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Moving a horse across the country: recommended shipping co's or do-it-yourself routes

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  • Moving a horse across the country: recommended shipping co's or do-it-yourself routes

    I'm trying to sort out how to get my horse moved from the Pacific Northwest to New England next month. Does anyone have recommendations re:

    Shippers? The wonderful company I've used before for cross country shipping, Bateman, doesn't have any other horses that need to make a trip at that time. I called some other shippers that friends have used before with good results, and none of them do this route. One of them recommended another company, American Horse Transportation, which I based out of Washington state and can get my horse to Kentucky, and then have an east coast based shipper they work with (Tapps?) pick him up from the KY layover & get him to New England. Has anyone had any experience with these shippers? Bob Hubbard has also been mentioned but I have not heard good things about them in the past. I also had a horse shipped to me by a Colorado-based shipper, and I was not pleased with the condition of the horse (or the rig) when they arrived, so I am wary of using a shipper that I don't know anything about.

    -Do it myself shipping: I'm considering shipping my furniture & driving my horse (instead of vice versa). Any thoughts on going across the country in December via I-80 (Wyoming, Iowa, Nebraska) versus on I-70 (going south from Cheyenne to Denver, through Kansas & Missouri). I've driven a truck & trailer across the country a few times before on I-80 but that was in the summer. I'd plan to use horsemotel.com for overnight accommodations for my horse but would also be happy to have input in that department.

    Thanks for your help!

  • #2
    As you know, weather can be unpredictable.
    I would go the route that has the lowest elevation, since it seems to snow in higher elevations more on a whim than what the forecasters can predict.

    If you can pick and choose departure, I'd be a hawk on the weather, and as you know, most weather travels west to east or the infamous alberta clippers...down from canada to the northern US.

    i"d also have some kind of internet connection while on the road to find a nearby horse motel if weather sets in. Plenty of hay, and a container for water, if you need to just 'pull over' for awhile and let a storm pass.

    I am sure folks will pipe in on shippers.
    good luck.
    save lives...spay/neuter/geld

    Comment


    • #3
      Shippers

      Can't really help with specific shippers....I'm in NV and have shipped from Arkansas to here with an outfit named HappyTrails out of Clovis, NM but I don't think they go to the NE. You could try giving them a call...(575)763-3443...guys name is Teddy King.

      There's a long forum on Dreamhorse.com regarding shippers...you may want to wander over and read through it...some good recommendations and some to avoid...and more people from the Mid-west/east coast area.
      Colored Cowhorse Ranch
      www.coloredcowhorseranch.com
      Northern NV

      Comment


      • #4
        I can't say enough good things about Equine Express. I shipped my gelding from ID to GA and they had no trouble accomodating him. I think they do xc trips weekly.They were professional and very easy to deal with. They showed up with a great rig and I couldn't have been happier with the driver. He took a great interest in every horse on the trailer and handled my horse very well. Plus, since the truck wasn't full, we got upgraded to a box stall even though we didn't pay for it. They stayed in contact with me throughout the trip and my horse arrived on the other end in great shape. I would definitely use them again for shipping. Also they gave me the cheapest qoute out of everyone I contacted. Way to go Equine Express

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        • #5
          Once you get to Cheyenne I think you may have hit the worst of I80 (that WY stretch can be horrible with wind/snow). I certainly wouldn't opt for trying to get to I-70 on the other side of the Rockies. I've never used a shipper (moved NE (NEB) --> UT and UT --> MN by myself). However, for that distance, I'd look for one if you have the choice of hauling the horse or other stuff. If you decide to haul the horse, I think that I'd feel okay about it if I wasn't on a time table and could wait a few days if weather sounded bad. I'd bring printouts of every state from horse motel as well as buy the book of horse accomodations - want as many options as possible.

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Interesting! I won't even hit I-80 till Salt Lake City since I'll be coming down on I-84 through Idaho. So maybe it wouldn't be so bad... Thanks for everyone's input...I still welcome more!

            Comment


            • #7
              When I moved from Florida to Maryland, I used Brookledge. I don't know if they do east coast/west coast hauling, but if they do, they did a great job with my little guy.

              They had a very nice big horse truck/semi thing with the whole air ride stuff. They kept in great contact with me, and Merlin arrived to me in fantastic shape. I paid for a regular stall, they put him in a box stall because he wasn't drinking for the first 8 hours of the drive, and they hoped allowing him a little more freedom would make him drink more. They called me half way through to tell me he wasn't drinking, and to let me know they were putting him in a box stall. They did tell me he wasn't being picky about eating. I believe the words were "your little pony eats more than most of these TB's on the truck". LOL. That's my boy.....

              He arrived in good shape, a bit dehydrated, but you can't make the little buggar drink if he doesn't want too. I was pleased with them.

              Comment


              • #8
                I shipped from MI to ID (and also shorter trips) with Equine Express and loved them.

                I've done it myself a few times, too, though, and really prefer that route if time allows. That way I REALLY know what's going on and how the horses are doing in transit.

                I just did the reverse of your move (NH to OR) and took the I-80 route. I am NOT so sure I'd want to be on that in the winter if it was snowing! Actually, part of (though not all of) my motivation in moving when I did was because Rockies+winter+horse trailer was not an equation I liked. Had I waited, I would have been dropping down to I-40 and going the southern route, which adds a not insubstantial amount of time to the trip - but I'm a very play-it-safe person in those sorts of situations.
                Proud member of the EDRF

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Whether or not my horse goes w/ a shipper, I will be driving my truck and trailer across the country in Dec. Although I guess if I get stuck in the weather somewhere along the way it's a lot easier if I have furniture in the trailer than a horse...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I-40 is not that safe in the winter, we do get some big blizzards that close it for a day or two regularly.

                    Watch the weather, no matter where you go and take a day or three off to be safe here and there.

                    If you are going to be hauling either furniture or horse, not shipping it all and flying, you may as well haul horse, as it will be quicker for the horse by maybe several days.
                    With commercial shippers, good as the better ones are, the trips will add many miles and hours/days in such a long distance with all the picking up and dropping off horses.
                    Your horse may be on a trailer twice as long as you hauling directly.

                    Either way it is going to be stressful for both of you, take care.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Another vote for Equine Express

                      My gelding was shipped from Houston to Seattle 4 years ago with Equine Express and they did a wonderful job. Last weekend they brought him back to me in Houston. He arrived fat, happy, hydrated and ready to go. The driver called me several times to update me on progress and ETA. I would not hesitate to use them again.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        No route is safe in the winter from storms/closures (or any other time of year, for that matter - I was keeping an eye on the weather starting two weeks out and checking pass reports even in early October), but I'd still rather do OK/NM/AZ in December than NE/WY. The odds are just better, though it is, of course, still winter, and all of the west (not just the northern part) is subject to nasty blowing blizzards.

                        I can see points for both sides: hauling horses will, as Bluey notes, take several days off their journey, plus it puts you in control. But hauling furniture, if you are stuck by the side if the road on the final climb up to Sherman Pass, it's just YOU who you need to worry about.

                        Either way, you'll want to be sure you have a big window of time, so you can delay your departure if need be till a point when the weather is looking good across the country.
                        Proud member of the EDRF

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Kementari View Post
                          No route is safe in the winter from storms/closures (or any other time of year, for that matter - I was keeping an eye on the weather starting two weeks out and checking pass reports even in early October), but I'd still rather do OK/NM/AZ in December than NE/WY. The odds are just better, though it is, of course, still winter, and all of the west (not just the northern part) is subject to nasty blowing blizzards.

                          I can see points for both sides: hauling horses will, as Bluey notes, take several days off their journey, plus it puts you in control. But hauling furniture, if you are stuck by the side if the road on the final climb up to Sherman Pass, it's just YOU who you need to worry about.

                          Either way, you'll want to be sure you have a big window of time, so you can delay your departure if need be till a point when the weather is looking good across the country.
                          Agree. I drove from Montana to Florida around Dec. 12th and that was a white-knuckle driving experience from MT to Kansas. I was so relieved when I got back in the "south". No joke. That was 09. I took I-40 even though it added time. I started out doing 80 but...just scared myself to death a couple times and decided to bite the bullet and drop down when I still had the chance. I watched the weather and had the truck packed for several days before I saw a good opening. Then I leapt in and hit the road! Whenever there was a good day, I would drive 13 hours to take advantage of it and get the hell out of the west and mid-west! On the days that it was crappy, I holed up in a hotel.
                          I am very glad I didn't haul my horse. He arrived 2 weeks after me in good shape.
                          True Bearing Equestrian
                          St. Helena Island, SC

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Oh yeah - be sure to get US Rider if you don't have it - haven't had to use it with the horse trailer but I think they also have access to emergency horse accomodations if you got stuck.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I will second USRider. Fabulous service. www.usrider.org


                              If you do have to ship your horse to Kentucky and then lay over and pick up another shipper, I can recommend a wonderful layover facility:

                              http://www.caddelequine.com

                              Linda and Steve Caddel are located in Georgetown, KY, just north of the Kentucky Horse Park off of Interstate 75. They are very experienced and professional. They may also be able to give you some names of shippers from Kentucky to New England.

                              SCM1959

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Oh, definitely get US Rider. I did in preparation for my trip, and it was the best $150 I spent!

                                First night, 11 pm on the Mass Pike, and suddenly I have NO trailer lights. (Mind you, I'd gotten truck and trailer overhauled before I left...) I got off at a service plaza, called US Rider, and within two hours had the ground on my truck rewired and was back on the road.

                                Because of some weird deal with AAA having exclusive contracts for the Mass Pike (or something - I didn't really understand, even though both the guy on the phone and the mechanic both tried to explain), I had to pay up front and get reimbursed. I had the reimbursement check less than two weeks after sending in the receipt, and let's just say the coverage paid for itself right there.
                                Proud member of the EDRF

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