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Transporting my horse to Alaska by...air? Or boat? Or through Canada?
So, this year (Summer) I want to bring my Tinkerbell to Alaska. Obviously I am doing my own research and considering my options. I am considering buying a truck and trailer in Oregon and driving her up myself, getting my brother and sister-in-law drive her up, driving to the ferry in Bellingham and riding the ferry, hiring a shipper to drive through Canada and flying (Most likely on Alaska Air). I know people ship their horses to and from AK all the time and would like to hear people's experiences and preferences.
It seems like flying may be easier on her, though stressful, it's over quickly. I have yet to call the air line to find out what they would charge but will be doing that.
Having a shipper drive her up may be nice since she would likely be traveling with other horses and they seem to take their time and are very experienced and have connections along the route.
Driving her up myself could be fun, but very likely stressful for both of us. Even if I get my brother and SIL to do it or come along. It would be nice to have a truck and trailer delivered from the lower 48 though! And I have driven the Alcan.
Going on the ferry would eliminate passport and Canada concerns, however, that can be up to a week on the boat with not a lot of opportunities to get off and stretch her legs.
Like I said, I'm just wondering if any members have experience shipping to/from AK and would like to weigh in. Or any shipping long distance, especially by plane or boat or professional shipper.
I personally have not shipped long distances, however, I have friends who regularly ship from the NW to Florida. They do drive themselves, and what they do is have stops planned for every night, unload the horses and they have stalls for the night. Then they load up in the AM and keep going. Usually takes 5 days I think to get to Florida, but that is taking it quite slow and well paced.
There are also lots of reputable commercial haulers that can do it.
IMO the cost of shipping on a plane, for such a short distance, is just not worth it, and the boat will take too long.
Thank you Anebel
From the experiences I have had I would say have a professional take her, especially if her journey isn't time critical, you maybe able to get a shared haul and that would save some money.
Plane I think would be very expensive, so depends on your purse strings. I suffer from seasickness, so wouldn't wish that on a horse, LOL I don't know if they do get sea sick, but it is a long time to be cooped up in a stall or a crate. The only time we took horses on a ferry one got injured, so I'm not a big fan.
A well respected haulier will look after your horse, deal with all the border hassles, and will have contacts on the route where they can lay over. It is far less stressful, and often not that much more expensive than having to do the haul yourself. I know when we have looked at it before it paid to pay someone, and I have had 3 long hauls done, all the horses travelled well and arrived safely.
A professional hauler would probably be your best choice IMO.
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Everybody makes very good points about the professional hauler, though no matter what, she has to be on a boat for at least 12 hours because I live on Kodiak island.
Again, thank you for your opinion and experiences!
Never ever on a plane. I refuse to put any animal on a plane. If there is any indication of a fire (including faulty sensors) oxygen is immediately sucked out of the cargo department and well that suffocates the animal immediately. Basically any cargo airplane will do this since the cargo is in a separate area then the crew. This happens more with passenger planes that carry cargo on the bottom.
Unless you had no choice and there was no way to cross land, I wouldn't do it.
I call BS. What are your sources?
I have flown with horse a few times. I didn't pay for the ticket so can't comment on price range. Never on a passenger flight, only cargo flights. Yes things can go wrong in the air but, they can go wrong traveling by land too.
On land if you horse goes berserk for some reason (trying to kick through the trailer) there is few more options on what can be done. pull over in a safe spot etc...unless it's a MVA then that's a whole new range of problems.
They get a little nervous at take off and landing but relax for the rest of the flight. The shipping company should have a flight groom, we had us (the horse's grooms) plus two flight grooms. Being able to calm a horse when needed is key. I know of one horse that had been flown before no issues and then lost it on another flight, they tried to settle him in air, didn't work. On the lay over was still worked up ( you can not get off on a lay-over) and then sadly euthanized after he smashed the crate into pieces. that was an 18 hour flight. His other flights were short 3 hour ones.
In general, if they travel well by land then air isn't a huge issue. Price on the other hand maybe double or triple what you'd pay someone to haul by land. If you decide by air I would never ship a horse without a flight groom, to me that's a deal breaker.
I would also rule the ferry trip out.
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