So I am moving across the country (NY to MT) in a few months and will be taking my horses with me ( ) Originally I was going to send them (2) in box stalls on a commercially truck but my eyes went when I received quotes. Now I am debating putting them in my Kingston 2H and doing the trip myself. I have to get my truck/trailer out there anyway. I was going to use my trailer to haul my trunks, bike and a few boxes but really I could throw it in the bed of the pickup and still have room for hay. Its 2200 miles. To make it easy, I will probably stop 3 nights. Has anyone ever shipped that far with horses? I have one friend who went all the way from NY to OR and I thought she was nuts
I moved from VT - MT last year so went through the same thing. I had several horses come out in the end so I shipped some and trailered some on my own. I think the horses that I brought actually did a little better, I really believe it is easier on them to have their own people along for the ride. That being said the ones shipped did just fine in the end, though were a little dehydrated coming off the trailer.
When I did it myself we drove straight through (2 drivers). We made a point of stopping for meals rather than eating on the run so the horses had a chance to relax. We stopped to sleep for 4-6 hours at a time each night but the horses stayed on the trailer. I felt this was less stressful than dealing with a new place each day, better to just get them there with enough breaks in between. They did just fine. We pushed a little harder the last day, secondary roads and lots of hills, and noticed one horse was pretty tired. The trip took 3 days, had we gone further we would have stopped and unloaded. This was a 2H straight load and the horses were used to trailering.
We moved from TX to MI and then back again a few years later and hauled two horses in a 2 horse bumper pull straight load.
On the way up there, we went from TX to KC, MO (about a 12 hour trip with the horses). We stayed in KC for 2 days (mostly so I could visit family) and then did the second leg of the trip in about 16 hours (thanks to a detour). Both horses handled the trip fine.
On the return trip, we stayed in KC for a week. Because we were somewhere in IL when I got a call that there was a hurricane heading for Houston. I laughed and told my friend, yeah right. She insisted and finally I believed her (she tended to joke about stuff like that!). So Rita was heading for Houston and we opted to stay in KC for several days until we knew what was happening (we were moving to one of the southern Houston suburbs). Everyone was fine that time, too.
Honestly, the CATS were a bigger PITA to move then the horses. Five cats in carriers in our truck yowling for the first 3-4 hours of the trip both days. Made me want to scream....
Bedding your trailer floor with serious amounts of shavings is really helpful on long trips. Helps to reduce both noise and heat from the road, cushions feet/legs, keeps urine splash at bay. I'll throw 3/4 bags in each side of my 2-horse TrailEt if I'm doing 10 hours or more at a stretch.
Totally agree with 24/7 access to hay (I also leave buckets in my hay manger bags so they can dunk if they want to) and GastroGuard before, during and after the trip.
People travel all over the country with a straight load.
I've made the trip 12 hours from NE to TX several times with a 2 horse straight load. I will travel about 8 hours a day with a 15 to 30 minute rest stop every three hours. This allows the horses time to settle down and drink fluids. (I will mix bran or molasses in the water and have them drink that during stops). There are tons of overnight places that you can stay at along your journey. Here is a good website that I have used before.
I pick places for overnight stabling that have a room for us to stay in on the premises because I like to check on them before heading to bed. Everyone has done fine.
I don't think 8 hours a day is a big deal for the horses. I've been told by a professional shipper friend that a 2H straight load is much easier on the horses than a gooseneck slant load. My horses have done fine on the trip. I've hauled all over the US in a bigger trailer with horses but atlast it was a slant load. 20+ hour trips to horse shows with 6 to 15 horses at a time. All did fine and only one of two every now and then would have some mild swelling in their legs. But they were older show horses too so that may have something to do with it.
Yep, done it from ID to NH and then (years later) from NH back to OR. First time was with a baby, so we did short days and camped at night with a portable corral, so she got plenty of down time. Second time was straight through with two drivers - we stopped for a couple of days in Ohio to go to WEG; if that hadn't fallen in the middle we would have just done one overnight stop Iowa-ish.
I stop every 4-6 hours for at least half an hour for the horses to stand and rest and get water (usually more like an hour) and they have hay nets in front of them all the time. On the NH-OR trip we also stopped at right about the halfway point between OH and OR and unloaded for a couple of hours (just at a little wayside area) so they could put their heads down and have a real break. (But they are both sane and good loaders, so I didn't have any concerns about getting into a bad situation in a strange place!)
I think they come off in a little better shape when I haul them than when they go commercially (though I haven't any hesitation about using a good hauler if I need to), plus it can be cheaper. But it also involves a lot more planning, so that's where you'll want to put some thought into it!