Transporting a horse might sound like an easy enough idea, however there’s more planning and action involved than one might think. There are many subjects to consider ranging from preparing the horse to actions that should be taken while in transit. One of the trickier areas is how to properly prepare your horse for trailer rides in regards to its legs, therefore the topic of bandaging and shipping boots will be covered in this post. Here are some tips to help create a hassle-free voyage for both you and your equine and will have him exclaiming ‘yay!’ instead of ‘neigh.’

Preparing Your Horse – Have your horse checked with a veterinarian within 4 weeks of the trip to make sure he is healthy enough to endure the journey and that he is up to date on all vaccinations. This is especially important if the expedition is long. Also, practice loading in and out of trailers with your horse, that way he can familiarize himself with the procedure.

Bandaging/Shipping Boots – Many people wonder if they need to bandage the legs of their horse, use shipping boots, or do nothing at all while they transport their horse. Here are some tidbits to help you make your own decision. If your horse has no shoes on, there is no reason to bandage him. However, if your horse does have shoes, proper bandaging is necessary to help protect the coronet. Make sure to wrap the bandages tightly or else hay or straw could get in the wrap and irritate the horse. In regards to shipping boots, if your horse tends to kick a lot, it could injure itself wearing boots. Boots may also add extra heat during transit, but overall they are a safe choice. With both bandages and shipping boots, allow a sufficient amount of time for your horse to become accustomed to wearing either before the journey.

Preparing the Trailer-Your trailer needs to be in great condition since it is the vehicle your horse will be traversing in. In general, all parts should be in good condition and make sure there is no rust or missing parts. Bringing a spare tired for the trailer is a good idea as well. Make sure there are enough vents to provide for comfortable ventilation since horses are susceptible to over heating.

Trailer Ride Dehydration is a common problem when horses are shipped, therefore providing enough water is essential. Offer water from a familiar bucket every four hours or at every stop to prevent dehydration from occurring. Horse grain and rich feed may cause problems in the large intestine; therefore hay is a suitable choice for feed as it helps prevent dehydration by aiding in retaining water in the gut. It is also a good idea to wash away manure and urine at every stop to help prevent respiratory infections.


Transporting your horse requires planning and should not be attempted the night before departure. Start thinking about it at least week ahead of time. Also, keep in mind that each horse is different and that one technique will not always work best for all horses. Keep these tips in mind for your first or next trip to assure a comfortable and safe ride for your equine and have peace of mind for yourself.


Written by Leslie Hsu of, an auction-style marketplace for Horse Transport