SmartPak Monday Morning Feed: Traveling Q&A With Team SmartPak’s Ryan Wood

Traveling with horses is certainly a little more complicated than jumping into the car and picking a spot on the map: from the SmartPak blog, read more about how Team SmartPak eventer Ryan Wood travels the world with his competition horses!

Ryan Wood and Powell. Photo by Jenni Autry/Eventing Nation

From the SmartPak Blog:

Ryan Wood, a native of Australia, has built the successful business of Woodstock Eventing, which is based out of Unionville, Pennsylvania. As a rider, Ryan has competed at some of the country’s top shows, including the 4* Kentucky Three-Day Event, and has earned himself an extensive list of career highlights since coming to the United States in 2008. On top of his successful sales program and riding career, Ryan also spends his time training riders and teaching at clinics.

To compete at some of the best events can mean traveling across the country and, in some cases, around the world. So, what does it take to travel to a competition and keep your horse performing at their best? We asked Ryan, who is responsible for the care of his top equine athletes, to share his top tips for riders looking to travel to shows with their horses.

What is your advice for a rider who is looking to travel long distance with their horse?

“When it comes to traveling, the biggest thing that comes into play is making sure you’ve planned everything out. You want to make sure there is the least amount of stress as possible on the horse. As an example, we are bringing Woodstock Bennett to Tattersalls 3* International Horse Trials in Ireland. When planning this trip, we want to make sure that we take the most direct way to the event. Our plan is to trailer from Pennsylvania to Chicago, in which our horses will take a direct flight into Dublin. Going home from this event, we’ll plan to take the longer route, and while that means we might pay a little more, it will make travel on the horse easier. It takes a lot of coordination and planning on the back end as well to make these flights happen.”

As you mentioned, you’re going to be traveling across the world to compete some of your horses, but regardless of whether it’s national or international travel, what are some of your pre-trip routines?

“I want to make sure the horses are as comfortable and healthy as possible when they travel. We want to do whatever we can to reduce the risk of the horse having health issues related to traveling. One of the more common things is the horse can get shipping fever, which can take three to five days to clear up. When you’re preparing for a competition, you just don’t have that extra time to give them a chance to recover.”

Read more Ryan’s choices for long-distance travel to make sure his horses are ready to perform at their best on the SmartPak blog!

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