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Transporting Long Distance

This topic contains 14 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Rhinestone Cowgirl Rhinestone Cowgirl 2 years, 4 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
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  • Raising Havoc Original Poster
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 1

    Hi All, my wife and i are relocating from Az. to Ohio for the next 3 years and we want to take our horses. The trip is 1800 miles and we have planned for 4 to 5 days and no more that 8 hours on the road per day. We figure 3 hour stops to walk them and over nights in boarding/turnout location. My question is what more can we do to make sure the remain health and happy along the way so we do not have and adverse effect of moving them such a long way

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    There are a couple of tricks I have read, and cannot vouch for either, although they sound good. One, bring with you a plentiful supply of the water to which they are accustomed. The other is to add cinnamon flavor to their water, and when traveling you add it to the local water so they will drink it willingly. Hydration is really important. Obviously, bringing the grain and hay to which they are accustomed goes without saying. If you do not normally take them for longish trailer rides, getting them used to that would probably also be a good thing.

    Do you mean stops of 3 hours each or 3 separate stops of one hour each? Either way, plot your route so that you know when you will be somewhere to walk them safely.

    It is never the horse's fault

    pheets pheets
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 475

    Take extra care IF unloading for a break in a strange area. Do your research priour to embarking as to where there might be contained areas for such activities. Many bulletin boards and forums on line can lead you to overnight “hostels” for horses specifically. Once on the road, you might find that after a few hours and a couple of breaks off the trailer, ponies might not want to reload as easily. I am inclined to advise against unloading for several reasons (containment availability and ease of reloading primarily) tho DO stop and stand with windows open for a while (our regular routine is 6 on, 2 off per day with regular checks and adjustments as needed)). At this time, offer water, untie heads so they can put their heads down, grain would not be a concern (I personally don’t feed it en route) at this time if hay is in front of them at all times. The horse is not moving properly enough to digest concentrates well. Skate boarding blind can be a trip for the horse, work out indeed!

    Brown cider vinegar will actually neutralize new/different water sources and containers and a gallon at the market is pretty cheap. Backing Joe-Joe, per norm : )….Hydration is everything.

    Have a liniment/H2O (heavier H2O: don’t want to burn their eyes/noses with the fumes in such a confined area) mix handy for hot legs/bodies, can help calm an achy, fussy body. Not usually needed but long hauls can produce odd reactions.
    Some folks wrap. Some don’t. No right or wrong there, unless you know the horse to fare best with….or without. I like a simple fleece dressage boot. Easy on, easy off for breaks, safety. Bell boots on all four, regardless of wraps/boots/none.

    You did not mention this in your post so just in case: Talk to your vet about crossing state line requirements (most often a vet cert. will do with all necessary vacs, Coggins, etc. tho it is usually good for only two weeks). Know what your arrival town mandates for animal maintenance (what shots are required, if any, and anything else pertinent to immediate arrival). Have a real good idea as to whom your new vet will be at your new digs and how to contact them, just in case a pony fares less than best on the trip.

    Take your time, enjoy the trip, wishing you a safe and uneventful ride to your new place : )

    Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    I like shipping boots for long trips, but I am a paranoid freak. As usual, I agree entirely with Pheets!

    It is never the horse's fault

    Mapale Mapale
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 421

    I agree with shipping wraps and/or shipping boots. A sudden stop can bring a hoof into the back of the horses own foreleg. Health certification is a must. Begin a few weeks in advance to add vinegar to the water (very small amount needed). Also drop back the grain so they don’t feel cut off and hungry when they don’t get it traveling. Agree with pheets about not off-loading at too many stops. To avoid illness, vacs up to date and use your own buckets, draw your own water, and feed in your own troughs no matter where you stay. Carry electrolytes, first aid kit, make sure they are drinking, and periodically check for bowel sounds. Watch for glass and nails – other hazards – when offloading. Check tires, wires, and footing in your trailer, too.

    Sounds like a wonderful adventure. Good luck on the move!

    Alois Podhajsky: “When I hear somebody talk about a horse being stupid, I figure it’s a sure sign that animal has outfoxed them. ...

    pheets pheets
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 475

    I DO wrap on LONG hauls (most horses, long haul companies will advise against it as they are not willing to wrap nor am I to have them REwrap if necessary) preferring the pillow quilts and wraps to the current shipping boot trend. Protection is hard to overdo.

    Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    Not sure Joe Joe would stand long enough for wraps. He gets bored so easily. So long as his legs are protected (we don’t go far nor often), I am less panicky.

    It is never the horse's fault

    Mapale Mapale
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 421

    Another suggestion would be the EquiFit GelSox. They are easy to put on and take off, relatively inexpensive, and would protect the leg without all that bulk.

    I haul all the time, although it is very rare to go great distances. If I’m going where there are stoplights and traffic, my horses are wrapped. I’m not sure what people are thinking when they pull out in front of my rig – that a horse trailer can stop on a dime? It’s very frustrating. If I had it to do over, I’d pick another color rather than white, it seems most people don’t see white. Either that or I have an imaginary sign that says “pull out in front of me” on my roof. Lots of times I’ve been grateful that the wraps were in place and that my brakes worked.

    Mar-Dec I’m hauling at least three times per month, sometimes lots more. I live between mountains and beaches and this is horse country. Lots of places to go. Twice per year I’d go over 100 miles to the vet when Dr. B was alive. Those health precautions are those proposed by him because we do travel a lot and some people don’t vaccinate or have qualms about their sick horses in public places. I also don’t assume that the area is safe for horses just because it’s okay to off-load there. I’ve found glass and nails in parking areas.

    Alois Podhajsky: “When I hear somebody talk about a horse being stupid, I figure it’s a sure sign that animal has outfoxed them. ...

    Raising Havoc Original Poster
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 1

    Thanks to everyone for the input lots of great advise that we needed. We are going with a lot of the tips you all have provided and feel like it will be a very good trip and will be able to keep the kids healthy along the way.

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    Best of luck on the journey and at your new home.

    It is never the horse's fault

    pheets pheets
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 475

    I just reread my initial post her.. um.. needing some specification I see:
    For unloading while en route, I wouldn’t (too much can go wrong, and way too fast) but for overnight when you have stopped for the day.
    My routine of 6 on/2 off is a rotational plan through the course of the day. Typically and with no events, we will be on road for 16 per day, two stops. Also, for LONG hauls I DO wrap. It’s the dailies and short hops, or if the horse just hates wraps: some do, that I will boot (usually I boot with what they will be working in, with four bells added for the ride). Sorry about the ohso clear first post. Glad you found the rest helpful : )

    Let us know how it goes, when you get there!

    Safe trip : )

    Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 249

    A few years back, one of my friends moved from Michigan back to California, & wanted to take her horse with her. She looked at shipping costs, and since she did own a smaller truck, but one that was big enough to handle 1 horse if we took the flatter route, dropping down to Texas to go cross county, and she had a german shepard to move too, she decided if I was willing to go with her, she would learn to pull a horse trailer. I found her a used trailer for less than shipping the horse, dog & car would cost, and even with the gas, she would come out ahead, and have control over what happened to the horse enroute. As it turned out, it cost too much to store the trailer, so she sold it and recouped most of her cost. And in return for my help, she paid for my plane ticked back to Michigan, & I got to see California, which was not what I expected – – why don’t the TV shows & movies ever show that CA is basically a desert, and the reason the houses keep sliding down the hills is that there isn’t enough flat land to build them on!!!!

    Anyhow, we did take one break in Texas, got a motel room, and a stall nearby for her horse, but then we went straight through, with both of us driving, except when both of us got too tired to drive safely. Then we would find an active & well lit parking lot, and she took the front seat and I lucked out and got the dog & and bed of the truck with my sleeping bag (the bed had a cover, of course), and we would both sleep until one of us woke up ready to drive. Other than that one stop where she had reserved a stall, the horse stayed in the trailer until we got to the boarding barn where she had reserved a place. Horse came through fine, and after we both slept for 24 hrs, she & her husband took me sight seeing for a couple days, and then I flew home. Her truck also came through fine, although we were wise to have taken the “flatter” southern route.

    As for wrapping, putting polos on & off can be time consuming, but the wraps that fasten with velcro go on easily & quickly, and while they may need to be adjusted during that long a trip, they can provide useful leg protection.

    Whether & how often you stop will probably depend on how well the horse trailers, and whether you can find safe places to unload & reload. The last thing you want to deal with is a horse that plants all 4 and refuses to reload in the middle of the journey. I’m pretty sure the big shipping companies don’t stop to let the horses rest and get a break, and they transport more horses in a year than we probably do in a life time. But you will know your horses better than any of us, so you should figure out what you think will be the best transport for your particular horses, not what worked or did not work for any of us.

    Rhinestone Cowgirl Rhinestone Cowgirl
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 20

    This might be moot if you’ve already taken your trip, but thought I’d mention for the benefit of anyone else that may be looking for travel tips. It can be difficult to get my horses to drink on trips or away from home, even with their own water from home. In addition to the suggestions above, something I’ve found helpful is Hydration Hay from Purina. They are 2 lb blocks of grass/alfalfa hay that you soak in a minimum of 5 qts of water. They replace hay on a 1:1 ratio, so every block you feed them is 2 lbs hay consumed. Of course it necessitates having a feeder in the trailer that can hold water. It’s also a nice traveling perk when space is at a premium that the Hydration Hay is compressed, so a 6-pack of 2 lb blocks takes up much less room than the equivalent flakes of hay. Lastly, it only took one idiot driver pulling in front of me (HOW DO YOU MISS A 3-HORSE TRAILER?) causing me to have to hit the brakes hard to make me regret my horses traveling without head protection in the event of being slammed into a wall. Don’t know how much real protection it offers but now I use sheepskin fleeces on their halters when traveling. I guess it gives me peace of mind that it is better than nothing at all. Which also brings to mind that I never trailer in rope halters. I wouldn’t want my horse to have that pressure (that a rope halter is designed to provide when necessary) on their face just for getting off balance. Safe travels!

    Western Pleasure, Hunter/Jumper, Working Cow...there's an App for that!

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    The leather head bumpers are also a good idea. People seem to think that horse trailers are probably going too slow, and anyway no one should ever be in front of them. Been plagued with bad behavior on several occasions. When I grow up and am rich, I am going to get a tank and just run over everyone who has ever done something stupid in front of, next to and in back of me.

    Seriously – for a trip like this, use everything you can to protect your horses from fools on the road.

    It is never the horse's fault

    Rhinestone Cowgirl Rhinestone Cowgirl
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 20

    BAHA Joe-Joe, bravo for the tank idea!

    One last thought regarding pre-trip preparations. A few days prior to travel I start omeprazole as a preventative and electrolytes to optimize hydration (if not already on them). I dose them prior, during and post trailering. You may already be aware but thought I’d mention it just in case.

    Western Pleasure, Hunter/Jumper, Working Cow...there's an App for that!

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