine some helpful guidance from those versed in the understanding and business of equine transport.

Dr. Des Leadon, the international director for the American Association of Equine Practitioners, is a leading authority on transport stress in horses. Leadon’s
work in Ireland has been instrumental in improving the health of horses in transit around the globe, particularly in regard to the respiratory tract. He reported, “The Irish Equine Centre has had an ongoing interest in transport research for the last 25 years. We have looked at stall design with air transport companies, aircraft manufacturers, and with aero engineers. We have studied airflow, temperature gradients, and environmental contamination within road transport vehicles and in aircraft carrying horses. It makes surprisingly little difference whether the vehicle has wings or wheels. We have looked at many possible modifications—these made little or no difference.”

Leadon proposes that managing the transit environment and a horse’s general health are key elements to delivering a horse to its destination in as good a condition
as possible.


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