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New to trailering long distance...

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  • New to trailering long distance...

    We're packing up and moving to texas, which means we have to trailer my 8 year old Appaloosa mare, Penny, 507 miles(about 8 hours). A hauler is out of the question as we just can't fit it into the horse budget so we're taking her ourselves. The actual driving part isn't a problem but how should I care for Penny during the drive? Should I use shipping boots? Feed electrolytes? No grain that day or keep it normal? Do the whole trip in one day or split it into a 2 day trip? How often does she need a break, should she get off the trailer for her break? We will be traveling in July/June if that makes a difference.

  • #2
    8 hours is an easier haul in my book. Don't use anything you wouldn't normally use (so, if she doesn't usually haul in shipping boots, don't use them for the long haul).

    You can give her electrolytes starting a couple of days before (Ulcerguard would be good, too). I also like to give them for a couple of days after.

    Consider introducing something into her water a few days or weeks before the move that will entice her to drink. A glug of apple juice or gatorade or something along those lines. You can also try a product called Horse Quencher. I've had mix results with it (it is supposed to encourage them to drink, and a lot), but I know lots of people who swear by that stuff, especially at shows and for trailering longer distances.

    I've never NOT grained before a long trip, but do what you feel comfortable with. I often WILL wet it down the morning we leave, maybe even the night before.

    Consider wetting her hay, both for some extra hydration and to keep dust down (never have done it, but know people who do).

    No reason NOT to do it in one day. I rather get where I'm going. DO NOT UNLOAD HER. 8 hours is not that long and you risk some very scary situations if you unload. She should be fine with whatever breaks the humans or truck needs (pee and fuel breaks). Offer her some water and check on her hay supply. Give her a pat and carrot. She'll be just fine.

    Since you will be traveling in the summer over a hot part of the country, consider either making the trip overnight or leaving very, very early so you are on the road during cooler parts of the day. Make sure there is plenty of air moving...if she is warm during stops, you can always give her a sponge on her chest and head.

    FWIW, several years ago, I had the trip back from Ocala from hell. A 14 hour trip (too long to comfortably do in one day, too short to really warrant a stop) turned into 20 hours due to tire blow outs and bad traffic. The horses fared better than the humans (two drivers, two vehicles...I still have nightmares). They slept for most of the day once we got them home, but were right as rain way sooner than the humans. I've had plenty of horses arrive in my barn after epic trips (cross country and the epic Auland, NZ to LA, then cross country to VA...that guy was exhausted). They all do just fine, even on really long hauls like that. They might be tired, but usually they drink well upon getting to their destination, and are good within a day or two...even the really exhausted ones. 8 hours will be a piece of cake, unless she is horrible shipper.
    Amanda

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Thank you so much! This is very helpful!

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      • #4
        Another tip that was given to me was to wet down the shavings the night before, really wet. That keeps them from being so dusty. They will dry out as the day goes on. I also take a cooler with ice water and a sweat scraper just for the horses. Don't count on being able to get it at your stops. In case you get stuck in traffic or so forth. If it's really hot I will wet them down and scrape at my breaks. Really 8 hours is no biggie, she should be fine.

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        • #5
          We regularly travel 10-12 hours to horse shows.

          We stop twice for about a half an hour each time. That gives them time to really relax and drink.
          I do hang water buckets in the trailer so they can drink or wet their hay if they want to.

          Wetting down the shavings the day before is a good idea.
          Traveling with a fly mask is good when the trailer windows are open.

          Of course I stop at nearly every rest area so they got lots of little breaks
          Kanoe Godby
          www.dyrkgodby.com
          See, I was raised by wolves and am really behind the 8-ball on diplomatic issue resolution.

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          • #6
            What type of trailer do you have? I'm a big fan of hauling loose (IF your horse is a good hauler and has done it before) if possible, but if its a normal slant, try to give her an extra slat if possible, for comforts sake.
            runnjump86 Instagram

            Horse Junkies United guest blogger

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by runNjump86 View Post
              What type of trailer do you have? I'm a big fan of hauling loose (IF your horse is a good hauler and has done it before) if possible, but if its a normal slant, try to give her an extra slat if possible, for comforts sake.
              It's a normal slant. How much shavings should I put in her spot? As deep as in her stall or thinner? Or any at all? Thank you all for being so helpful and putting up with my ignorance!

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              • #8
                I like to bed deep for longer trips as I think it cushions them some against road vibration. Also will encourage some fussier ones to pee.
                Amanda

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Critter27 View Post
                  We're packing up and moving to texas, which means we have to trailer my 8 year old Appaloosa mare, Penny, 507 miles(about 8 hours). A hauler is out of the question as we just can't fit it into the horse budget so we're taking her ourselves. The actual driving part isn't a problem but how should I care for Penny during the drive? Should I use shipping boots? Feed electrolytes? No grain that day or keep it normal? Do the whole trip in one day or split it into a 2 day trip? How often does she need a break, should she get off the trailer for her break? We will be traveling in July/June if that makes a difference.
                  wow, this is absloutely no problem at all. An 8 hour run with my horse is standard when we go out to my fathers place. Now we dont even make any extra provisions really we are both so used to it. :-) I stop twice more for me than for him. I pass an apple over to him and we both drink some water and thats it.
                  YAY!! I finally figured out how to upload a photo! lol im such a computer loser!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    In June/July, it is heating up;I would suggest getting to your location when traffic will not be a problem. I would hate to sit on a hot freeway during rush hour....

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      We were new to traveling with our horses until last winter when we took them from Colorado to Arizona and back. A friend helped us a lot and much of his advice was similar to what you see here. One thing that he told me, that surprised me was that any of your Road side assistance plans, like Good Sam, AAA etc do not cover any trailer (or vehicle) that is towing live animals. I was really amazed until I called and got the same story.

                      He recommended, and I have since become a client, of US Rider which does provide road side assistance and towing plus some other benefits directly related to being stranded with a broken trailer/vehicle with a horse or two. They have a good website and some very helpful articles to read.

                      Also, a very important part of a trip like yours is to make sure your trailer is in good shape. Tires and wheel bearings are cause for most trailer break downs.

                      As others have noted, the horses travel really well and surprised me how well they adjusted at over night stops and their willingness to get back in the trailer the next morning.

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                      • #12
                        We moved the exact same distance last January and we just loaded up the horses and drove. Stopped for fuel once (maybe 20 minute stop) and that was it. Except for the part where he hit an elk and we had to stop and regroup b/c of the broken window and mirror. But the horses were fine, even the old lady that was 31 at the time.

                        Just go, don't fuss.
                        “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

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