Volta Nov news


It is very simple to teach a youngster to load because they are lighter and smaller to manage if they are not to keen on loading. Volta had been washed, brushed and had his feet trimmed before we attempted to load him on the float.The float was on the farm ute already so it was the perfect time to try him out. Now remember he has already  been loaded on our truck when we brought him home from The Oaks stud in October and he needed to be carried on at that time which was quite an easy task ,using 3 people made him very manageable as he was quite small. This time it is the float and just the 2 of us.

Volta standing in the float

As Volta approached the ramp he was quite wary but not scared, he was encouraged to sniff and take his time and after a short time he decided without any fuss at all he was happy to load. Once tied up and the ramp shut he neighed but stood firm. We brought him over to the back of the farm which is a 1km drive and unloaded him there. Volta walked backwards very steadily and calmly and was not stressed at all. We made sure we talked and stroked him making him feel well assured that he was not going to be harmed which does gain confidence that when we do new things he is in the right frame of mind from the start. Make sure your training and handling from the start needs to gain their confidence and trust then they are willing to learn! Wes even took up the opportunity to measure Volta while he stood in the float on a flat surface. He took a tall piece of wood and a level to hold across the wither and marked the wood and then measured it with the measuring tape.

Volta being measured in the float

Did you know that two thirds of the horses weight is on the forehand supported by the back legs. The back end carries the rest but is not intended to support much weight: its job is to propel the horse forward. In the float when the driver accelerates, the horse’s weight is thrust back onto his hind quarters. To keep his balance, he has to tense his back, quarter and hind leg muscles and straddle his legs sideways-an unnatural and stressful position.To stay on his legs he needs to constantly work his muscles more or less constantly which uses up energy and is tiring. To help your horses travel better it is a good idea if the driver brakes and accelerates very gradually and travels slow around corners and bends. It is important not to brake suddenly.  Also when loading try to make it that the loading ramp slope is less steep by parking the vehicle down a slight hill.

Video of Volta loading”

Volta’s height that was measured in the float is mentioned in the post, Volta body November.




Incompetence of the owners.

Drivers driving too fast.

Drivers that brake too fast.

Roof too low.

Just a rough float.

Center divisions to the floor.

Floats too narrow.

Single floats.

No headroom.

Dark dingy interior.

Rattle Trap.

Horses were in float accidents.

Lack of view.

Ramp too steep

Psychological problems

Horse with knowledge that Mum or Dad drives too fast.


To make a horse do something or go somewhere that they don’t want you must do two things. 




This is a horse that has been involved in a floating accident but more often than not, just traveled too fast around corners by an incompetent driver. The horse, when it feels the float move sideways etc, thinks it is tipping over and literally climbs the walls of the float with all four hooves, normally cutting itself to ribbons in the process. Or falling down when the center divider gives way under the stain of the weight of the horse leaning on it in order to climb up the wall parallel with the ground.

The best thing to try to do is travel slow, especially around all corners.Give the horse plenty of room, take out the divider of a double float. Boot them up and securely so the boots will not come off. Small trips to start with and increase over time.


Here are varying options:

-Remove the center division, do not tie it across.

-Travel the horse in a three-horse float in the center bay so it cannot climb on walls.

– Install bulkheads on left and right side of float to keep horses legs off wall. Out off the wall about 150mm so that you get the same effect as the JR Easy Traveller float which is made for climbers. Have them installed about shoulder height so that the horse can lean on them instead of the wall.

-Travel the horse in an open roofed float regularly, with proper driving and a successful trip. This works on fixing their mind. No division

-Buy a 3/4 float, with no division and with bulkheads installed.

-Always heavily boot the horse up.

– Drive like a snail.

What is travel sickness?

Travel sickness as it is commonly known or ‘Pleuropneumonia’ is inflammation and fluid build up both within the lung and pleura. The pleura is the space between the lungs and chest wall. Horses develop pleuropneumonia from contamination of the lower respiratory tract, their lungs, with bacteria that normally occur in the upper respiratory tract, upper throat and nose.

When your horse travels its natural environment is disrupted.  His head is raised for longer periods than is natural, he often eats with his head raised and standing in one place instead of the typical grazing behaviour with his head down. He has limited space to be able to lower its head to snort and cough and clear its throat and lungs.

Travel sickness is a respiratory disease, so it is essential to keep the environment dust free. Hay and feed must be of good quality and dampened to avoid dust and the vehicle must be kept as clean as possible to avoid a build up of dust particles.  Ventilation is essential at all times unless the weather is extremely cold. Clean fresh air is very important.

Most experts agree that horses are particularly at risk when they can not lower their heads over a long time to clear their throats by coughing or snorting, this also enables the throat and airways to remain moist by saliva flow.  Environmental changes and the stress of travelling a horse have proven to weaken the horses’ immune system leaving it more susceptible to illness and to triggering infections.

Be vigilant and monitor your horse after a long journey by road, sea and or air.

Early signs

Early signs of travel sickness are not limited to and can include:

  • Dull eye
  • Raised temperature
  • Coughing fits
  • Dehydration
  • Lack of interest in food
  • Discharge from the nostrils
  • Change in dropping consistency
  • Rapid breathing
  • Pawing the ground
  • Unwillingness to move around.
Immediate veterinary advice should be sought if any signs of travel sickness are apparent as this disease can be quickly debilitating.

Preventative measures

Whilst travel sickness is not wholly preventable, we have included “Best Practices” for travelling your horse, as prevention is better than cure.

  • Do not over rug your horse whilst travelling, ideally no rug or a very light breathable type should be used.  When the horse is in transit there will be heat from other horses, from being in a confined space, from outside weather conditions and from the tarmac and road conditions.  Once your horse has been unloaded he may benefit from a lightweight breathable rug as the travelling conditions will always be warmer than the stable or paddock.  We recommend a microfibre or thermo material rug should be used as this is breathable and will allow air to circulate, keeping the horse at the optimum temperature.
  • Allow your horse 24 hours of complete rest after the journey to recover from fatigue and dehydration.
  • Make sure that all his food and water are on the floor for at least 48-72 hours after the journey and not in feeders up off the ground.  This will encourage your horse to lower his head to ensure that mucus can be cleared.

Recognising the signs that your horse may be tired or unwell from travelling is not always easy but good horse husbandry can go a long way to helping your horse bounce back to his usual self after a long trip. The symptoms of travel sickness can sometimes not emerge for 2 or 3 days so it is important the keep a vigilant eye on the horse and check for all the signs of travel sickness for up to 3-4 days.

Travel sickness can be dangerous as the symptoms are often ignored, if your horse has any signs of travel sickness at any stage throughout its journey or for 3-4 days after you should call the vet immediately as it is better to be cautious.

Worming Volta

Volta wormed with Equimax Elevation set at 500kg on the 15th October



There are many reasons why you might find it difficult to worm your horse.

Eraquell Pellets are a palatable alternative to paste and liquid wormers.

What are Eraquell Pellets?

  • Cereal-based pellets that look and smell likepony cubes
  •  A safe and effective wormer that controlsinternal equine parasites and all three speciesof bots
  •  An alternative to traditional paste and liquid wormers
Why use Eraquell Pellets?

1. Palatable pellet in a small dose size
The bite-sized pellets are readily accepted by most horses directly from the feed bucket. For very fussy eaters, mixing the Eraquell Pellets with a handful of the horse’s usual pre-mixed feed will ensure the entire dose is consumed.
2. Broad Spectrum wormer
The ivermectin in Eraquell provides a broad-spectrum anti-parasiticide for control of all equine worms (except tapeworm), bots, lungworms, intestinal threadworms and skin parasites (summer sores and neck threadworms).
3. To protect against worm related disease
Veterinarians see horses affected by worm associated disease on a daily basis. Even if your horse shows no obvious signs of infection it
is possible that worms are living inside your horse. Left untreated, the burden of internal parasites can cause colic, diarrhoea, anaemia
and even death. Horses that are not treated for worms can also experience poor growth, weight loss, dull coats, skin irritations
and general dullness. It is vitally important that all horses are given regular worm treatments with an effective wormer such as Eraquell Pellets.
4. Track record of safety                                                                            Extensive trials have proven the safety and efficacy of Eraquell Pellets. Safety has been proven in different age groups and life stages of horses including breeding mares and stallions. Due to difficulties in accurately measuring a dose it is not recommended to administer Eraquell®Pellets to foals.
5. Treats a 700kg horse in one dose                                                                  Each 35g sachet of Eraquell Pellets will treat a 700kg animal meaning most horses can be easily treated with a single sachet.

When to use Eraquell Pellets?

Worming intervals
How often horses are wormed depends on the property’s management system. It is ideal to use the minimum number of treatments possible in a year, as over worming can lead to resistance. Depending on a number of factors, some horse owners will need to worm more often than others. Where there are large numbers of horses kept close together and/or horses are frequently moving on and off a property, there will be a greater need for worm control. This is because these horses will be at the greatest risk of contamination. Horses in these situations, generally on studs or agistment properties, will need to be wormed every six to eight weeks. It may be possible, where there are low stocking densities, to worm horses less often. The use of paddock management procedures like manure removal, paddock rotation and grazing with other species will also help lower contamination pressure. All horses should be wormed at least once every 3 months regardless of the conditions in which they are kept. All horses on a property should be wormed at the same time. New horses should be quarantined and wormed before coming onto the property. If you are unsure about what drenching interval is right for your situation please consult your vet or local Virbac area manager.

Rotation                                                                                                     It is recommended to practice rotation of wormers to help prevent or slow the development of resistance. Products should be rotated yearly with one active being used for an entire year and then switching to a different active for the next year. Strategy-T and Eraquell contain completely different actives so make excellent rotation partners. During a Strategy-T year, Eraquell needs to be included twice, as Strategy-T does not treat bots. Bots must be treated at the end of autumn and the beginning of spring.

Treatment of mares and foals
Eraquell is safe to use in pregnant and lactating mares. Pregnant mares should be treated as normal during their pregnancy taking care not to stress them during treatment. Mares should be wormed two weeks prior to their expected foaling date. Once a mare has foaled the mare and foal should both be wormed starting from when the foal is six weeks old. Due to difficulties in accurately measuring a
dose it is not recommended to administer Eraquell®Pellets to foals.Young horses need to be treated differently to older horses because they are at risk of mectin resistant ascarids. Ascarids appear to be the worm developing resistance to mectins. Generally ascarids are not found in horses over two years of age as horses seem to develop a natural immunity to these worms as they mature. Horses under two should be wormed every six weeks with Equimax Elevation. Once a horse turns two they should be then put on the Eraquell/Strategy-T rotation program, however Equimax Elevation is safe to use in horses of all ages.

Estimating Weight
Most people underestimate a horse’s weight by as much as 20%. Underestimating weight can lead to underdosing. Giving a horse
less than the required dose of wormer can leave them at risk of worm-related disease, as potentially worms will be left untreated
within the horse. Underdosing can also encourage the development of resistance in horses by exposing the worms to sub-lethal doses of wormer. It is therefore important to correctly estimate your horse’s weight when deciding on the correct dose of wormer to give them.It is in fact preferable to give horses a slight overdose rather than an underdose. There are several methods to determine a horse’s weight, the most accurate being a set of scales. As most horse owners do not have easy access to horse scales, there are several other methods that horse owners can use to get a good estimate of their horses’ weight. A reasonable estimation of a horse’s weight can be made using the formula below.

Weight = girth (cm)2x length   divided by    1187

Another method that can be used to estimate weight is by using one  of the commercially available weight tapes. Some tapes are accurate and some are not, so it is a good idea to first calibrate the tape using  the formula to confirm that it is measuring accurately.

Eraquell Pellets are formulated in a palatable cereal pellet which is readily accepted by horses. Calculate the correct dosage for the
horse’s bodyweight. Tear open the sachet and pour the required amount of Eraquell Pellets into a medium size container or feed
bucket and offer to horse. Ensure consumption of the entire dose by removing bridle before treatment and preventing spillage or dropping of pellets during feeding. If the horse does not eat all the pellets from the bucket, add a small amount of pre-mixed feed or grain (up to one handful) to the remaining pellets and mix together and offer to the horse again, until the entire dose is consumed. Failure to consume the entire dose of pellets may result in decreased efficacy.

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