While many horse owners are used to trailering their horse several hours, there may come a time when you’ll need to move your horse a much longer distance. This could be because of a move you will be making to another state and you’ll be taking your horse with you, or you may be purchasing a horse that lives in another part of the country. If you have the time and the truck/trailer to do so, you can certainly trailer your horse yourself, but there are many benefits to using a professional horse hauling company.
“A horse in a trailer is constantly working and using energy to maintain his balance,” says Carolyn Stull, PhD, of the University of California–Davis, who has done extensive research on the effects of trailering horses on horses. Stull compares it to mild jogging or trotting. One of the major reasons to use a professional horse hauling company is that, like professional residential and commercial movers, they have all the “right stuff” to minimize stress and strain on your most prized possession – your horse:
Their trailers have special air ride suspension that makes long trips more comfortable for your horse with fewer bumps across the way. Acceleration, deceleration and lane changes all can have an effect on your horse’s legs.
You have the option of different size stalls. Most horses are most comfortable in a 4’x9’ stall-and-a-half. The narrow stall comes with a chest bar which makes it easier for the horse to balance himself on the road. You may also opt for an 8’x9’ box stall. While these are typically used to transport mares with foals, these are also ideal when transporting senior horses, especially those with joint issues. Horses are loose and can turn and shift weight and even lay down to make tired legs more comfortable.
Your horse will have company along the way – both equine and human. The humans ride with your horse in the trailer to make sure that they have adequate hay and are safe.
They have teams of drivers who can take turns and get your horse to his destination in the quickest possible time. This is especially important if you are shipping your horse in the summer heat.
They have scheduled stops every 4-6 hours along the way where horses get water and rest from constant movement of the trailer. On most cross country trips, there are scheduled layovers at facilities that are used on a regular basis and, therefore, are known to be of high-quality. The layovers normally use a 12′ x 12′ box stall for each horse and all horses are monitored throughout their stay. Veterinarians are on call at these locations.
As an Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) regulated carrier, your professional carrier will typically have equine mortality insurance included in the price.
They know what your horse needs. From Coggins tests and health certificates to the benefits of blanketing and boots, your professional horse hauler can answer your questions on shipping.
You’ll know where your horse is and how he’s doing. Most professional movers have GPS and communications systems that allow dispatchers to keep you updated on where your horse is and how they are doing.
Most professional horse haulers will be happy to quote you a price and give you a window for pick-up and delivery.
It’s understandable that horse owners have concerns when it comes to someone else transporting their horse. Make sure your horse hauling company is licensed and insured, has quality people driving and looking after your horse, and is willing to provide you with references. Then relax.