With the change of seasons, USRider, the national provider of roadside emergency assistance for equestrians, reminds those who travel with horses to be careful when traveling and to invest time doing routine preventive trailer maintenance to enhance their travel safety.

"While trailering horses in the winter is not all that different from trailering any time of the year, you do need to make a few adjustments for hauling in cold weather," said equine travel authority Neva Kittrell Scheve.

She added that during any time of the year–regardless of temperatures–the basic rules apply:

  • Make sure your trailer is safe;

  • Drive carefully;

  • Make sure the horse's inoculations are up-to-date;

  • Carry a current health certificate and certificate of negative equine infectious anemia (EIA) if crossing state lines;

  • Wrap all four legs with shipping wraps or boots;

  • Carry an emergency first aid kit and know how to use it;

  • Learn to monitor a horse's vital signs;

  • Carry backup supplies appropriate to the length of the trip;

  • Carry emergency contact numbers for yourself and your horses, and keep them in a visible place; and

  • Carry a truck/car emergency kit. During the winter months be sure the kit includes a shovel, sand, red flag, horse blankets, human blankets, candle, matches or lighter, and tire chains.

Horse Care

One of the most confusing decisions when trailering in cold weather is whether to blanket your horse. Horses are very comfortable in cold conditions, and most will tr