How do Horses Get Hurt During Transport?

One in four drivers surveyed said they’d had a horse suffer an injury during transport.
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Do you worry about your horse getting injured in the trailer? If so, you’re probably not alone. But how often do these types of injuries occur? While several studies have focused on injuries during commercial transport of horses going to slaughter, a group of Australian and New Zealand researchers recently evaluated injuries during private transport.

“This seems to be an understudied issue lacking attention and perhaps an area of equine welfare that had not been well-studied,” said Christopher Riley, BVSc, PhD, professor and head of equine clinical studies at Massey University, in Palmerston North, New Zealand. “There was a lack of data on which to make recommendations for positive change.”

To help fill this gap, Riley and his colleagues surveyed 223 drivers (157 women, 62 men, and four of undisclosed gender) transporting horses to 12 equestrian events in southeastern Australia. Their goal was to collect information on driver demographics, driving/towing practices, vehicle and trailer characteristics, as well as incidents involving injury to horses.

The researchers said one in four survey participants had experienced a horse injury during transport at some point—a statistic similar to that reported during commercial transport

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Written by:

Casie Bazay is a freelance and young adult writer, as well as a certified equine acupressure practitioner. She also hosts a blog, The Naturally Healthy Horse. Once an avid barrel racer, she now enjoys giving back to the horses who have given her so much.

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