Trailering 1000 miles
I know there are many threads about trailering horses here. I searched and read many of them. But this will be my first long trailering trip, and I am nervous about it, so please bear with me. :wink:
I'll be going from TX to TN, just under 1000 miles end to end. Mapquest says it's 16 hours by car, so I figure longer time-wise trailering. I have a water tank and plan to get him used to beet pulp or those new purina soaked hay blocks beforehand, and he normally takes good care of himself, so staying hydrated should go as well as could be hoped. I'll also be carrying the menagerie of other critters with me, but I've done that part before, but I was just hauling a cargo trailer that time.
I am trying to decide if I should stop halfway at a horse motel/fairground/etc (have some good links for those) or just drive on and get it done and over with. Both have their advantages- being able to get him off the trailer (though he trailers well), get some rest (hopefully) and take it easy over two days sounds nice. The cons are, I won't actually rest well worrying about all the critters, having to load/unload everyone, and dealing with reservations/directions. I almost think it'd just be easier to drive on and just pull off at a rest stop and take a short nap once or twice- then I don't have to deal with loading/unloading the horse and all the other critters.
In a 2H slant, should I have him ride loose? Or how I normally do- in the front slot with a trailer tie? He is happy eat and to pee in the trailer, for better or worse.
Haha Sharpie, as you already know I am doing the same trip, except from TN to TX!! I'm glad you posted this, I was going to post and ask also. Same trip for us both so guess I don't have to post now. Only difference is I will have more horses and a 2 month old colt too.
A friend of mine hauled from Saskatchewan to British Columbia, about 24 hours of driving time. She hauled 2 horses in an inline trailer (horrible things IMO, one big long single horse trailer, where horse stand in a line, head to tail), her vet advised her not to unload them otherwise they might not get back in, lol! She didn't unload them, her & a friend shared driving, but stopped and fed the horses in the trailer. Both were older Arabs, and travelled successfully and still loaded back into that trailer for other short trips. I would have a vet check before you go, as my friend did, just to see what they advise.
Since I am a vet, it makes the health certs and pre-travel check pretty easy. ;) I know what I would tell my clients, and plan on following my own advice (water from home, make sure they get breaks to put their heads down, wet hay/pulp if they'll eat it, hay, no grain, drive slow and easy, don't open that trailer door unless you're in a safe, fenced area, etc) but it's still something different when it's ME! Lol!
I am glad to hear that I am not the only one worried that if I let him OFF after 10 hours or so of travel, he won't want to get back ON the next morning! I did try the hydration hay today, and just as Joe said in my other thread, it's pretty much a giant hay cube. But it soaked really fast, in less than five minutes, was under $20 for a 12/case, and my guy liked it. I have eleven more, so I think that will be something to make sure he's got a bucket of every other stop at least. Tomorrow we'll see if he eats soaked beet pulp. :)
EMS- sounds like you're traveling with quite the zoo too! I wish us both luck and good thoughts! I hope you have a little time to feed up your new filly before you have to travel. Any advice on when NOT to go through Memphis? I don't know where your final destination is in TX, but do not go through Austin during rush hour! You'll add an extra two hours to your trip!
When are you moving btw? Happy safe traveling to you too!
We plan on getting the hydration blocks also, ordered them at the co-op Friday. It certainly can't hurt to give it a try! I'm mostly stressed about Pan just being 2 months and making such a long trip. I plan to bed their section well so he can lay and rest comfortably. I am also concerned about the filly making the trip being so underweight, but hopefully we can get some good weight on her before the haul. We are going to the DFW area. Every time we've been through Memphis it was night time so I don't have a clue lol! I would say try to avoid rush hour times, same thing for Nashville.
Are you going to use shipping boots?
I'll be heading up to Clarksville myself, so don't plan on going through Nashville, which is nice- one less city to avoid rush hour in!
No, I will not be using shipping boots. Quite frankly, I think they're over-rated (maybe I should run and hide for saying that!). I do plan on bell boots and polo wraps all around though to help prevent and cut or scrapes.
I have done both, the mad dash and the slow easy trip and I have found no difference in how the horses felt during or afterwards. What made the difference was how "road broke" they were. I find that horses that are used to traveling deal with it better than those that do not.
So really I think it is up to how you feel and you get a feel for how your horse is feeling once you get into the trip. We were prepared to do our last move(1700 miles) either in two days or four. I kept a list of places to lay over depending either way.
We trailer a lot with our 2 horses. We typically spend 6-8 weeks traveling and trail riding in the spring and again in the fall. We can travel at least 600 miles on our dual diesel tanks, but we still stop every few hours for potty breaks for us and the dogs and to give the horses a short break to pee and drink if they will (not often). Regardless of Mapquest, I always figure 50 miles takes an hour and it is pretty darned accurate. So, my guess is your 1,000 mile trip will really take the better part of two days. If you stop, your horses can rest overnight and so can you which will make for a safer drive.
EMS- you going with one day or two (if you know)?
I seem to change my mind with the weather still! I'm beginning to wonder if I'll ever make the decision properly. My guy was not initially sold on the soaked beet pulp being "food." And had to be completely tempted with mix of pulp and strategy to even consider it yesterday. Today he's still not thrilled about it, but was willing to fish some cookies out of it, play in it, and even eat about a third of a (soaked) gallon of it in the process. We'll see if we get the the point where he eats it willingly or happily by move day!
I think we are going to try to push on through....maybe, or we might stop over if we find a place for the horses. I'm in the same boat as you!! I'm worried to death about my mare and foal and him being able to handle this trip. He's a ball of energy and being cooped up is going to be hard on him lol.
So what all are you planning to "feed" while on your adventure?
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