Long Distance Trailering - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 07-24-2009, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Long Distance Trailering

Hi, I'm new here and couldn't find a more suitable category to post this, so I'll try here. Now, to the business:

I'm a long time rider and horse owner but I'm looking to try something new. Every year, my family takes a summer vacation to South Carolina (we're coming from Indiana) to a resort on the beach. At the resort - Seabrook Island - is a large equestrian center where they run horse riding for the guests. You could sign up for a trail ride or even ride on the beach. I've been doing the beach ride for four years so far and love it! But recently I discovered that the center actually boards horses and if you would bring your own horse, you could take him down to the beach to ride on your own.

So, I brought it up to my dad and he thought it would be excellent to try to bring our own horses down and board them during our vacation to ride them here.

The problem is, our family does not yet own a trailer (though we have been discussing buying one for some time and my dad bought a truck some time ago strictly because we have intended to use it for trailering) and neither of my parents have actually driven a horse trailer before. Now, I am not naive in thinking that we could just buy a trailer and take an 11 hour drive with my horses. No. But my question is actually, how do you more experienced trailer-ers think my family and I should go about preparing for such a trip sometime in the future? Like, obviously getting a trailer and moving our horses locally at first, I assume. But how many longerish trips should we try before going all the way and such?
Thank you in advance,
Torii
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-24-2009, 03:46 PM
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I never hauled my mare myself longer than locally but I think you are thinking in the right direction. I would definitely get accustomed to pulling a trailer without a horse then with a horse and just build up the mileage each time. Practice on all types of roads and traffic to you never knwo what you will encounter.

You might want to also consider when the time comes how much gas is and if it would be worth hauling yourself or using a professional. I got a great deal for a trip from MD to GA about a 12 hr drive for $500..if you think about the time and gas you spend yourself it might equal out the same or less.

Seabrook Island is wonderful I used to live in Charleston only went ther eonce...you might also want to check out just to see the equestrian center on Johns Island called Mullet Hall Equestrian center..I never got to see it but from what I heard its really nice here is a link with some info Charleston County Parks and Recreation - Mullet Hall Equestrian Center
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post #3 of 6 Old 07-24-2009, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for the speedy reply! Using a professional is also something that we had been thinking about if we eventually get serious about the idea. Especially if it comes down to it and no one is really comfortable with driving the trailer yet.

Such a coincidence that you used to live in the area. Yes, Charleston/SBI are both great places! Wonderful places to vacation every year.

And thanks for the link. I haven't looked yet, but I'll be sure to check it out.
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post #4 of 6 Old 07-24-2009, 03:58 PM
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I would probably get a professional to trailer the horses if I had the money, hehe. It really isnt as hard as some people may think to drive a trailer. Backing up can be frustrating, but once you get the hang of it, its pretty easy.

When God Made Horses, He Painted The Good Ones.
"All I pay my psychiatrist is the cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day."
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-24-2009, 04:34 PM
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Driving with the trailer is not as hard as it looks if you take your time. When you get in a hurry trying to back up is when things get disastrous. You probally won't need to back that often. Most gas stations you can just pull in and pull out without ever putting it in reverse. And driving forward with the trailer isn't hard at all. You do have to be a little more careful because A) you have limited visability, and B) you can't accelerate or brake quickly because your horses will have trouble balancing.

Keep in mind that your drive may take a little longer when trailering. I hauled my horse from Jonesboro to Oklahoma city several times and the drive that is normally around 7 hours ended up being more like 10. This was partly because my truck is old and doesn't like pulling my trailer up hills so your time diffrence will likely be less drastic.

Also I like to feed my horse gatoraide everytime we stop for gas. Keeps them form gettind dehidrated back there. He refuses to drink inside the trailer but he will lap up some gatoraide like it's going out of style.

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post #6 of 6 Old 07-24-2009, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
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Thank you everyone for the great input!
I've been reading up lately on transporting horses and I know a lot of the sites have suggested gatoraide, so I'm glad someone brought that up Sophie! I've never tried flavoring my horses water, but I guess if I ever plan on traveling it's something I should try soon enough.

My mom is actually a lot more nervous than my dad about the idea of lugging around a trailer and horse, so I'm glad everyone here is actually soothing saying it's not as difficult as it may seem.

Thank you guys!
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