Rebecca Bott: Considerations when transporting horses | TSLN.com

Rebecca Bott: Considerations when transporting horses

Alaina Mousel, Editor

Photo by Alaina MouselRebecca Bott depicted how respiratory problems affect horses in transit at the 34th annual Faith Rancher's Forum held Tuesday, Feb. 8, in Faith, SD.

Transporting horses, be it for competition or a sale, can put strain on animals when they’re expected to perform at their best. That’s the message South Dakota State University Extension equine specialist Rebecca Bott shared with ranchers at the 34th annual Faith Rancher’s Forum held Tuesday, Feb. 8, in Faith, SD.

Bott’s presentation, “Preparing Horses for Transit and Competition,” emphasized the effect of stress transportation has on horses. “We all need to be familiar with our animals. Just like people, some are more likely to tell you they are stressed and overloaded.”

According to Bott, respiratory problems are the most common transport-related illness in horses. She likened it to shipping fever in cattle. Symptoms include: depression, fever, decreased feed intake, nasal discharge, cough and an increased respiratory rate.

“There are a whole host of reasons we get respiratory problems in horses during transport,” Bott said, pointing out that problems can occur any time during travel, even after the animal has arrived.

“Increased bacteria are a concern because horses are in a confined area with their head tied in an up position,” Bott said. “When a horse coughs, they drop their head to clear mucus.” That’s not possible if a horse is transported with its head tied up.

In transport, hay is often positioned next to the horse, she added. “You’ll want to make sure it is fairly low in dust. Watch for humidity and hot temperatures.”

Recommended Stories For You

Gastrointestinal problems may also occur due to transport. “As horse owners, this is probably what we think of most in terms of health because of colic,” Bott said. Gastrointestinal problems occur when food and water consumption go down, causing gut stasis in the horse to increase. This imbalance can lead to colic, diarrhea and gastric ulcers; though there’s not much scientific data that shows transport leads to gastric ulcers.

Energy and fluid balance is important in horses being transported because their food and water consumption decreases. “Horses lose 0.5 percent of their body weight an hour in transit. That’s 6 pounds an hour in a 1,200-pound horse. Sweating only increases water loss,” Bott said. For a trip that takes 2.5 hours, a horse can lose 1.1-1.6 percent of their body weight.

Transporting horses, be it for competition or a sale, can put strain on animals when they’re expected to perform at their best. That’s the message South Dakota State University Extension equine specialist Rebecca Bott shared with ranchers at the 34th annual Faith Rancher’s Forum held Tuesday, Feb. 8, in Faith, SD.

Bott’s presentation, “Preparing Horses for Transit and Competition,” emphasized the effect of stress transportation has on horses. “We all need to be familiar with our animals. Just like people, some are more likely to tell you they are stressed and overloaded.”

According to Bott, respiratory problems are the most common transport-related illness in horses. She likened it to shipping fever in cattle. Symptoms include: depression, fever, decreased feed intake, nasal discharge, cough and an increased respiratory rate.

“There are a whole host of reasons we get respiratory problems in horses during transport,” Bott said, pointing out that problems can occur any time during travel, even after the animal has arrived.

“Increased bacteria are a concern because horses are in a confined area with their head tied in an up position,” Bott said. “When a horse coughs, they drop their head to clear mucus.” That’s not possible if a horse is transported with its head tied up.

In transport, hay is often positioned next to the horse, she added. “You’ll want to make sure it is fairly low in dust. Watch for humidity and hot temperatures.”

Gastrointestinal problems may also occur due to transport. “As horse owners, this is probably what we think of most in terms of health because of colic,” Bott said. Gastrointestinal problems occur when food and water consumption go down, causing gut stasis in the horse to increase. This imbalance can lead to colic, diarrhea and gastric ulcers; though there’s not much scientific data that shows transport leads to gastric ulcers.

Energy and fluid balance is important in horses being transported because their food and water consumption decreases. “Horses lose 0.5 percent of their body weight an hour in transit. That’s 6 pounds an hour in a 1,200-pound horse. Sweating only increases water loss,” Bott said. For a trip that takes 2.5 hours, a horse can lose 1.1-1.6 percent of their body weight.

Transporting horses, be it for competition or a sale, can put strain on animals when they’re expected to perform at their best. That’s the message South Dakota State University Extension equine specialist Rebecca Bott shared with ranchers at the 34th annual Faith Rancher’s Forum held Tuesday, Feb. 8, in Faith, SD.

Bott’s presentation, “Preparing Horses for Transit and Competition,” emphasized the effect of stress transportation has on horses. “We all need to be familiar with our animals. Just like people, some are more likely to tell you they are stressed and overloaded.”

According to Bott, respiratory problems are the most common transport-related illness in horses. She likened it to shipping fever in cattle. Symptoms include: depression, fever, decreased feed intake, nasal discharge, cough and an increased respiratory rate.

“There are a whole host of reasons we get respiratory problems in horses during transport,” Bott said, pointing out that problems can occur any time during travel, even after the animal has arrived.

“Increased bacteria are a concern because horses are in a confined area with their head tied in an up position,” Bott said. “When a horse coughs, they drop their head to clear mucus.” That’s not possible if a horse is transported with its head tied up.

In transport, hay is often positioned next to the horse, she added. “You’ll want to make sure it is fairly low in dust. Watch for humidity and hot temperatures.”

Gastrointestinal problems may also occur due to transport. “As horse owners, this is probably what we think of most in terms of health because of colic,” Bott said. Gastrointestinal problems occur when food and water consumption go down, causing gut stasis in the horse to increase. This imbalance can lead to colic, diarrhea and gastric ulcers; though there’s not much scientific data that shows transport leads to gastric ulcers.

Energy and fluid balance is important in horses being transported because their food and water consumption decreases. “Horses lose 0.5 percent of their body weight an hour in transit. That’s 6 pounds an hour in a 1,200-pound horse. Sweating only increases water loss,” Bott said. For a trip that takes 2.5 hours, a horse can lose 1.1-1.6 percent of their body weight.

Go back to article