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Transporting horses in to Florida

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  • Transporting horses in to Florida

    I am going to compete in Fl in May. I am in Oh. I have a friend telling me how hard it is to get horses into FL. Mandatory stops at every weigh station to check paperwork and hay quality?
    Also does anyone know how much fuel adding a 1200 lb horse to trailer costs? He is trying to tell me it will cost me 2 miles per gallon for every horse. Thoughts please.

  • #2
    You only have to stop at the entrance and exit to Fla. YOu must have a current coggins test and a current health certificate. We are in Ohio and our horses go back and forth all the time, not really a big deal.
    "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
    carolprudm

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    • #3
      You MUST pull into the Agricultural Inspection Station, located just inside the Florida border. Well marked. Health Certificate within 60 days and current Coggins. Do the same on your way back north. It's easy peasy!

      I emphasized "must" because if you drive right by they'll be on you like fleas on a hound dog. It's a real adrenaline rush to realize those flashing lights are for you!
      It's an even bigger pita to have to turn your rig around and drive back to the ag station with your escort - ask me how I know LOL

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      • #4
        Ag Station

        Oops dbl post
        Last edited by HorsesRMyTherapy; Feb. 6, 2013, 09:42 PM. Reason: Fast fingers

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        • #5
          As others have said, only one stop right across the border. Make sure you have the *originals* of your coggins and health certificate. I believe health cert has to be within 30 days. As far as I know, they do not check your hay.

          As for your mileage question, too many variables here to advise you. Easiest thing to do is to fill up the tank on your tow vehicle, hook up trailer, load up horses, go for a drive to Dayton (or something! ) and keep track of the exact number of miles, and then fill up tow vehicle again. Divide the miles traveled by the gallons used and that will tell you your miles per gallon. You can then calculate how much gas you will need. Be aware that TN and KY are pretty hilly and that will make your mileage go down. But you will at least have an estimate.

          I hope you can take your own hay with you, and grain. Both hay and grain are MUCH more expensive in FL than Ohio. You can find good hay but you will pay a premium for it.

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          • #6
            Yes, you only stop at the ag station on the way in and on the way out, you need to have your Coggins within a year and a health cert within 30 days.

            They do not check the hay and grain that you bring with you and you do not have to stop at weigh stations unless you are in a commercial rig.

            The ag station isn't right at the border though, it is further south but I don't recall which mile marker. If you look on the FL state website (Google Ag Station) and the website will tell you.

            I am in the Tampa area and right now good T&A hay ranges from 14 - 18 a bale. Bring your own hay....
            Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.
            Bernard M. Baruch

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            • #7
              When I shipped my horse down here from IL, I actually didn't have the original copy of the Coggins--it was a "rush" order, as I was trying to get everything together so my horse could leave on the shipper's schedule (my friend had passed away and I was taking her horse, as there was nobody else to take him--it's not like I just left everything to the last minute). So, they had a copy of the Coggins, inlcuding the vet's cell # if there were any problems, but the ag. people accepted it without any questions. I kind of had these horrific visions of the shipper having to leave my horse @ the ag. station since he didn't have the original Coggins, lol, but I guess the ag. department is not *quite* as strict as they're made out to be. As long as you have a current Coggins (I believe it might have to be within the last 6 months?) and health cert., you should be fine.
              Topline Leather -- Bespoke, handwoven browbands & accessories customized with Swarovski crystals, gemstones, & glass seed beads. The original crystal braid & crystal spike browbands!

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              • #8
                You'll know when you are getting close to the Ag station because all the big rigs start moving over to the right. Look for the signs. They are hard to miss unless you are in "highway zone" mode. I guess they'll stop you, but I dropped a cow off in Georgia and didn't stop on the way back. No one pulled me over to verify my rig was empty. Maybe they recognized me?
                “Pray, hope, and don't worry.”

                St. Padre Pio

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Thanks everyone. I had a feeling my friend was being a bit dramatic. He has a friend that takes camels into FL every year and I suspect they are a bit more tightly controlled than horses.
                  I will work on the fuel thing. He only wants us to take two (1 each) for a 4day tournament and I don't want to be without a backup.
                  If anyone in FL is curious this is the event
                  http://www.knightsofmayhemultimatejoust.com/

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                  • #10
                    I have driven past the inspection station several times with an empty stock trailer and never been chased down, but my sister once drove past with an empty horse trailer and they did come out and pull her over. But, since it was empty, she didn't have to go back, the guy just gave her a lecture about how you *always* have to stop no matter what.

                    I think that maybe I pass by OK with the stock trailer because they can see that it's empty.
                    "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
                    that's even remotely true."

                    Homer Simpson

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Knader View Post
                      Thanks everyone. I had a feeling my friend was being a bit dramatic. He has a friend that takes camels into FL every year and
                      Transporting camels does sound like good reason to be dramatic ... I can't wait to get home and check out your link! ... But ... what role do camels play?
                      *=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by NoSuchPerson View Post
                        I have driven past the inspection station several times with an empty stock trailer and never been chased down, but my sister once drove past with an empty horse trailer and they did come out and pull her over. But, since it was empty, she didn't have to go back, the guy just gave her a lecture about how you *always* have to stop no matter what.

                        I think that maybe I pass by OK with the stock trailer because they can see that it's empty.

                        I was going to a show (in Florida) and passed them (private 3H trailer pulled by a dually so maybe looked commercial??) and they came chasing me - I never pulled over and they gave up - so maybe they figured out I wasn't headed for the border.
                        Now in Kentucky

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by HorsesRMyTherapy View Post
                          You MUST pull into the Agricultural Inspection Station, located just inside the Florida border. Well marked. Health Certificate within 60 days and current Coggins. Do the same on your way back north. It's easy peasy!

                          I emphasized "must" because if you drive right by they'll be on you like fleas on a hound dog. It's a real adrenaline rush to realize those flashing lights are for you!
                          It's an even bigger pita to have to turn your rig around and drive back to the ag station with your escort - ask me how I know LOL
                          LOL - Just an FYI - if you are coming down I-75, the ag station is not right over the border like the one on I-95, so keep an eye out, because it is some distance south of the FL/GA line. It is well marked. You must have a health certificate within 30 days and coggins for all horses in the trailer.
                          There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

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                          • #14
                            Val- why didnt you pull over?
                            Draumr Hesta Farm
                            "Wenn Du denkst es geht nicht mehr, kommt von irgendwo ein kleines Licht daher"
                            Member of the COTH Ignorant Disrepectful F-bombs!*- 2Dogs Farm

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Valentina_32926 View Post
                              I never pulled over and they gave up - so maybe they figured out I wasn't headed for the border.
                              Uhhh, I would not ignore flashing blue lights behind me.......that's a bad game to play.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by MunchkinsMom View Post
                                LOL - Just an FYI - if you are coming down I-75, the ag station is not right over the border like the one on I-95, so keep an eye out, because it is some distance south of the FL/GA line. It is well marked. You must have a health certificate within 30 days and coggins for all horses in the trailer.
                                You are right, but when you have been driving for 10 or more hours, it *seems* like it was right over the border! Everything was relative at that point!

                                Anyhoo, it's true, you can't miss it.

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                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  The camels are a different business. Our friend runs a rescue and gives camel rides at fairs. We are competing in the joust and working on logistics now

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    My husband makes several trips to and from Florida every year and he said that they have gotten more strict. But he said it also depends on who is working, because some people were tougher then others. Like making them unwrap horses to check markings, and really checking over each horse and paper work. While others barely even look at the horses or papers!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I shipped my horse down a couple times before permanently moving. The first time the commercial shipper said we had to redo health cert. because it had two different colors of ink - this was in 2008. (he knew the drill)Seemed to me like they are fussy about stuff that is not necessarily important. Check w/ your vet and see if they are familiar w/ Florida peculiarities when they do health certs. If yes, you should be OK. If no, find one that is to do the paperwork. Ive heard stories about people having to pull over, find a Fla. vet to recheck, adding HOURS to the trip.
                                      We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        While I know of rigs getting through with just a cursory check of the paperwork leaving the state I have also had inspectors enter trailers and make us take off fly masks to match horses to their paperwork. I would highly recommend making sure all paperwork meets the specific requirements coming and going. This includes making sure the newer electronic Coggins have been signed correctly by your vet (we had that issue when selling a horse). I have seen big commercial rigs and private rigs held for hours for paperwork not being exactly correct on one horse. If everything is in order according to the state regulations it should be an easy process.

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