Brought to you by: SmartPak
If you’re traveling with your horse this summer, there’s one hidden danger that you might not have considered: a bout of equine colic. While you’re on the road this can be scary, especially if your horse has no history of gastrointestinal upset. Luckily, there are a few precautions you can take to keep your horse safe and make your trip go smoothly.
Consider starting your horse on a daily digestive supplement program prior to any travel plans. This can help support healthy hindgut balance through change in your horse’s routine and environment. Additionally, digestive supplements may help him adapt to feed and forage changes that may come with his travels. SmartPak has several research-supported supplement formulas that help to maintain hindgut health through times of stress, such as traveling and feed changes. Best of all, not only do each of their ColiCare-eligible supplements give your horse the best digestion and hindgut support, when you sign up for the ColiCare program by ordering an eligible supplement in SmartPaks, you may be eligible for up to $15,000 in colic surgery reimbursement!
Consider bringing your own grain and hay.
Changes in diet, specifically changes in the type of hay and grain you’re feeding, are associated with an increased risk of colic. Bringing your own hay and grain with you can be one may to minimize your horse’s colic risk on the road.
While you’re traveling, you will also want to consider the quality of the pasture where your horse will be staying. Since changing pastures or turning a horse not used to much forage out into a lush pasture can also increase your horse’s chances of colic, make sure you evaluate the pasture at your destination before turnout. If you suspect a pasture might be too lush for your horse, consider bringing a grazing muzzle or limit his pasture time while you’re traveling.
Make sure your horse is drinking enough.
If your horse doesn’t drink, he’ll become dehydrated. Dry intestines make digestion difficult and can lead to impactions. It goes without saying that horses need access to clean, fresh water at all times So if you can’t hang a water bucket safely in your trailer, you should be stopping every 2-4 hours to give your horse water. Sometimes horses don’t drink well when they travel, and it becomes necessary to give them an electrolyte. You can also soak their grain, feed soupy mashes, or soak their hay to help increase their water intake.
Have a list of emergency contacts for on the road.
As you plan your route to your final destination, be sure to note veterinarians, large animal hospitals, and other places that would be able to help in case of an emergency. Keep a list of their contact information, the hours they are open, what types of cases they treat, and their physical address.
By taking a few extra precautions, you’re ready to hit the road safely. You can enjoy your trip knowing that your proactive approach to colic prevention helps you keep your horse safe, both at home and on the road.