Top Travelling Tips from Top Riders
Top tips from professional riders can be, for an equestrian, as good as finding gold (although lets face it, as a horse owner, gold would be good too). We will be bringing you words of wisdom from professional riders and professional grooms all over the UK throughout the year and we hope you can pick up on some useful training or horse management advice.
Eventer Georgie Spence
Georgie Spence is an up and coming event rider who was part of Tokyo test and selection for the 2020 Olympics. She has 2 Team European Golds, 1 Team Silver Medal , was the winner of Nations Cup CIC3* 2017 and Millstreet CCI3* 2018.
Q: Georgie, what is your experience with travelling horses?
A: I have travelled horses all over the UK and Europe, as well as having a horse fly to America and to Toyko.
Q: What are your top tips for travelling horses?
A: With regard to feeding and routine we try our best to keep as much as possible the same. We feed according to what they have done not what they are going to do, we often use dry grass at competitions to make sure they have something in their stomachs to minimise the chances of acid splash and potential ulcers. I use the travel sized haygain whilst we are staying away at a show to keep the consistency of steamed hay in the horses system. For travelling, we always make sure the horses have a haynet of steamed hay whilst they are in the lorry and always make sure that we have filled the haygain bale bag with a bale of steamed hay.
Q: What is the difference between a local competition and a competition abroad?
A: For ‘local’ shows, a journey up to two hours, we wouldnt stop we would just keep an eye on the cameras to check they are all ok. For a three to four hour journey we would offer them water and top up their hay if required, this would be done half way through the journey. In terms of travelling long distance on the road I like to stop to let the horses out and get their heads down every four hours. This then allows the horses to put its head in a more natural position. If they are then going on a ferry, we would work out when would be the best time for feeding but I like to get them off the lorry to walk and feed if safe to do so, and if not then we stop in a services and open the partitions in the lorry to allow the horses to eat from the floor. When flying I haven’t flown with a horse but once they are on the crate they don’t come off, with two horses in each stall they are allowed to get their heads down to eat and drink as normal but are unable to walk around.
Q: How do you prepare for travelling horses?
A: When on short journeys my horses wear travel boots but over 2/2.5 hours they would be in bandages and are always bandaged after competing for more support.
Eventer Alicia Hawker
Alicia is a young 5* Event Rider based in Wiltshire who trains with Mark Todd. Her top achievements includes CCI4* Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horses Trials 2018 , CCI4* rider after completing Les 4 Etoiles de Pau, FRANCE, October 2017, Mark Todd Bridging the Gap Scholarship WINNER 2017.
Watch Alicia's top tip video below:
How can Haygain help?
Haygain HG One is the perfect travel companion and many champion and amateur riders have bought this unit so they can steam away at competitions. Steaming hay has a number of significant health benefits for horses who spend a lot of time travelling. A horse spends most of a journey with it's nose in a haynet so imagine if that haynet was filled with dust and bacteria. Haygain hay steamers eliminate 99% of dust, bacteria, mold and fungi spores meaning your travelling horse will be eating purified hay and breathing in a dust free environment.