Equestrian Needs Ltd


Many horsebox owners put their safety and that of their horses and ponies at risk by transporting in overloaded and poorly maintained horseboxes and trailers. Before setting off remember PACT

  • Pressure - check the tyres before every journey
  • Avoid - overloading your horsebox or trailer
  • Condition - check for cracking, crazing, bulging on tyres
  • Tread Depth - up to 3.5 tonnes the minimum legal depth is 1.6mm.

Travel Tips

Hay & Water

  • For a journey of more than 2 hours, horses should have access to hay and water during transport
  • For a journey of more than 4 hours try to arrive at the competition a day in advance
  • For a journey of more than 8 hours allow at least one day of recovery prior to the competition
  • Do regular temperature checks and don't allow your horse to become dehydrated.
  • For long journeys, tie loosely and encourage horses to put their heads down by offering water, grazing or perhaps some carrots. Mucus can accumulate in the lungs and all the normal mechanisms for clearing bacteria out of the lungs are compromised developing pleuropneumonia (shipping fever)
  • Don't load horses straight away after a competition, they need time to recover and relax.

Rugs & Protection

  • Try to keep rugs and protective wear to a minimum in warm weather and ensure there is sufficient ventilation.

Plan your Journey

  • Shop around for fuel, prices can vary within local areas and motorway service stops are generally the most expensive.
  • Horses use more energy travelling than standing in their stable so plan your route carefully favouring straight roads and avoiding traffic if possible.
  • Consider your fuel economy when driving, not only will driving cleverly be more comfortable for your horse, it will also help to save fuel.
  • Consider joining a breakdown service to ensure you have help should you breakdown at the roadside.

Understand the Law

  • Ensure you have good insurance cover.
  • DEFRA says that any officials pulling over a vehicle with horses on board should complete their inspection within 20 minutes.
  • If your caravan or trailer is wider than the rear of the towing vehicle, you must by law fit suitable towing mirrors.

Use Professionals

  • If you prefer, arrange for a horse transporter to do the job for you. Check they have an Operator's licence (you can check the number on the VOSA website) and DEFRA licence. (Type 1 allows travel of up to 8 hours, Type 2 allows travel of more than 8 hours)

Useful contacts