Poll Recap: Hot-Weather Horse Transport Concerns

Of the 502 respondents, 224 (45%) said their biggest concern when transporting horses during hot weather is keeping the horses from overheating.

Photo: iStock

Some horses just seem to travel better than others, but when you add heat and humidity into the mix, even the seasoned equine traveler can become distressed.

There are numerous things to consider when transporting horses during the summer. What worries you the most when you have to take a trip with your horse in the summer heat? We asked our readers just that in last week’s online poll. More than 500 people responded and we’ve tallied the results!

Of the 502 respondents, 224 (45%) said their biggest concern when transporting horses during hot weather is keeping the horses from overheating. Another 103 individuals (21%) are most concerned about keeping their horses hydrated, and 69 people (14%) worry most about keeping horses calm and cool. An additional 68 respondents (14%) are most concerned about providing adequate ventilation while transporting horses, and the remaining 38 respondents (8%) have other concerns not mentioned in the poll.

Additionally, more than 40 people shared comments about their concerns while transporting horses during hot weather. Many said they're concerned about all of the choices mentioned, while other shared specific concerns.

Some people said keeping horses from overheating was their biggest concern:

  • “My horses don't travel much but when they do, it's a hot trailer that worries me most.”
  • “It depends on the horse but mainly overheating, and for some horses it would be to limit stress.”
  • “During summer in Florida, you could cook a roast inside an aluminum/steel trailer.”
  • “I live in Florida, so overheating is always an issue.”

Many others listed additional concerns:

  • “Avoiding the other drivers who aren’t calm and cool on the road.”
  • “My biggest concerns would be a vehicle malfunction, the risk of overheated horses, and little ventilation!”
  • “Being stuck in traffic. Our highway is very congested with frequent accidents and lane closures.”
  • “No matter the weather, I always fear someone hitting the trailer.”
  • “I especially worry about the tow vehicle breaking down in the heat.”
  • “I worry most about horse safety with pot holes, road bumps and dips, hard braking, and actions of other dangerous drivers.”
  • “I'm concerned with hydration. My horse doesn't like to drink on the road and hates the trailer.”
  • “I'm concerned about other drivers flinging cigarette butts.”
  • “Getting stuck in traffic/accident/construction.”
  • “Tow-vehicle breakdown and/or traffic jam resulting in extended hold time in hot trailer.”
  • “Unforseen traffic jams.”

Some respondents shared tips for how they transport their horses safely during hot weather: 

  • “I always have at least three gallons of water with me and hope we don't get stalled on the Interstate.”
  • “We try to haul at night or the cooler part of the day to avoid getting too hot.”
  • “Feed carrots and soaked beet pulp before and after trailering to keep hydrated.”
  • “Minimize time standing in enclosed trailer. This means no stop for refreshments after rides, guys!”

While others left general comments:

  • “My horse sweat heavily in a well-ventilated trailer once and, despite drinking well, colicked the next day.”
  • “I love my stock trailer, lots of air flow.”
  • “Good vents and windows, add ceiling insulation and fans. Offer water. Keep trailer moving!”
  • “It's not the transport; it's the riding when I get there! I just don't go if it's too hot to ride.”

You can find more information on hot weather trailering tips, caring for horses in extreme heat, how to reduce transport stress in horses, keeping horses hydrated while away from home, respiratory health in horse trailers, factors to consider when selecting a tow vehicle to transport your horse, and more at TheHorse.com!

This week, we want to know: Have you ever had your horse tested for a genetic disorder or disease? Vote now and share your comments at TheHorse.com/polls.

The results of our weekly polls are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter, which offers news on diseases, veterinary research, health events, and in-depth articles on common equine health conditions and what you can do to recognize, avoid, or treat them. Sign up for our e-newsletters on our homepage and look for a new poll on TheHorse.com.

About the Author

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer, is a lifelong horse owner who competes with her Appaloosas in Western performance events. She is a University of Kentucky graduate and holds a bachelor’s degree in Community Communications and Leadership Development, and master's degree in Career, Technical, and Leadership Education. She currently lives on a small farm in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.

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