Preparing Your Horse’s Feed for Travel

5 mins read

Maintaining our horses' eating habits and feed is an important, but often overlooked, aspect of travelling. Everyone has their preference, with multiple factors affecting the decision including availability and storage. In this blog, we look at some considerations for deciding whether to take or buy feed, how to store feed and supplements when on the road, and what the feeding must-haves are for travel.

 

To take feed or to buy feed?

There are pros and cons to both and there’s no correct answer. The decision may depend on multiple factors including:  

  • How far are you travelling?
  • How long will you be away?
  • How many horses are travelling?

In some cases, you may have no option but to purchase your feed at the event, simply due to logistics. However, when presented with the choice, here are a few handy considerations:

  • Will my brand/product be available at the event location? When travelling to regional competitions, or even interstate, you may be faced with different sourcing options that can affect the availability of your feed. If planning to buy at the event, call ahead and make sure the supplier can get in your regular feeds.  
  • Is my horse a fussy eater? For fussy horses, we want to do everything to keep them eating whilst away, so bringing your feed from home may be safest. Especially if there’s a chance you won’t be able to source your regular feeds.
  • Do I have a way of getting my feed to the event? It might seem like a silly question, but there is nothing worse than getting caught out because the feed supplier doesn’t deliver or is closed by the time you arrive. If you are going to arrive late to your venue or won’t be able to source feed as soon as you arrive, take some premade feeds.

 

How should I store my feed when travelling?

If you are bringing feed from home, it’s important to store them correctly to ensure they don’t spoil.  

  • Avoid storing in plastic bags which can sweat and cause the feed to go off.
  • Store in a dry place, avoid packing your feed in a compartment that may be subject to leaks or high moisture, as this can cause mould and the feed to spoil.
  • Store in a place out of reach to your horse and that will not interfere with their travel. When running low on room, it can be tempting to secure a bale of hay in a spare horse bay, but obstructing quick access (entry or exit) for your horse in the float should be avoided. Not to mention, you don’t want to arrive at your event to find a bale of hay at your horses feet!  
    Make use of hay bale bags, specialty feed travel bags, or even recycle empty chaff bags to separate, transport and store your feed.  
  • Consider where the feed will be stored once you arrive. If the float is to be completely cleared out for camping, will you have enough space at the stables for your feed? If feed is to be stored outside your float during the event, a tarp or mat to keep it off the ground, as well as some type of shelter, will help protect your feed (especially hay) from the elements.
Dog sitting on Roma Hessian Hay Bale Bag Dog sitting on Roma Hessian Hay Bale Bag
Roma Hessian Hay Bale Bag

What about my supplements?

Whilst away we want to maintain our horses on their regular feed and supplements, and perhaps we may also add a few competition and recovery-specific ones as well. Most supplements, for their integrity, are best stored at room temperature in a sealed container. Thus, it’s preferable to add the supplements at time of serving. Who has room for all those extra buckets and containers though? Decanting your supplements or getting travel-friendly versions are most ideal. Ranvet’s New Travel Sachet Range is a perfect solution! The range includes 4 travel and competition essential products: Salkavite for hydration, Settle’em Plus for nerves, BCAA Powder for muscle recovery and Recovery-Aid Powder for a 4 in 1 electrolyte, B-Group Vitamin, muscle recovery and antioxidant replacer. The 180g sachets are resealable to maintain freshness and contain 6 doses each. Their size allows them to fit perfectly within the tack box!

Ranvet Salkavite Ranvet Salkavite
Ranvet Salkavite

Do you have these travel essentials?

Whether you decide to travel with your feed or buy at the event, like a vet kit, there are always a few things we should aim to travel with, at a minimum, when it comes to feed.

  • A water supply: whether it is a hand-filled bucket or a tank within your float or truck, you should always have a source of water available in case of an emergency, especially on a long trip.
  • Hay for each horse: having a biscuit of hay at least handy for each horse will ensure that if things don’t go to plan, or there is a prolonged unscheduled stop on the way, your horses will have something to munch on!
  • A source of electrolytes: we can often be caught off guard by a horse that gets to a competition a little tucked up and feeling off. Having a source of electrolytes at hand is a must! Either a paste such as Ranvet Electro Paste or an in-feed/water supplement such as Ranvet Salkavite in its convenient 180g travel size, should always be kept in the float in case of emergency.
  • A calming supplement: sometimes in new environments our horses can exhibit signs of stress. Having a handy supply of a calming supplement that is non-swabable for your competition can be a lifesaver! Ranvet’s 180g Travel Sachet of Settle’em Plus is a great inclusion for the tack box for a quick solution to these situations!
  • A recovery supplement: After a big competition, providing a targeted supplement can help with reducing recovery times and making the travel home a little less strenuous on an already exhausted horse! For targeted muscle recovery Ranvet’s BCAA Powder or, for 4 in 1 Electrolyte, B-Group Vitamin, BCAA and Antioxidant replacer, Ranvet’s Recovery-Aid Powder are ideal. Both supplements are available in handy 180g travel-friendly sizes.
  • Feed accessories: Make sure to pack a bucket for feed prep (especially if you need to soak mashes), a feed bin, or hay bag for feeding out, as well as your usual feed scoops so that you can manage your proportions. 
WeatherBeeta Slow Feeder Hay Bag WeatherBeeta Slow Feeder Hay Bag
WeatherBeeta Slow Feeder Hay Bag

Getting to travel with our horses is a privilege and something we shouldn’t take for granted. Preparation is key, and good planning will ensure a safe, happy and memorable trip for all.

 

At Horseland we’re here to help care for your horse’s wellbeing. Head into your local Horseland store or browse our range of horse health products online. 

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