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What’s Your Long Haul Routine?

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    What’s Your Long Haul Routine?

    Hi everyone.

    I’m moving my 23 year old fit mare in the beginning of September from Western PA-Southern WI. The haul will be about 8.5 hours. She’s traveling in a box stall with air-ride so she should be as comfortable as possible. This is the longest haul she has ever done but she’s a good loader and has been good for our previous small trips (longest was about 2 hours each way done in 1 day).

    My question: what does your prep routine look like? I have a stock pile of ulcergard for the travel and entire transition of acclimating to her new barn. She’s been at the same place for 6 years so I imagine the adjusting could be a bit challenging for her but she’s overall a pretty easy going mare. How many days before travel would you start the ulcergard? What other things should I be doing for her prior to the trip? Would you give any calming supplements or electrolytes? What overall has helped you transition your older (or any) horse?

    I used to haul 14 hrs for a 1 week of intensive training a couple of times a year.

    Travel was mainly on interstate highways. Truck & trailer were loaded the night before. I loaded the horse at ~3AM and arrived at ~dinner time. Drove straight thru stopping only for gasoline. I bedded with shavings so the horse would be willing to pee.

    One time I had a flat tire on the trailer and the drive took 18 hrs.

    Never had a problem with the horse. Never did any "prep work." If you are hauling during hot days, perhaps some electrolytes might be warranted.

    I don't think an 8-9 hr haul should be a problem.
    Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
    Alfred A. Montapert


      I start the Ulcergard a couple days out as well as elytes and feeding extra soupy feeds- the more hydrated they are the better. I also feed super good hay during the trip so they are more likely to eat the whole way.
      Once she's there, I'd continue the Ulcergard for a few days and just monitor her- shouldn't be an issue
      No mourners, no funerals


        We have moved multiple times and hauled our horses 14+ hours each time. My horses aren't ulcer prone so I just load them up and we go. My horses don't get on the trailer it seems unless we move, but they haul well and seem too take the long trip just fine. We haul straight through, stopping to refuel and grab a quick lunch and they rest on trailer in a shady spot.

        We have a stock trailer so they have room to move, unlike a straight or slant load trailer. Definitely makes a difference. Getting from point A to point B as quickly as possible is our goal and we prefer to not off load them during the trip. They do better that way since they kind of get into a " zone" of sorts.


          I moved from east PA to Indiana, 10.5-11 hours. I stopped twice (basically when my gas tank hit around half way. I gave them water during the trip and had stuffed hay nets. I used their regular hay with a flake of alfalfa stuffed in the middle (they usually get 1 flake) to keep them occupied. I didin't pretreat for ulcers because mine are pretty chill and not prone.
          Come to the dark side, we have cookies


            I haul PA to OK several times a year. The trip is about 24 hours and we drive straight through.
            Two days before i leave I start a preventative dose of omeprazole, electrolytes twice a day and Equistim (4 days before we leave, the morning we leave and once more 3 days after arrival.)
            I have one horse that travels especially poorly (internal worrier) and he gets 10cc of Banamine and a cc of ace an hour before loading and gets the same once more half way through the trip. This has kept him traveling much better on long rides.
            during my journey I stop every 3-4 hours and offer water. Horses have a mix of alfalfa and grass hay in front of them at all times however I hold off on grain until about 6 hours after reaching our destination.

            edited to add: I do not bandage my horses in any way on the trailer.
            Unless it was a situation like.... I poulticed a horse at the show after I showed and was driving it home a few hours after.
            Otherwise, no bandages, boots, bell boots etc. I don’t want my horses soft tissue hot for however long my trip is (soft tissue is most at risk for injury when the tissue is hot and the horse is tired..)
            I occasionally have one pull a shoe (normally a
            hind shoe) or maybe a nick, but nothing that’s changed my mind about leaving their legs bare.
            Last edited by TheHunterKid90; Aug. 17, 2020, 05:22 PM.


              We send a big chunk of the barn 22ish hours to Wellington every year. The ulcer prone ones start ulcergard 4-5 days out (it takes 4 days to reach maximum effectiveness). We make sure everyone has been turned out or lunged before they leave. We also make sure the babies that are making the trip for the first time are used to whatever wraps they are going to wear. It's not good for anyone when your 4 year old spends the first 3 hours of his trip double-barreling the trailer because he's never worn hind wraps. That's about it.


                We do an 11 hour trip each way to FL in the winter; I do give ulcerguard for a few days ahead of time as well as a couple of feedings of soupy mash before we leave and after we arrive, just to help them stay hydrated.

                I offer water when we stop for gas but have never had one drink, sigh. I bring water from home (tank in the trailer dressing room) so we always have it available when we ship. I put large haynets of steamed hay in front of them the entire time we are traveling.

                The horses wear bell boots but otherwise nothing on their legs and I monitor the temperature in the trailer so we can adjust clothes if needed (it's typically quite chilly when we load at 3-4 AM so they have something on when we ship out, but the trailer warms up fairly quickly so those clothes come off pretty early into the trip.)
                We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.