What's In Your Tool Box 3 - Transporting Your Horse
Transporting horse's can be pretty stressful, short or long trips, so here are some tips on shipping horse's...
I worked for a horse transport company for a few years, driving tractor trailers up and down North and South coasts, carrying American saddlebreds to happy birthday ponies and everything in between, so I have witnessed a lot of do's and dont's along the way.
When sending horse's or if you plan on hauling yourself, make sure to have the correct vet health checks and coggins especially if your hauling over state lines. If you think paperwork isn't checked and end up getting pulled over by the po po you will be wrong and it's not a cheap fine.
How Many Miles a day?
If your sending horse's with a transport sometimes they are picked up in a smaller van and the animal will then be loaded to a large van or tractor trailer to do the bulk of the miles driven. The best results are team driver's with fuel stops, horse checks, feed and water and back on the road, so really they don't stop much but the horse's ride in the trailer very comfortable and sleep when they can. The idea is to get them there safely and as fast as possible and most importantly, Make sure they are bonded, licenced, insured with a good safety record. Listen to the driver's if you're after advice on shipping, they have been there done that.
If you plan on hauling yourself, the amount of miles you drive in a day is more about you being able to stay focused and safe. Rule of thumb on how many stops in a day for me was when I needed fuel about 350 to 400 miles.
What stalls are the best?
I prefer a box stall, if you have the space it allows the horse to move and stretch a bit more and find the sweet spot when traveling but it's just as fine in a single stall. Shavings are good for urine and footing but can be over done by using too much and creating a wood chip storm in the trailer if it's an open sided trailer so just be aware.
And finally having the right equipment is a must and by that I mean good tires, lights, good flooring, secure hitch, you got the idea. And always carry a charged phone with vet contacts!
Good luck to you, happy hauling.