Long Distance travel? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 03-11-2014, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Wyoming
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Long Distance travel?

Really couldn't figure out which forum would be best for this question - Admins, feel free to move this if you so desire :)

I have a 10' Adam stock trailer, no divider. Come fall, I will be moving from VA to WY with my horse, Yankee. He loads fine, but doesn't have a lot of experience being trailered yet. I will be spending this year getting him more used to the trailer and going on increasingly long trips. I know I'll need to get a health certificate before I travel, and to make sure his coggins is up to date.

That's about all I know about hauling a horse cross-country. I figure with a trailer, it will take 4 or 5 days (I can do it with just my truck in 3 days, but those are long, 12 hour days). I would expect to need to stop every 2 hours, but am unsure how to go about that. Will it be a problem to get him out of the trailer at random rest stops? Is there some etiquette to this? How do I find lodging for the night for him? What else do I need to know?

I plan on researching this as well, but I'm not even sure I know all the questions to ask yet. Appreciate any advice or pointers from folks who have done this before!

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post #2 of 16 Old 03-11-2014, 11:19 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Connecticut
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I don't think you necessarily have to unload him every 2 hours as long as you open the doors, offer him water and let him enjoy the scenery while you're taking your breaks. I think the rule of thumb is to unload every 5 hours or so depending on how bumpy the ride it.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #3 of 16 Old 03-12-2014, 08:11 AM
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I cannot help you but am interested in the answers you get. Hubby and I are going to be retired soon and I really hope to travel with the horses.


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post #4 of 16 Old 03-12-2014, 08:19 AM
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Here a good site to find overnight boarding sites.

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post #5 of 16 Old 03-12-2014, 08:19 AM
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I would not unload him at all at anyplace other than the barn you will be staying at for the night, period.
A roadside rest stop, yes by all means. Time for water and hay to be replenished, yes...
Taking him off a trailer in a unfamiliar place with unfamiliar smells, sights, sounds...no!!
What do you do if he refuses to reload? It happens.

There are overnight stabling directories available online...you need to have your truck and your trailer in tip-top condition for such a trip. If in doubt, have him shipped by commercial carrier with air-ride suspension trailer, available a/c and predetermined and designated stop-overs along with experienced horse-handlers that can handle almost any imaginable issue on the road that could (sometimes does) happen.

Be very careful out there... safe travels.
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post #6 of 16 Old 03-13-2014, 08:19 PM
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Denver
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I totally agree with not unloading except at night. Being trailered is work for horse he has to constantly balance himself. He just needs a break every so often. Going in and out of the trailer would just be more work and stress for him.
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post #7 of 16 Old 03-15-2014, 01:50 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Oregon
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Unloading for a rest may can be tricky so don't do it without knowing how your horse will behave first. I personally have done it without a hitch but my horses are used to traveling to strange places to go for trail rides. I wouldn't do it with a single horse who is not used to those conditions.

There are also sites where stables can sign up to be horse hotels. Plan your route and drive times to take you from horse hotel to horse hotel. Don't forget to call in advance to make arrangements with the owner/manager.
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post #8 of 16 Old 03-16-2014, 01:39 PM
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You do need to do some planning but it's no big deal to move a horse cross country. First off you do need a current (less than 6 months old) coggins and a health certificate within the past 30 days. Have some type of ownership record if possible. WY is a brand state but that mean nothing to you until you get here because you are coming from a non brand state. Don't worry about that. Even though you pass through multiple states you only need to abide by what WY requirements are. Do expect to stop at the WY state line and show your paperwork. They are getting anal about that and with the rodeo season in full swing there are buckets of horses in and out of the state so they are doing what they can to regulate all livestock traveling through the state.

You do not need to stop ever 2 hours and you never take him out of the trailer until you get to your destination for the night. If you did not only would it take 10 days to drive cross country, what would you do if he flat out refuses to get back in? Or to make matters worse, he gets away from you? Plan your route. If you have to go through a major metropolitan area, time it so you so through late morning, early afternoon, after rush hour (6-7pm). You don't want to be stuck in bumper to bumper traffic in a city you don't know where the exchanges seem to pop up at the last minute and the jerks in the other cars won't let you over. On the subject of multilane interstates in cities, pick the 2nd lane from the right and just stay there. You don't have to contend with merging and exiting traffic. With stops for fuel, meals and rest, I average 50 miles a day. So if I put in 12 hours I should be 600 miles down the road. That's doable with one driver but much easier with 2.

So where do you stay overnight? I have found that fairgrounds are about the best place to stop. They will run you $10-20 a night, you have an arena to let them out in for a few hours, they are usually pretty quiet, easy to find, hotels are close.

I'll be back, someone just pulled up and the dogs are going nuts.
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post #9 of 16 Old 03-16-2014, 02:34 PM
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False alarm.

Another option is to post your travel itinerary here and see if anyone is close to your overnight stops and would put you up for the night. Can be a fun way to meet people on the forum and you should get a relaxing dinner to boot.

Travel with a full gas can in the back of your truck. I learned that one the hard way. I ran out of gas on the beltway that goes around St Louis at 10 at night in heavy traffic. Gas stations can also be a problem when traveling. It seems like most aren't set up to deal with rigs where you can easily pull up to and pull straight out. Stick with the big ones right off the interstate. In western Nebraska, there are really nice fueling stations just out in the middle of nowhere. It will be the only thing on the exit. They are designed for combines and only accept CC (no attendant, no bathrooms, no snacks) but they are the best when pulling a horsetrailer. I keep saying I'm going to mark the exits... I like traveling W on I-80 as opposed to I-70. There always seems to be more of a head wind going through KS and it's a little more hilly so your MPG really drops.

Your trailer is a nice handy size. You might find that he will travel best loose where he can stand the way he wants to and can balance. You might be surprised that you find him riding backwards. If you have lightweight floor mats, I would invest in some thicker ones. Even buy the standard 4x6 mat and throw it on the top to provide more padding and insulation from the road. Trailers can get quite hot just from the heat of the road radiating up. If the sides are open slats, put a flymask on him while traveling. I don't blanket or wrap because that's not my guys. They would be more stressed out with polos than going naked. They also sweat underneath them.
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post #10 of 16 Old 03-17-2014, 11:44 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Vanzant MO
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I moved my horses from MD to MO last year. Yes need current coggins and a health Cert. I only stopped when I needed fuel or to eat. I usually drove a 10hr day. I stopped the first night in Kingston TN off of I40. Then drove on in to Mo the next day. Never took horses off trailer until I stopped for the night. Of course I have a slant load. You can offer water when you stop for fuel. Mine never would drink. I did offer them hay. I did a 10hr haul with my stock and tied the horse loose enough so that she turned around facing the back. No issues at all. Good Luck in your move...

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