How long before it is safe to ship a mare/foal long distance?
How old should a foal be before it is safe to ship it long distance? By long distance I mean a 6.5 hour drive with a professional hauler, box stall, air ride van etc . . . ? I have moved for a new job and I left my mare to foal out with an experienced breeder in my old area. My original plan was to wait until baby's is weaned to ship them, but now I am thinking I might like to have them here sooner. How long should I wait? Related question, how long would you be willing to ship a mare/foal for an inspection?
I had a mare/foal combo hauled when the foal was just a couple of weeks old. The distance was similar and they did super. The lady that hauled bedded the trailer down (large open trailer with no dividers) with shavings and left mom and baby loose. Baby slept pretty well flat out and seemed totally unphazed by the trip and both arrived in excellent condition.
I picked up a mare with a 3 week old foal in Alberta and drove home to BC, approximately 13 hours no problem. Did the same as Cindy, mare and foal loose in the trailer, deep bedding. We stopped several times to let them rest.
Tracy Anderson Cornerstone Farm - Breeders of quality sport prospects for the amateur and professional www.cornerstone-farm.ca
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I would say that by the time the foal is about a month old, the travel would not affect him. I would do loose in a box stall with the dam loose too. And knowing the mare, she is a good shipper, so I would also not worry.
Of neccessity - not choice - many years ago we shipped a TB mare and 6 day old filly 25 hours cross country in a box stall. Mare tied. Foal came off the trailer bucking and playing. No harm done. 7 years ago we shipped two mares with a three week old and a 5 week old 25 hours cross country. Same deal, box stalls, mares tied. Everybody was fine. The foals don't seem to care if they are moving down the highway as long as they have milk, a soft bed and MOMMA!!! Note - the younger the foal, the less cramped mom and baby will be in a trailer.