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Horse Transportation Guide


Equine.com staff

Transporting a horse across the city or across the country doesn't need to be stressful for either you or your horse! This guide was created to give you the tools to make informed decisions when transporting your equine friend. Included in this guide are some basic requirements when shipping a horse, questions you may want to ask a potential horse shipper, and tips for making the horse shipping a positive, stress-free experience for your horse (and yourself)!

Typical Requirements When Shipping a Horse

  • A negative (good) Coggins test that is less than one year old. Some shippers require a negative Coggins test less than six months old. Certain states such as Arizona, California, and Florida require the original documentation, while copies of the document are sufficient for horse transport to all other states. Check with your state to see which applies to you.

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    Horse Transportation Guide
     
  • A negative (good) Coggins test that is less than one year old. Some shippers require a negative Coggins test less than six months old. Certain states such as Arizona, California, and Florida require the original documentation, while copies of the document are sufficient for horse transport to all other states. Check with your state to see which applies to you.

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  • A vet check within the past thirty days. Not all horse shippers require this, but it is good to have done before shipping to be sure your horse is sound and healthy for the journey.

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  • Getting the horse current on immunizations is recommended, but not required by law. Any vaccinations should be done prior to the two weeks before horse transport, as some horses need time to recover from immunizations.

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  • A brand inspection is required if the horse is coming from any of the following states: CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, UT, WY, and parts of OR, SD, and WA.

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  • Many shippers provide hay, but sometimes it’s a good idea to provide your own hay so your horse eats what he’s accustomed to, which can prevent gastrointestinal distress from a dietary change.

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  • Always provide your current contact information including phone number where you can be reached should any issues arise. Keep it in a small folder with the Coggins and vet check (and any other records) and give it to your hauler.

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    FREE Transport Estimate

    Use uShip to ship your horse. It's FREE to list, no hassle, no phone calls, and no obligation. Get a FREE estimate now, just enter your zip!

    Origin
    Destination
    # of Horses
    * Weight (lbs)
    To receive a shipping estimate, fill out the form about and click 'Get Quote'

    * Optional

    Questions to Ask the Horse Shipper

  • Are you a legally licensed hauler? Your insurance company may not cover your horse if you user a transporter that is not licensed with their own coverage for horses.

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  • Will my horse be insured? Some shippers require that you already have horse insurance, and other shippers include that in the transport fee.
  • How much experience do you have shipping horses?

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  • How many horses do you ship at one time?

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  • How often do you stop during the trip? Many transporters will stop between four and six hours so the horse can relax and urinate. They can water the horses at that time and let them rest for about 15 - 30 minutes before continuing the journey.

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  • Do you have a layover? Some long hauls require layovers, but not all horse shippers will handle layovers.

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  • How often does my horse get watered?

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  • Do you haul with their heads tied? Horses should be left loose in order to prevent shipping fever. Letting them lower their heads and blow during the trip enables them to clear their nasal passages of any dirt and debris.

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  • Do you have any references? The shipper should be happy to provide references on request.

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  • Do you require a deposit to reserve a space? What percentage?

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    Preparing In Advance for the Journey – Tips and Tricks

  • Get your horse used to wearing shipping boots prior to the trip. Shipping boots can protect the horse’s leg and fetlock areas during shipping. Bandages and other boot types are not recommended for transport. Boots that cover as high as the knee and hocks are also available from many websites. Not all shippers require boots, but if your horse has a tendency to “scramble” during loading, they may prevent possible injury.

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  • A few weeks before the trip, work with your horse on groundwork as well as safely loading in and out of trailers. If you have access to more than one trailer type (or a few willing barn pals), this will get your horse accustomed to different loading styles. Most horse transporters use ramps for safe loading and unloading.

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  • Adding Kool Aid© or Mountain Dew© diluted into drinking water for a few weeks prior to shipping will get your horse used to the flavor, it’s a trick that some transporters use to get finicky horses to drink water during the trip. Apple juice diluted into the water also works well.

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  • Most haulers require that your horse be outfitted with a basic halter and lead rope. This isn’t the time for fancy leather and silver show halters! A basic nylon or cotton halter will suffice.

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    Shipping your horse can be safe and hassle free when you’ve learned what to ask and what to expect in preparation for the journey. Knowing that your horse is in capable hands is essential for your peace of mind. For more shipping and transporting tips, please visit our article at EquiSearch.com on Horse Trailering Tips.


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