Moving your horse cross country
This past May I graduated college and it has always been a dream of mine to move out west somewhere like California or down south. I am currently in snowy Maryland and would like a little more sunshine in my life!! I obviously would be taking my horse wherever I go but I was wondering if anyone has ever moved their horse a great distance like that and what their experiences were? I personally do not have a trailer but two of my cousins do, however if I went all the way out to California do they have special ways you could get your horse shipped out there? Also about how much would that potentially cost? Thank you so much!
ps. does anyone live in the San Diego or Jacksonville FL region that recommends any farms for boarding?!
Sure have. I moved my gelding just this past summer from San Diego, CA to Beaufort SC. It cost me a little over $2000.00 for the large stall (he's long) I used Nation Wide Horse Transportationhttp://www.nwht.net/
They do cross country trips in two legs from CA to CO where they are based out of (with a 2-3 day turn out and they check to make sure they are not stressing or having any problems) to SC. Trip in total I think took about 10 days. He arrived in great condition with a few less pounds, dead of summer stress of trip. But they were wonderful to him and have great communication.
We are military so next big move we make if I don't have a trailer or cannot co-ordinate lay overs for him I will use them again.
I have moved my horse across the United States three times, from Colorado to Massachusetts, then four years later from Mass to Colorado, and a year and a half later, from Colorado to New York so she could get on a plane and fly to the UK (well, to Amsterdam and then got on a lorry to go to England).
I had a trailer but went with the commercial shipping company because they have experience with transporting horses huge distances, whereas I don't. I hauled the trailer to Mass and back with a bike in the back. :) Shipping companies have stables where they lay over, whereas you'd have to find that on your own. Your horse also gets company for his long trip. The shipping company I used to move her from CO to MA and back was called All-State. The horse handling seemed fine but they transported the horses in an eight horse slant load, so it wasn't exactly luxury accommodation. It was relatively cheap though -- about $900.
When she had to go to JFK, the company dealing with the international shipping contracted with a domestic shipping company called Blue Chip, and these guys were awesome. They used to huge air ride truck, a far more comfortable ride than a trailer. My horse was reluctant to get on the lorry and the driver, who knew his horsemanship, did an excellent job convincing her that she wanted to go up that ramp. I'd definitely recommend those guys.
I can't remember exactly how long it took to go from CO to MA and back. Probably in the range four to six days. The UK trip was a total of 10 days to two weeks but she had a couple days layover in a barn in New York, a night in Amsterdam, a couple days at a barn in Kent, and a night in Newmarket. I reckon the US leg of the trip was five or six days.
It is undoubtedly stressful for them. The vast majority of horses I know who have done long distance travel drop a few pounds, but otherwise they are fine. They recover pretty quickly and put the weight back on.
Went 18hours south (ended up being 24+ hours because of the trailer)... Mom has to make frequent stops, so they were watered at least once ever two hours or so, and given more hay, allowed to look out of their windows. We stopped just south of Atlanta Georgia in a 'horse hotel', they also opened their home to us. They were very nice people, and even let us turn the boys out for a little while that morning. Five hours later, we were at our destination.
I can't imagine doing anything else different, except having to use more than one Horse Hotel. We wrapped their legs because of the distance, and bedded the trailer extra thick.
I personally moved my clydesdale in a 2 horse trailer from Virginia to California in August. 6 day trip. We stopped every evening and boarded her at horse motels along the way. Had a 55gal water barrel in the back with a spigot and hose to offer her water when we stopped for gas. She took very well to traveling. I looked into shipping costs. When the time comes, if you still don't have a trailer, try uship.com. Haulers can bid each other for your business and you can end up getting a decent price. Not all on there are pros and have pro rigs, though, and you want to make sure they have insurance on not only their rig, but for your horse if anything happens. Having experienced hauling on my own, I would recommend you not cancel out the option of hauling yourself. Take some of that shipping money and find yourself a trailer with good tires and a good floor. Trailers are a great investment and keep giving. :)
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Thank you guys for the advice! I got a few quotes from some of the larger shipping companies and they ranged from $750-$1580. Im not moving soon but I just wanted to hear some reassurance that its not impossibly expensive to do so. This way my dream is staying alive!!!
I haven't moved, but I have bought horses from all over (including SC, I'm in Az) and had them shipped to me. It's done all the time :) I (and several others) highly recomened Hauled Right www.hauledright.com and they're very affordable :)
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