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Discussion on Cross Country Trailering

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Dawn Gottschalk (Dawng)
Posted on Tuesday, Jan 16, 2001 - 3:00 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Greetings All.
We're planning a cross country move in the late summer and are wondering if we should haul them ourselves or have them professionally trailered. If we were to opt to do it ourselves, how long can horses be trailered safely? We were planning to stay at various equine bed and breakfasts so that they could be in a "regular" stall at night, with an opportunity to really get out and stretch their legs. Any advice and opinions would be appreciated.
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Heidi Hocker (Heidih)
Posted on Wednesday, Jan 17, 2001 - 4:02 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Dawn,

I moved across the country last Summer, from AZ to WI. There is a discussion about this topic somewhere, from last year. Let me answer a couple of your questions with my own experience. I trailered my 2 horses myself and stayed at Bed and Breakfast stables each night. I planned my trip to take about 10 hours each day, including scheduled stops during the day. I had water with me and offered the horses water each time we stopped.

At night, I think that they really appreciated being able to get out and move around and stretch. As long as both horses could see each other, I didn't have any problems.

My older mare wouldn't drink in the trailer, so she may have gotten a little dehydrated during the day, but she made up for it at night. (She never drinks in a trailer, so I was expecting that.) I carried my own feed with me, so the horses wouldn't have the stress of changing food sources.

I was very happy with how my trip turned out. I was comfortable that my horses were being handled properly and weren't stressing. After a 4 day trip (3 overnight stays), they arrived in WI in good health, both physically and mentally.

I would definitely recommend hauling your own horses, if you are comfortable pulling a trailer. I have had a horse hauled across the country, and worried the whole time, since I didn't know how she was being cared for or if she was stressing or anything.

I hope this helps.
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Bonita (Bonita)
Posted on Thursday, Jan 18, 2001 - 8:00 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Dawn,

Heidi is right - there was/is an in-depth discussion somewhere on site re: long-distance trailering that you might want to search out and read.

The only thing I would add is that if you decide to use a professional shipper, take the time to interview them thoroughly and try to get some references. I shipped my horse from Long Island, NY to Northern Virginia and interviewed every shipper I could find (most were listed in the back of The Chronicle of the Horse) before settling on Hudson & Sons. They were great - huge, brand-new, air-ride 9-horse van; double-stalls with shavings; gorgeous alfalfa hay; and polite, professional personnel. My horse arrived in Virginia a lot fresher than I did driving myself down!

Also - my NY vet advised that I avoid any shipper who made scheduled stops at any quarantine facilities. And it's a good thing he told me this, as one shipper I was initially considering did just that, and wasn't going to volunteer the info until I specifically asked! Better safe than sorry!

Good luck with your trip, regardless of whether you do it yourself or go pro (doing it yourself does sound like more fun!)

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christine i. high
New Member
Username: Cihigh

Post Number: 1
Registered: 7-2002
Posted on Tuesday, Jan 14, 2003 - 9:35 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I was thinking of hauling a weanling from K.C. MO to Phila. and I have never done any hauling longer than 3 hrs. I live in the Phila area and have driven the highways to the breeder. Usually I put up in rest stops. Are we allowed to unload stock to stretch at rest stops (or will anyone care if we do, is another question)? I am not thrilled with some of the roads or the prospect of taking a little one in Sept. or Oct. on my stock trailer through a "cattle shute" in a narrow construction area. Rain or heat could be factors. She would have a flymask and blankie as needed, and the trailer modified to a box with plywood, I guess. Not sure of feeding or hydration schedules. I read posted fear-and-loathing stories about pro haulers and don't know if they would be right for the foal.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Username: Dro

Post Number: 7589
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Wednesday, Jan 15, 2003 - 5:47 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I do not know of any rules that prevent it Christine but wonder if it is the right thing to do: a scared weanling in unfamiliar area, just off the highway, with nothing but a rope and halter and you to restrain it. Be sure the tack is perfect and the weanling is very well halter broke. If the weanling has the whole stock trailer you might consider allowing the foal live in the trailer until home.
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Randi Heard
New Member
Username: rheard

Post Number: 5
Registered: 4-2009
Posted on Wednesday, Apr 22, 2009 - 3:35 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

We're trailering 3 horses from AZ to CO and are wondering if anyone knows of a rest stop for horses along I-25. We plan to drive straight thru and just stop for a couple of hours for the horses (in addition to the stops for gas & food we will be making).
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Holly Wood
Username: hollyw

Post Number: 363
Registered: 12-2008
Posted on Wednesday, Apr 22, 2009 - 5:07 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

In what state will you be when you stop? Do you know which town you will be near? If so, I'd contact the state horse council and ask if they know of a place, or call the town Chamber of Commerce . . . or University Extension service . . . or Police station. If an HA member lives nearby where you stop, then I bet he/she will know.
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Dawn Winans
Username: dwinans

Post Number: 144
Registered: 9-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Apr 22, 2009 - 6:51 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Randi,

The fairgrounds in Albuquerque are a great place to stop for a break. Call ahead and make sure they are open and taking horses. I've hauled Parker to Phoenix many times with only one stop at Grants for fuel if you want to go straight through.
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Randi Heard
Username: rheard

Post Number: 6
Registered: 4-2009
Posted on Wednesday, Apr 22, 2009 - 7:19 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks to both of you for some great information!
I hadn't even thought about the fairgrounds so I may just do that, and if we decided to spend the night, I'll contact the Chamber of Commerce.
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Username: hpyhaulr

Post Number: 478
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, Apr 22, 2009 - 8:08 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Don't know how I missed this thread before tonight.I have been working a lot and sleeping very little. We're horsehaulers, and use horse hotels every night. I am glad they have worked out for others, but we avoid fairgrounds. Security is the issue. If we have to use them, Walt will park the rig across the front of all the stalls we use as a security measure and he will sleep in the trailer. The only time he separates himself from the horses is when they are at a horse hotel in a barn with fencing and crossfencing, on site owners as well as as a security gate.Then he can relax and go to a human motel.
There is a website you need to get onto... also
I like the first one better as it allows the guests to rate the facility.There are literally hundreds of horse hotels across the country. They generally run about $15-25 a night including bedding. If both those websites fail me, I will get into the local yellow pages with the word horse in the search. Vets, feed stores, tack stores, training facilities all will know good layovers.
If you can email me and give me the towns of departure and arrival,I will streets & trips your route and let you know where we have stayed along that way. What is your rig and how many miles a day are you planning to run? When are you planning to go?
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Sara Wolff
Username: mrose

Post Number: 4796
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Apr 22, 2009 - 8:34 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

If you're just stopping for a couple of hours, the fairgrounds are o.k., but I wouldn't leave my horses alone there. When we drive distances like that, we stop somewhere, like at a fairgrounds, and hand walk the horses, pick out the trailer, and offer water. We put buckets filled about a third of the way with hay cubes that area heavily soaked and very wet in the trailer for each horse. Some of the roadside stops along the freeway in AZ and CO actually have a safe holding pen for horses that are traveling, but I don't how to find out which ones have them. I was surprised to see one when we made a short "potty stop" in CO and again in AZ.

Also, we stop every 3 hrs. for 15 or 20 mins. to give water and give the horses a chance to pee as most won't pee while the trailer is moving.
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