Fancy taking your horse to Europe this summer? At first, it can seem like a complicated and expensive process. But with the right preparation, you and horse could have a great time on holiday. Here are a few things to consider before you start planning your trip.
Choosing your route
The first thing you need to decide is how you will be travelling to your chosen destination. Taking the ferry is an easy option, allowing you to simply load your horsebox or trailer onto the ship at the ferry terminal. However, during rough seas you may find your horse suffers from sea sickness, or some operators will just refuse to take them if the weather is particularly bad.
Alternatively you could travel to mainland Europe using the Eurostar, since they started allowing horses in 2010. Horses must be transported in a vehicle with the appropriate ventilation that can operate for at least four hours without having the engine switched on. Eurotunnel also only accepts vehicles that have a valid Road Vehicle & Container Certificate and should be booked in advance. Go to the Eurotunnel website to find out more.
Get the right documents
There are a number of documents your horse will need before they can travel. These include:
- A horse passport
- A health certificate issued by DEFRA and countersigned by a vet
- Valid insurance for both your horse and your vehicle
- Vaccination certificates – as required by your destination country
- An export licence from DEFRA
- Any other documents required by your destination country
Check your horse is fit to travel
Only consider taking your horse abroad if they are fit and healthy. Travelling long distances can put extra strain on your four-legged friend, while you may risk transmitting equine diseases to the country you’re travelling too.
It’s also a good idea to think about how long your horse will be inside the horsebox or trailer during the journey. Leaving them for too long could cause them distress. This makes planning for your journey even more important, factoring in the possibility of delays caused by bad weather or cancelled ferry crossings.
When travelling abroad with your horse, having the right insurance is highly important. There are specialist providers of Horsebox and Trailer Insurance, that can offer you a policy to suit your requirements. It’s quick and easy to get multiple quotes from a panel of providers, without spending hours trawling the internet. Simply enter a few details and submit them by clicking on the button below.