Aug 22, 2017

Seven Days to AEC: Your Guide to Traveling Safely

By Robby Bowersox - USEA Staff

The 2017 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Land Rover and Nutrena are just a week away, and getting both you and your horse to the Tryon International Equestrian Center safely is what is important. We have collected some information to save you some money and stress as you travel, whether you are traveling from just a few minutes away or from all the way across the country.

There are plenty of things that you can do leading up to and during your trip to the AEC that will make your trip safer and stress-free.

  • Practice loading your horse on days when you don’t have to be anywhere at a fixed time. This allows for a stress-free environment for young or nervous horses that do not want to load.
  • Take your truck and trailer to a mechanic to make sure that the tires, brakes, lights, and engine are in working and safe condition.
  • Have a vet check over your horse to make sure that they are healthy enough to travel and compete. Most horses will be traveling and competing over a longer period than they are used to so making sure that the horse is fully sound for the trip and competition is important.
  • Set up a caravan with your friends or other competitors in your area. Traveling with others adds an extra set of eyes on the road and hands if something happens. Don’t know anyone going to the AEC? Then head over to our USEA Ride Share Listings.
  • Be sure to stop every four hours for your horse to take a break and walk around. This is also the perfect opportunity to offer them water and food.
  • Avoid driving through busy traffic. Not only are accidents a concern, but on hot days it can affect the horses.
  • A vendor to check out at the AEC is Horse Hydrator. Horses have a keen sense of smell and taste and often won't drink foreign water with unfamiliar tastes, smells and contaminants. Horse Hydrator creates filters that take out these varying factors, supplying purified water for the horses, which has proven to increase their overall consumption of water.
  • After you are done competing, stay for the night to allow you and your horse to rest. Immediately loading up and embarking on another long journey can be dangerous and stressful for your horse.

Before leaving on your trip for the AEC, make sure that you check out these amazing podcasts with professional riders Buck Davidson and Laine Ashker. Both Buck and Laine share their advice on how to prepare for traveling long distances to the AEC with horses and how to keep them comfortable and happy.

The trip to the AEC can be a long and expensive trip, especially for those that are traveling from far away. Here are some cost-saving tips to help you keep some extra cash in your pocket.

  • Don’t have a trailer but want to go to the AEC? Do you have a big trailer but only one horse going to the AEC? Use the USEA Ride Share Listings to find a travel partner. This allows for you to split the cost of gas and gives your horse a travel buddy as well!
  • For travelers that have a trip that can span days, use site like, or to find a place for your horse to stay overnight.
  • Save the stress of hauling a trailer across the country by hiring a shipping company. The costs decrease with more horses and can be split amongst a group of friends.
  • Save some cash on your lodging and stay at a USEA-sanctioned hotel for the best prices. Some hotels offer a discount with a USEA membership! Learn more about AEC lodging.
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