What to do with long-distance hauling for the first time?
In the near future, my horse will be taking his first long-distance trailer ride, and I was wondering if there were any precautions I should take? I've had my 17-yr-old gelding for 5 years, and we've never gone anywhere more than an hour away, and he's been in Texas his entire life. He's generally okay with trailering, but not great. He may be going on a full lease somewhere else in Texas(about 6 hours away), but if not, he'll be making the 18 hour journey with me to Kentucky to join me at college. Any suggestions?
I'm curious about this too! My older horse lived on the same farm (a hack stable) for 22 years before they dumped him when he retired (nice, huh?). Right now he may be moving from NY to MI... so we're sort of in the same boat!
For all the tbs I have shipped across the country-this is my protocol:
If stalled 1/2 grain the night before, no grain the day of and free choice GRASS HAY. I always send some of my hay with the hauler so that they are not switched until they get to the destination and can move around and drink normally again. I also try to turn out upon arrival with no grain, but plenty of GRASS HAY or poorer pasture. The more movement in pasture before and after a long haul the better off your horse will be.
get a proffesional shipper there is no difference from in care of a horse in transit
for a mile or 600 miles you stop regular to check hay and water and you protect the horse in transit ie travel boots tail guard fleece if cold anti sweat rug if hot and poll if need be
check the shipper is fullu licensed and make sure your horse is isnsured un transit by the shipper and the shiper has more than one driver - as soem lorries have taco devices which means they can only do so many miles in one day and have to rest its important that they stop and check the horses and perhaps have a safe place to stop over at where they can ccome off the lorry if nessecary
I shipped my nervous TB from KS to MD. I used a professional shipper that was wonderful!!!! However, I spoke to the driver a day before pick up and he told me that 99% of owners put shipping boots and all the fancy protective stuff on their horses and by the next stop the driver takes all that stuff off the horses - he told me that most shippers do and to not even bother purchasing shipping boots. I also heard some folks giving their horses electrolites the day before to make sure they keep drinking. Dehydratioin is bad. But a 6 hour trip should be easy.
Anyway, just thought I would put my two "cents" in...