Travelling Horses In Hot Weather
With the British Summer climbing to record high temperatures, what should you consider when travelling horses during the summer heatwave? From the impact on your horsebox insurance to DEFRA guidelines, top tips for supporting the welfare of your horse to what to do in the event of a breakdown, Shearwater's equine insurance specialists offer their advice for travelling horses this summer.
- Travelling horses in hot weather will not affect your horsebox insurance
A common misconception is that travelling horses, when the temperature is over 30 degrees (centigrade) will invalidate your insurance. There is no impact on your horsebox or trailer insurance, as this only covers the vehicle rather than the welfare of the equines travelling within it. The exception to the rule could be commercial transporters who operate under different rules. If you hold an operators licence and are continuing to transport horses for commercial purposes it is worth seeking clarification from your insurance provider ahead of travelling.
There are various DEFRA guidelines around travelling horses in hot weather, with 30 degrees often talked about. The guidelines are aimed at commercial transporters and those undertaking journeys of 8-hours more, however these guidelines are there to protect the welfare of the animals travelling within the vehicles and should be used as guidelines for all those looking at travelling horses during hot weather.
2. Horse insurance may be affected
If the Government, or any of their departments, issues official rules or restrictions around travelling horses then horse insurance may be affected should owners go against that advice. It may be seen that travelling horses puts them at risk of injury or illness.
In any case it it worth checking with your insurer prior to travel.
3. Ensure that vehicles are well ventilated & breaks are planned
Ensure that any horseboxes or trailers are well ventilated to help with cooling during travelling. Check that windows and vents are open to encourage air flow.
For longer journeys plan breaks to open doors and increase air flow and offer horses water
4. Carry plenty of fresh water for horses (and passengers)
Check that all water onboard is fresh and safe to drink.
Offer horses water before travelling, during if possible and during any planned breaks.
5. Call 101 if you breakdown or are stuck in prolonged traffic
If the weather exceeds 25 degrees and you become stuck for a long period of time in traffic, or if you breakdown, call 101 and the local services will offer assistance. Different forces have their own protocols but assistance may be in the form or escorting your vehicle on a hard shoulder, finding you an alternative route, or clearing traffic to let your vehicle through safely.
6. What to do in a breakdown
Call 101 and your breakdown team ASAP. Don't unload the horses on a road, instead lower the ramp, if safe to do so, and open other doors and windows for extra ventilation.
For any queries regarding travelling horses during the heatwave please call the Shearwater Equine Motoring team on 01992 178 666
For queries regarding travelling horses in hot weather and the effect it may have on your insurance please call our Equine Motoring team on 01992 718 666