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long distance shipment of heavily in foal mare

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  • long distance shipment of heavily in foal mare

    Due to circumstances not being quite ideal - I start a new job the same time our mare is due. I decided to take her to the new State prior to foaling, rather than having to take her and a foal 16 hours in transit.

    So...next month we are taking her to a foaling facility in MO...she'll be due about 30 days from when we move her.

    What I'm trying to figure out is the stop over. We are driving - have a 16 foot gooseneck stock and she'll be riding solo. Should I try to find a place that would let me stall keep her over night, or could we keep her in the trailer? We are going to have to stop to sleep somewhere, I don't think we can do that straight thru...but then you never know. It will be bedded down, with hay and water.

    I was also think of getting some tubes of gastroguard....anything else??
    Celtic Pride Farm
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  • #2
    Is she a good traveler? If she is comfortable in the trailer I would probably let her stay in it overnight, rather than having to unload her in an unfamiliar place. I've done that with a horse several times on a long trip and just left the horse loose in the trailer. However, the horses I've done this with have been very happy on the trailer. If she is going to be very anxious and restless then perhaps finding a farm to layover at would be better.
    I think the Gastrogard is a great idea.
    Already excited about our 2016 foals! Expecting babies by Indoctro, Diamant de Semilly, Zirocco Blue and Calido!


    • Original Poster

      She has generally been pretty good about trailering her. Once going to a hunter pace when we got there she worked herself into a sweaty lather but I think it was because of everything going on outside. Just going down the road, or in a quiet place I'd think she would be okay. We can open it, gives her a good bit of room to move about/stretch or even lay down if she is so inclined.

      Hillside, I'm gonna be a nervous wreck by the time we make it to your place, lol!!
      Celtic Pride Farm
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      • #4
        I think traveling with ANY horse is nerve-wracking! But just think; once you are here you're home free-then I get to do the worrying!
        Already excited about our 2016 foals! Expecting babies by Indoctro, Diamant de Semilly, Zirocco Blue and Calido!


        • #5
          I think if she is comfortable and has the entire trailer to herself, I would let her be in the trailer. I think it could be more upsetting to unload her in a strange place. Of course, if there is any question, find a safe layover barn. But, my first instinct would be to make her safe and comfortable in my rig, avoid strange places and horses and get to my new place as soon as safely possible.

          I second the ulcerguard.

          Best of luck.
          Quality Hunter Ponies


          • #6
            It may work for some people to keep a horse in a trailer for 24+ plus, but some horses start to get nervous that they aren't going to be let out of the "box." I would only EVER use this option if I felt the horse was not going to get back in the trailer (maybe a mustang straight from the blm land). They get sweaty, figgity, and show the whites of their eyes, and all of these horses I have seen do this were very experience travelers/big time competition horses. It seems 16-22 hours is a common "breaking point" for those that will. Others are just fine (especially if you don't know the horse very well ) Sure it's half the size of the stall, but the ceiling is LOW, and it's not completely stable when you move around (if you weight 1,000lbs), and the windows don't give it much of an open feeling.

            If you feel it is your best bet, have a pre-arranged back up prepared that is aware of your situation. That way if you need an out, it's ready. You can easily find a clean, deeply bedded stall all set with clean water right off the free way for $20-$30. It's so worth it. Of course it can be as low as $5-$10 if you do the shavings/water. I have one of those overnight stabling guides and it's great. I used to spend hours researching places on the internet. Now, I can choose a place and have a reservation made in about 5 minutes.

            Don't forget to make a list of vets along your route in case of an emergency.


            • #7
              Yikes, I would be pretty worried about hauling a mare THAT pregnant for 16 hours and would speak to my vet in regards to the best way to handle the stress of the trip. I would also be very wary of bringing her into any new facility where she could come into contact with disease ect.

              "Simple: Breeding,Training, Riding". Wolfram Wittig.


              • #8

                The one thing I would consider adding to your plans is the possibility of shipping your mare in Soft-Ride boots. At that stage in her pregnancy being on the road for such a long time will really exhaust her. The boots can help support her feet and legs for the trip. If you are not aware of the product, they are mostly used for laminitis cases, but are fabulous for prevention type situations like yours. Look them up here: http://www.softrideboots.com/

                In the thoroughbred world mares are shipped as heavily in foal as yours regularly. I am not saying it is preferable, but is frequent, and it is VERY rare for any complications to arise. I am certain you will be more cautious with your momma than many commercial shippers, so she should have a fine trip! Good luck!


                • #9
                  Yes, while not ideal, you know better than us what your mare can handle. In foal mares get shipped from the sale here to England in a big lorry. And some of these will be heavily pregnant.

                  Good luck with your journey and new job. I'm sure she will be fine. And it seems as if you are putting her in good hands!

                  COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

                  "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.


                  • #10
                    I would keep her on the trailer if she seems OK with that. I really would hesitate to expose a mare that close to foaling to a new place "on the road" somewhere where you don't know the health of the other horses that have stayed there. It would be a bad time for her to get sick.

                    We hang hay bags, refill at every fuel stop and also hang water buckets for our long hauls (OR to OK is our longest). The ponies tend to be very bright and happy upon arrival. We offer carrots or cookies at every fuel stop to help keep everyone's spirits up and open the windows so they can hang their heads out at stops.
                    Family Partners Welsh Ponies - Home of Section B Welsh stallion *Wedderlie Mardi Gras LOM/AOE http://www.welshponies.com
                    Click here to buy: A Guide To In Hand Showing of Your Welsh Pony


                    • #11
                      I assume (not always a good thing) that you can open up the trailer at night and she'll have a 16' by 7' or so box stall? In that case, I would leave her in the trailer with hay and a bucket or 2 of water. My GN has rings welded onto the sides so I can hang buckets. I would give her grass hay and water only for the trip.

                      What I did bringing a youngster from NM to WV was to put her in the box stall of a stock trailer, open it up at night for more room and stayed at KOA campgrounds with cabins. Look on the KOA website and find one on your way with cabins for you. She can stay in the trailer. No exposure to other horses for chance of disease that close to foaling. Bring sleeping bags and stay at KOA. One night in the trailer if you can open it up is no problem for her and saves you exposure to disease and/or chance of difficulty loading in a strange place or chance of escape and what can go along with that.

                      My yearling very quickly decided it was 'her' stall and living quarters and accepted it readily and easily. She could watch everything going on around her, but she felt safe in her 'stall'.
                      Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
                      Now apparently completely invisible!


                      • #12
                        [QUOTE=Tiki;5420880]I assume (not always a good thing) that you can open up the trailer at night and she'll have a 16' by 7' or so box stall? \QUOTE]

                        Depends on if there is a tack room. Since it is a stock we don't know. If there is, the mare's space goes down to 10' or so. Also depends on how big the mare is.


                        • #13
                          I dont know where you are going, but if its down our way I would be happy to keep her overnight. You can stay also. We have an apartment in our barn.
                          hunter/jumper ponies


                          • #14
                            One thing that might work would be to get a portable corral....panels can be hung/attached to the side of your trailer (there are even electric types) and set up where you stop. Then you can open the trailer to the corral and give her both the trailer and the corral. Provide hay and water in the trailer and she can sleep out on the ground inside the corral if she chooses....gives her room to move around some and stretch her legs a little.

                            Another option would be to do the driving in 4 hour stretches with her loose in the trailer....stop every 4 for food/water/walk around if she loads/unloads well and trade off drivers. This would give the drivers each 8 hours in two sections so a nap could be taken while not driving. 16 hours is a long time to do in one stretch for a driver but if broken up into shorter sections with the chance to rest or nap between its not so bad. 16 hours for the mare with breaks is probably fine.
                            Colored Cowhorse Ranch
                            Northern NV


                            • #15
                              I think the big question will be her mental state. Does she haul well alone? Some horses will be distraught without a "friend" and some couldn't care less. I like the idea of her staying on the trailer, but not if she's frantically looking for other horses. Some mares can get very herd-bound.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by rideagoldenpony View Post
                                I would keep her on the trailer if she seems OK with that. I really would hesitate to expose a mare that close to foaling to a new place "on the road" somewhere where you don't know the health of the other horses that have stayed there. It would be a bad time for her to get sick.

                                We hang hay bags, refill at every fuel stop and also hang water buckets for our long hauls (OR to OK is our longest). The ponies tend to be very bright and happy upon arrival. We offer carrots or cookies at every fuel stop to help keep everyone's spirits up and open the windows so they can hang their heads out at stops.
                                This. I would be concerned about exposing her to a different environment with different bugs.
                                Riding the winds of change

                                Heeling NRG Aussies
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                                • Original Poster

                                  The trailer is a 16 foot long, extra wide, extra tall stock trailer. No dressing room - and any supplies would be in the neck and not take up her space. It's approx 8 feet wide, and quite tall. The mare is 15.3, big bodied.

                                  I know it's not ideal but we only had two options...trailer the mare or trailer her AND the foal that distance, and it just seemed the safer alternative to have the baby still inside mama. The commercial rigs have much smaller areas, and are loaded with other horses - and often do stop at night. So we opted to do it ourself.

                                  Tiki - I'll look up that campground, thanks!

                                  Sugarbrook - we go thru IL or KY...going to the midwest.

                                  password - when we purchased her we took her from all her buds and trailered her 3 hours to our place, and she was great about it. She used to be owned by Iron Spring Farm, and they had her in PA and also had her on the show circuit in FL so I know she has trailered long distance before as well. We haven't trailered her solo since we purchased her only because my husband and I usually ride together.
                                  Celtic Pride Farm
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                                  • #18
                                    I did this when I moved from MI to OK. I just made sure I stopped every 4 hours for at least a half hour. Stopped at rest stops, but parked in the car area because the big trucks are loud. Had to make that trip 3 times in less then 2 weeks because I only have a 2 horse bumper pull.


                                    • #19
                                      It sounds like you've got a good set up, travel plan and a mare who is an experienced shipper. I'd just add a layer of shavings under a thick bed of straw, hang the hay net and water buckets and take a 1/2 hour when stopping for fuel. Personally I would leave her on the trailer - it will have become her 'stall' after a few hours and she should be fine. I would travel with some Banamine and emergency sedation on hand but that is SOP for traveling in case of a disaster.

                                      Try not worry too much! Good luck!
                                      Watermark Farm
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                                      • Original Poster

                                        Okay, so we are thinking about trying to do it straight thru....or playing it by ear with that as the goal - easier on her vs easier on us.

                                        Truck and trailer are going for a safety inspection prior to us leaving. Supplies for her:
                                        Hay and water - plus the bedding
                                        Tranq just in case needed
                                        Emergency kit (has things like vetwrap, betadine)

                                        Any other items we should have on hand just in case? I will be SOOO happy when we reach the foaling facility!! Ugh!
                                        Celtic Pride Farm
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