Travelling With Your Equine Companion

Horse owners will often experience a great sense of wellbeing from the companionship and affection their animal offers. Along with pet ownership, holidaying is one of the best ways human beings can benefit their wellbeing. However, many pet owners feel forced to stable their companions, and suffer from separation anxiety as a result. This trend has led to many Australian holidayers going pet-friendly, with towns like Brighton reporting higher concentrations of local holidaymakers.

When it comes to horses, you’d be surprised to find that travelling abroad is absolutely feasible. However, there are medical considerations in hand, alongside logistics, choice of location and planning. If you plan ahead, though, there are great benefits – for you and your equine pal.

What to consider

Before you embark on a trip, there are a few key considerations when considering protecting your horse. Transporting a horse via plane is absolutely doable, as in other modes of transport. Be wary, however, of conditions such as shipping fever. You will be well aware of the risks of shipping fever over short distances, and a break every 3 hours is recommended to mitigate risk. Consider this when travelling long distances. There are wonderful places for you to experience on horseback, from the mixed lush and desert vistas of Andalusia, a particularly horse-friendly country, to the steppes of central Asia. Plan your trip into segments to keep your horse healthy whilst still experiencing the world.

Photo by Annie Spratt

Where’s good to go?

Obviously, some countries will be less horse-friendly than others. Depending on the familiarity of the surroundings at home, you might look for more open terrain, or be comfortable in forested areas. Furthermore, the culture of a country and the relative costs of stabling and land permits can be a sticking point. That aside, look no further than Northern Europe. The United Kingdom and Ireland have a rich equine history and have a culture positively minded to animals of all types. The United States shares this, too, for trips further afield and to a different culture entirely.

What about when you’re there?

When you’re there, you should have picked a country with a good network of stables and support facilities with accommodation lined up. In the worst case, using modern mapping apps can help you to find a place to stay in the worst case. Be aware of different food labeling in other countries, and that the ingredients and types of hay and so on are suitable. It never hurts to ask.

Travelling with your horse can be wonderfully invigorating and give both you and your companion the opportunity to see the world together. However, there are certain considerations to be made to ensure your horses’ safety. Make sure you take them.

By Jenny Holt