Transporting Foals

The necessity of foals being shipped can arise for a variety of different reasons, including traveling with the mare to a breeding farm, moving to a new farm after purchase, or traveling to a hospital due to illness or injury of the foal or mare.
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The transport of mature horses by road is a routine event for professional horse people, but even in the hands of experienced haulers, there are certain risks involved with the shipping of horses. The necessity of foals being shipped can arise for a variety of different reasons, including traveling with the mare to a breeding farm, moving to a new farm after purchase, or traveling to a hospital due to illness or injury of the foal or mare.

Without proper planning, what was supposed to be just a quick trip down the road with the mare and foal can lead to devastating consequences, such as lacerations or broken bones. When transporting foals (with or without the mare), several factors should be considered to decrease the risk of injury to the foal.

Trailering a mare and foal possesses its own unique set of safety concerns, especially if the foal cannot stand or is likely to spend the majority of the trip lying down. Young foals, particularly those less than two weeks of age, also might have difficulty regulating their body temperatures, especially when they are sick. Foals which cannot stand and are struggling or having seizures need special attention to prevent injury to their heads, eyes, and legs.

The first decision to make is: How are you getting to your destination? What vehicle/trailer are you going to use? In an emergency situation, you might not have much of a choice, but small modifications
to your trailer can make traveling safer and more comfortable. However, before you travel, there are several decisions to make

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Written by:

Christina S. Cable, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, owns Early Winter Equine in Lansing, New York. The practice focuses on primary care of mares and foals and performance horse problems.

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