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View Full Version : To ship or not to ship myself?



ksetrider
Dec. 7, 2009, 08:31 PM
I am moving to North Carolina (yay!) from NY in a few weeks and am debating whether to ship my two horses myself or hire a commercial shipper. It would certainly save a lot of $$ seeing as how the truck and trailer have to go down that way anyway. But, its only a 2h straight load BP Kingston and I'm wondering if the 14 hour drive is too long. Truck and Trailer are serviced and ready for the haul, just wondering if the horseys will be ok. What are your thoughts?

Along the same line, to blanket or not to blanket for the trip? I have one in a sheet and one in a blanket. One is barely bib clipped and the other is fuzzy head to toe. I'm thinking NOT. But, hmmm. Don't know. If I did, they'd be in Polarfleece sheets that wick and will keep dry.

shakeytails
Dec. 7, 2009, 08:46 PM
The horses will be fine. The big question is whether you will be. If it were me, I'd haul 'em myself but I would have another driver so the trip would be non-stop- too much trouble to find overnight accommodations for ponies! Also, shippers usually don't cater to your schedule, so you'd have to re-arrange to fit them. As for blankets, I generally don't. It gets hot in the back of a small trailer, even in winter with all the vents and windows open. If it was really cold, I might consider a sheet, but not a blanket.

SLW
Dec. 7, 2009, 08:56 PM
What shakeytails offered, the logistics are much easier if your calling the shots. Next week I'm riding shotgun with a friend who needs to pick up her horse in NC and bring it to KS. We're driving straight through- 14 hours out there and we figure it will take a little longer on the return trip with Dobbin in tow. Still, the only scheduled overnight is the night we arrive.

As for whether to to use a sheet or not, let the weather be your guide. If it is bitter cold when you leave NC I'd be tempted to use a sheet with abundent ventilation in the trailer. With two horses it will heat up for sure but a little something to keep a cold, 70mph draft off their backs is reasonable.

Good luck and your one smart cookie to get out of the cold of NY and head for NC!

AKB
Dec. 7, 2009, 09:02 PM
I would find a friend who will go along, and haul myself.

We drove from Virginia to Florida a few years ago. We spent the night at a lovely house with stabling, in South Carolina. The overnight was wonderful. The inkeeper fed us a good meal and gave us comfortable rooms. The horses (my 4 year old and my daughter's 12 year old) had paddocks and stalls. Everyone was rested and refreshed in the morning. The overnight stop turned what could have been an ordeal, into a fun experience.

Make sure you have health certificates. Make sure you have USRider in case you break down.

wsmoak
Dec. 7, 2009, 09:12 PM
I'd be tempted to do the 14 hours straight through, trading off drivers, but it could also be split up if you find a nice place to stay.

The problem with the 14 hour trip is that you'll plan to leave at 6am, but something will happen and you won't get on the road until 9, _and_ it will take longer than you expected, which means you'll finally get to your destination around midnight.

I don't think I'd bother with a commercial hauler for a trip of that length.

springer
Dec. 7, 2009, 09:15 PM
I would find a friend who will go along, and haul myself.

We drove from Virginia to Florida a few years ago. We spent the night at a lovely house with stabling, in South Carolina. The overnight was wonderful. The inkeeper fed us a good meal and gave us comfortable rooms. The horses (my 4 year old and my daughter's 12 year old) had paddocks and stalls. Everyone was rested and refreshed in the morning. The overnight stop turned what could have been an ordeal, into a fun experience.

Make sure you have health certificates. Make sure you have USRider in case you break down.

What a great idea! We just drove from Oregon to Montana with our new (almost) 2 yr old filly, and it was a grueling 15 hrs non stop. Sure wish we had found something like that!

Hampton Bay
Dec. 7, 2009, 10:21 PM
If it were me, I would ship them myself and find somewhere to stop overnight to allow the horses (and yourselves) to rest. The times I have shipped that distance, the mare has arrived in the best condition when she has made the trip over several days.

Hiring a shipper is also a royal pain. I have had more than a couple shippers back out at the last minute, including one close friend, and one fellow COTHer with good references who backed out via email less than a week before the haul, after I had already moved. One shipper violated DOT regs by driving the 15 hours straight through by himself (was supposed to be a husband/wife team, and I didn't find out until he showed upat the other end by himself).

Trevelyan96
Dec. 7, 2009, 10:35 PM
I would find a friend who will go along, and haul myself.

We drove from Virginia to Florida a few years ago. We spent the night at a lovely house with stabling, in South Carolina. The overnight was wonderful. The inkeeper fed us a good meal and gave us comfortable rooms. The horses (my 4 year old and my daughter's 12 year old) had paddocks and stalls. Everyone was rested and refreshed in the morning. The overnight stop turned what could have been an ordeal, into a fun experience.

Make sure you have health certificates. Make sure you have USRider in case you break down.

We opted to ship, but it was a sale horse coming from NY to MD, both our tow vehicles are senior citizens, and it would have been 2 days of our time to haul up empty, spend the night, then haul back. DH decided that 2 days of his life was worth the cost of the shipper.

AKB, you have to share the name of the wonderful place you stayed for your VA to FL trip. I'm hoping to take my boys down next winter. My whole family is there and all I need to do is fence in my sister's place and we're good to go to Jacksonville and Ocala.

goodhors
Dec. 7, 2009, 10:50 PM
Even with a nice trailer and a good truck, 14 hours or steady travel is kind of hard on the horse. Vans and shippers usually have air ride, so horses have a different kind of trip than small trailer gives them.

I have heard Horse Motels recommended as a site to find overnight places.

http://www.horsemotel.com/index.html#eta

They have each state to click on for accomadations for horses. They also sell a print copy, shown on the website.

I know folks take horses on very long trips, but think how you would feel riding in a bus standing, for that long time? Not sure I would still be standing after that time! Horse is never able to rest in a moving trailer, always shifting and balancing. Can be very stressful on legs and joints, because riding in the trailer is actually a workout for him.

I think you would also be very tired, driving for long times. Bad traffic or roads in weather can be stressful, trying to keep the shiny side upright. Splitting your time in half, could be easier on you and the horses, with the good nights rest at a barn.

I would not blanket or cover the horses, in an enclosed small trailer. With horse keeping balanced all the time, he is actually getting enough workout to stay quite warm. If not clipped, he might even get sweaty. And you will have two animals, so the trailer should be very toasty, if not hot after a few miles under the wheels.

Get the trailer and truck serviced, wheels greased, lights checked, so chance of problems is much reduced. Good spare, fully aired up, some extra feed and water in the truck, so you are prepared for almost anything.

Good luck with the move.

jumpjesterjump
Dec. 7, 2009, 10:50 PM
my mom and i made the trip from NY to NC about 6 yrs ago i think it took us 13 hrs. I drove my truck and trailer, she drove her truck loaded with whatever wouldn't fit in the trailer (I had a 2h gooseneck). my two boys made the trip down fine (they were used to an average trailer ride of 8 hrs to get to shows), it was late october and they weren't clipped yet so they were naked in the trailer. Plan your departure time so that you can avoid rush hour traffic in the major cities (if possible) it will make your trip less stressful and a little shorter/smoother. I would definetly have someone drive with you if at all possible, make sure to take move around when you stop to get gas and check on the horses.

Professional shippers can be hard to coordinate with. if you can find someone coming this direction that has an open spot, i would be tempted to take that route, other wise i would ship them myself. I had one almost back out on me at the last minute when i needed to ship my young horse to MI, nobody wants to go there, it was frustrating finding one that did.

Have a safe trip, and welcome to NC.

MunchkinsMom
Dec. 7, 2009, 11:04 PM
I did the haul myself from CTto FL twice. First trip, we had two horses in the trailer, my best friend came with me, we overnighted at the halfway point in NC, and the horses were just fine. I then flew my friend back home.

Second trip, she brought my 22 year old mare to VA for me, I drove up to VA, we overnighted there, and I drove the mare home from VA to FL (about 16 hours total) alone.

All the horses did fine. So did the humans. I don't think a 14 hour trip would be that hard on the horses, but you could do an overnight somewhere if it made you feel better.

I used horsetrip.com to find overnight stableing, some of them even have cabins for the humans.

Forgot to add, this was in a Keifer 2HBP straight load trailer.

Bluehorsesjp
Dec. 7, 2009, 11:29 PM
I ship long distances a lot, so if it were me I would ship myself.
With the horses naked and windows cracked, not wide open.

As a rule of thumb I try not to ship over 12 hours with out an over night. The horses seem to do better with a break. I actually read a study somewhere about it. Anyway the other benefit is you get to rest and arrive in the day light well rested. No chance to get lost, or have to find stalls in the dark, or turn a horse out in a strange turnout in the dark. all in all everyone arrives rested and ready.

Oh and if you can find someone to help with the driving that is always a plus, although under 12 hours isn't hard for one driver.

Have a safe trip and lucky you getting out of the snow.

AKB
Dec. 8, 2009, 08:00 AM
This is where we stayed on our trip from Virginia to Florida. It is not fancy, but very comfortable. The food was great. The innkeeper even packed us a lunch to eat on the road the next day. Our horses were so happy to get out of the trailer to play, eat, and rest. We were all in good shape when we got to Florida the next afternoon.



Mt. Carmel Farm B & B
Waterboro: Stalls, holding pens, pasture, Bed and Breakfast. 3.5 miles off of I-95.
The price for double room is $85/night and stalls are $25 per horse.
Phone 843-538-5770
Addr: Rt 2 box 580A, 29488.

bizbachfan
Dec. 8, 2009, 08:15 AM
I say do it yourself. I had a terrible experience with a horse shipper. I found them on a shipping website. They had tons of good reviews, they were supposed to have webcam in the trailer, they had gps so I could follow the vehicle online. They had nice overnight facilities they had on their website. I spoke to them, I went back and forth with them, they seemed wonderful.

The horse was shipped from MI to FL. Was supposed to take 3 days or less. It took over a week! Their truck broke down on 95 in the heat (was summer) and they had to scramble to find a place to stay the night. They did not return my phone calls or emails and when they finally arrived the trailer was not what the showed on the site. My poor mare was in with a crazy stallion! The promised to refund half the money (my sister paid them up front for a discount, bad move.) They never refunded anything and last I heard they were being sued by a bunch of people whose money they took and never picked their horses up (lucky horses.)

There are some big names out there that I am sure you can trust but this experience was a total fiasco. Hope those guys are out of business for good.

Good luck, I say get a friend to help, have a place to overnight in case you need to and be careful.

Guilherme
Dec. 8, 2009, 09:19 AM
I am moving to North Carolina (yay!) from NY in a few weeks and am debating whether to ship my two horses myself or hire a commercial shipper. It would certainly save a lot of $$ seeing as how the truck and trailer have to go down that way anyway. But, its only a 2h straight load BP Kingston and I'm wondering if the 14 hour drive is too long. Truck and Trailer are serviced and ready for the haul, just wondering if the horseys will be ok. What are your thoughts?

Along the same line, to blanket or not to blanket for the trip? I have one in a sheet and one in a blanket. One is barely bib clipped and the other is fuzzy head to toe. I'm thinking NOT. But, hmmm. Don't know. If I did, they'd be in Polarfleece sheets that wick and will keep dry.

Load 'em up and go. Drive straight through. Do not stop and unload (unless you want to do an "overnight" along the way which is not a bad idea).

A light rug to protect from drafts might be a good idea depending on how "tight" your trailer is. But remember that a horse in a moving trailer is moving itself to compensate for the trailer's movement. This generates heat in the horse. Don't do anything that will give you a "wethead" at unloading.

Again, 14 hrs. is not too long, but it's long enough. If you want to "break" the trip at 8-9 hours then that gives you a break, the horses a break, and allows you to arrive at your destination in mid-day vice the dark. And that last item may something to consider.

Good luck in your trip.

G.

ksetrider
Dec. 8, 2009, 09:36 AM
Thanks everyone for your advice and kind words! I feel better about doing it myself! I certainly have no problem with the drive. I towed a 20ft sailboat down to Miami and turned around and drove home just a few weeks ago. Split the driving with a buddy. And we did stop a night both ways. Just wondering what thoughts were on the horses.

I think I will drive straight through. I have one who on any given day can be a PITA to load. I do plan to have a buddy- my mom who trailered my horse all over when I was a kid.

We leave mid-January. Wish us luck!!

MunchkinsMom
Dec. 8, 2009, 12:57 PM
Best of luck on the trip!

ChocoMare
Dec. 8, 2009, 01:13 PM
Make sure you have your U.S.Rider Membership paid up before your trip ;)

Enjoy leaving NY faaaar behind :yes:

mypaintwattie
Dec. 8, 2009, 06:05 PM
One of my trainers would do long hauls like that often durning show season. He would leave at night- less traffic on the roads and that way you arrive in the day light. It works better if you have a buddy or two to keep you awake and share the driving duties with. The horses always handled it fine, just make sure they have hay and if possible water in front of them or available at every gas and food stop.

Hopscotch
Dec. 8, 2009, 06:31 PM
About two years ago, I hauled my horse from NJ to GA by myself and back about 7 weeks later. I stopped overnight on the way down and on the way back. Both places I stopped were very nice. It was a pretty easy drive but the area around Washington D.C made me a little nervous. And I made sure I had US Rider but luckily didn't need it!

RedMare01
Dec. 8, 2009, 07:17 PM
Keep in mind...wouldn't you be hauling through mountains? That would make be nervous, but I'm a wimp!

Caitlin

nadasy
Dec. 8, 2009, 08:17 PM
I don't know what part of NY you are coming from, but with a trip like that (NY to NC) I'd break it up. I live near Buffalo. I've been going to So. Pines from here which is about 938 miles one way. I have one horse and a 3 horse GN which is opened up so Harry can ride facing backwards because that's the way he likes it. He has plenty of room to move, and plenty of hay in front of him.

You never can be certain of roads and or weather or traffic problems. I've always stopped half way with friends so that I got there during the day and was able to turn him out for a while before supper so he could stretch his legs.

Last year I went to SE VA. I still stopped half way. I tried for almost 2 weeks to leave but the weather and roads were so bad I did not want to take a chance. I finally left the first day the roads looked decent. It took me 45 minutes to drive 13 miles to get to the main highway. :eek:

Through the mts. on 15, they had closed the Southbound 2 lane, and just had the Northbound running South and North from the top of the mt at Fry Bros Turkey Ranch to just north of Williamsport. (The roads were so bad the day before they had semi's in a pile at Lawrenceville because the roads were so icy getting up on to the 4 lane. By the time we got to Fry Bros, the roads were one lane and okay, but then we had one lane S. one N. and a Jersey barrier for about 18 miles. There was just enough snow on either side of the one lane to 'hold' the trailer in a groove. It was fine by the time we got to Williamsport, but because of the backups and road problems we were 3 hours later than scheduled. I was exhausted, and glad we stopped moving, as I know Harry and Tutti were as well.

I was an owner operator truckdriver for 15 years and drove FL to Boston every week, and through the Winter to Idaho, Oregon, and AZ. I know how stressful driving in the Winter can be, and how unpredictable the roads, weather and traffic can be. No need to put your horses through this especially since they have limited movement in a 2 horse. Can you do it? Sure, but consider the horses - and consider yourself. They need to be able to stop moving and relax, drink and eat, so should you. Not all horses will drink in a trailer, or eat. Some of them never poop or pee.
This can cause a variety of serious problems.

If it's below 30 degrees, I'll put a sweat sheet on Harry, crack the windows in the center, and put a thin wool sheet on until the temps get above 45 (usually around Williamsport). I stop, pull off the wool sheet and leave the sweat sheet. He is a travelling man, and doesn't get sweaty. The next day he goes naked because it's been (for the last 5 years anyway) in the mid 40's.

We stop every 100-150 miles for about 15 min. Long enough for me to get fuel and a coffee and take Tutti for a walk and get some fresh air. With the exception of last December...we've managed to arrive fresh safe and happy.

Have fun on your run..........:)