Moving Dilemma - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 05-19-2018, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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Question Moving Dilemma

Hi all, sorry if this isn't in the right section of the forum, but I didn't see anything that was really more applicable. I'm looking well well into the future at moving to be with my s/o across the country in early/mid 2019. I want to start planning and saving for the move now, as I know moving my horse and my exotic animals is going to be expensive and difficult. I'm at a loss for what to do with my horse. I've already been scanning barns in the area and have a few in mind that I'll contact for stall availability when the move gets closer (like maybe 3 mo/s ahead of time?). But I'm having trouble deciding how to actually get him there...

I'll be moving from within a few hrs of Seattle, WA to just south of Raleigh, NC - apx 2,800 miles. Do I pay a commercial hauler? Do I rent a trailer and pull it with my rented u-haul box truck, then have my truck shipped? Do I ship my large non-living belongings and pull a rented trailer with my truck (putting a looooot of miles on a 2004...), and have other animals and personal items in the cab? Do I pay for everything, including the horse, to be shipped professionally and just fly myself down there? Should I pay to have the more 'critical' exotics put on a flight (eg. the turtles, fish, my parrot, and water dragon) but the horse and belongings travel by truck? Do I move before or after my horse has been sent off if I pay for him to be hauled professionally? I'm thinking before, so I'm there and moved in to the barn when he's arriving? I've never had him hauled more than 4 hours, and that was close to 5 years ago when I purchased him.

Anyone have experience with big and/or lengthy moves with animals? Send help, ideas, advice, whatever. Can anyone recommend any good shipping quote sites/links, specifically horse hauling, or good long-term (like 4-7 days, not just a 1 day or weekend thing) rental companies? Or places that will let you rent from one location and turn in the vehicle to another location cross country?

Also I know this will be a common question on peoples minds: Why am I the one moving when it seems like a lot of effort/work/money? Easy: by the time we're ready to move in together his house will be paid off. He also has a lot of family in the area, and I'm not very close to the minimal family I have nearby up here. He has good work there, and it looks like I'll have no issues finding work in my field as well. I plan to apply for jobs later this year. I like to look at the future in a "whats best in the long run" sort of way, both financially and emotionally, so this seems to be the better option for both of us. Hard? Sure. But I'm confident it'll be worth it. I just want the least stressful options, and hopefully not have to sell my soul to afford it!! lol

"The horse, with beauty unsurpassed, strength immeasurable, and grace unlike any other still remains humble enough to carry a man upon his back." -Wise and Greatful
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post #2 of 12 Old 05-19-2018, 05:31 PM
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I moved my horses clear across the U.S. twice. I moved them myself BUT in your case, you would probably be better off finding an ethical shipper and ship your horse.

Get yourself a Ryder truck big enough to pull one of their car hauler trailers that they also rent. Put your truck on that trailer and hook it to the Ryder truck.

Is your SO flying to Washington to help you move and keep you company during the move? If not, you need to be lining someone up that you trust to make the trip with you. That person's trip would be all expenses paid by you, including their airplane ticket to fly back home to Washington once you got to your destination.

As I said I made the cross-country trip twice. I pulled my three horses. Two of my son's good friends each drive a Ryder truck and one of those trucks pulled my car, and one pulled my son's classic car. I paid ALL of their expenses, including flying them back home whenever they were ready.

Regarding your exotics ---- you sure can't put them in the back of the Ryder truck and I doubt any horse shipper would want that sort of responsibility. You will either need to keep them up front in the Ryder truck with you or re-home them before you leave Washington.

It won't be cheap, so start splitting hot dogs now and working two jobs if you have to. Best of luck:)

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #3 of 12 Old 05-19-2018, 05:51 PM
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Unfortunately, moving is never cheap, especially when animals are involved. I've never had to move exotic animals, so I can't offer any advice on that (how would you transport fish?) but here are some of my experiences/tips from my recent long-haul move (ND > NY).

I rented a large U-Haul truck for my belongings as well as an auto transport to tow my car. It was expensive, but I feel like it was worth it to keep the miles and wear'n'tear off my car. For me, the price of having everything professionally transported was astronomical - I highly recommend you look into shipping prices now, and get quotes if possible.

If your horse is in a good barn where you trust the staff to take care of him and to help load him up for a shipper, I would move him after you are in NC. That way, if there are any issues on his arrival, you are there to assess and manage it. My two horses (22 & 16 years) had been hauled maybe a total of an hour before I had them transported across the country but they handled it remarkably well. Have your barn send the hay he's been eating with him, as well as an extra couple of bales if possible, so that when he arrives he can be introduced slowly to new roughage.

I found my horse shipper via https://www.uship.com/. I went with someone who had hundreds of positive reviews. It also can't hurt to join Facebook horse groups around your current and new living areas to see if anyone might be willing to haul your horse around the time you will be moving.

You're smart for thinking and saving in advance for your move! I wish you the best of luck on it.
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post #4 of 12 Old 05-24-2018, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. I think the plan at this time would be to rent something for my truck to be hauled, with a lot of the "I don't care" boxes in the cab of my truck (books, clothes, etc). I'll pay to ship the horse, and ship the only three big things I care about (110yr old dresser, large custom turtle tank, and my relatively nice custom desk). I'll overnight the fish, and whatever exotics that can go in the mail. I'll keep the "extra sensitive" exotics in the Ryder cab with me just to be safe. Meaning mostly invertebrates (stick bugs, tarantulas, etc) in the mail and the turtle and water dragon in the cab in carriers on heat, plus parrot on my shoulder haha.

Going to have the horse arrive after me but I'm the only one who can pack the fish and inverts safely so I'll set everything up for them at his place during my last temporary visit. That way it'll be ready for him to put them into when they arrive, and the fish tanks and plants in the tanks can be established. He knows enough to cut open a package and coax a bug out, or float a fish bag to acclimate temp then release them, but I want/need to be there when the horse gets to his new place. ... Ugh. Time to double my rate of savings lol Anyone see any potential issues with this? Ways to do it cheaper? I'm sure I'm missing something
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"The horse, with beauty unsurpassed, strength immeasurable, and grace unlike any other still remains humble enough to carry a man upon his back." -Wise and Greatful
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post #5 of 12 Old 05-24-2018, 10:57 PM
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There might be a cheaper way but it probably won't be a safer way:)

You sound to be retry well organized mentally - able to jump out a second story window and land on your feet running:). Believe me, that is half of the battle.

The money is the rest. Have some extra cash or credit card built in for the unexpected.

These days the Internet has web sites with national avg. gas prices to help you figure fuel needed. Ryder can tell you the avg MPG on the truck you lease.

Please Keep posting and update as you can:).
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A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #6 of 12 Old 05-25-2018, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walkinthewalk View Post
There might be a cheaper way but it probably won't be a safer way:)
Agreed haha I try to have my ish together as best as possible... Even just letting little things slide like pre-bagging my guys supplements I try to keep up on. A week out there and a week at home. When he runs out I toss the next 7 out there and get to bagging the next weeks within a day or two. Just in case something happens, you know? As someone who has zero student loans, and doesn't own a credit card, I'm currently just tucking any extra money into my savings account. I already work two jobs but am planning on changing one of my income sources to something more reliable. Slightly less pay/hr but more reliable hours, if you get what I mean. That should help...

I imagine it would be wise to get all set up with a credit card before the move and be prepared to potentially put some of the expenses on it, yes? I've just never needed one since the majority of my expenses (board, farrier, rent, etc) require cash or check upfront, and I don't live outside my means in terms of paying for gas or groceries. I do have good a good credit score to my name, as I've got a loan on my truck I've been paying off since this time last year without help or missing payments, so I'd assume that gives me a good rep. going in to apply for an actual credit card.

"The horse, with beauty unsurpassed, strength immeasurable, and grace unlike any other still remains humble enough to carry a man upon his back." -Wise and Greatful
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post #7 of 12 Old 05-25-2018, 06:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThoroughbredBug View Post
Agreed haha I try to have my ish together as best as possible... Even just letting little things slide like pre-bagging my guys supplements I try to keep up on. A week out there and a week at home. When he runs out I toss the next 7 out there and get to bagging the next weeks within a day or two. Just in case something happens, you know?

Yes, I do and I was reminded last weekend when I got my first ambulance ride --- ever--- in my entire 71 years:). Both my remaining horses are special needs --- their expensive supplements stay in the house with the lids marked as to who gets what. My DH was able to figure things out that night but called me the next AM, after my 104 fever had subsided, to be sure he was doing things correctly --- I have learned it takes a 104 fever to make me lose some of my organizational skills, lollol


As someone who has zero student loans, and doesn't own a credit card, I'm currently just tucking any extra money into my savings account. I already work two jobs but am planning on changing one of my income sources to something more reliable. Slightly less pay/hr but more reliable hours, if you get what I mean. That should help...

Well, a BIG congratulations for not having student loans! That was a lot of self-sacrifice on your part. My nephew graduates from Ohio Northern this year. He has a few loans I think but my younger brother has always impressed upon him that less is more when it comes to debt:)

I imagine it would be wise to get all set up with a credit card before the move and be prepared to potentially put some of the expenses on it, yes?

Yes BUT, check into putting a freeze on it, so nobody can check your credit if you get hacked. When I moved cross-country, I put all the fuel & motel expenses on the credit card. When we layed over at horse B&B's, I had cash in a thank you card, for the owners. I actually did that for all the layovers as it was easier to pull a marked envelop out of my purse than dig for cash, in the dark, after pulling the horse trailer 8-12 hours every day, lol


I've just never needed one since the majority of my expenses (board, farrier, rent, etc) require cash or check upfront, and I don't live outside my means in terms of paying for gas or groceries. I do have good a good credit score to my name, as I've got a loan on my truck I've been paying off since this time last year without help or missing payments, so I'd assume that gives me a good rep. going in to apply for an actual credit card.

You will do just fine! :). However, I can't say enough how critical it will be to keep your back covered --- stay on high alert for approaching strangers --- take the keys and lock the Ryder when you go into a store. Try to park it to where the driver side is clearly visible to the world. If you can find someone responsible that you trust to ride with you, then fly them back home, do that.

I had other drivers with me, plus my Rottweiler rode in my truck with me. One of the guys snuck up on the truck to see what Beau would do ---- he knew Beau but said he still almost needed a diaper change after staring into the wide open, lips pulled back mouth of that 125# dog, lollollol
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A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-25-2018, 09:13 AM
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I think you've already gotten good advice, but I'd reiterate that you will want a credit card. I don't know how rentals work in the US, but in Canada, you can't rent a car without a valid credit card. They want a deposit in case you damage the vehicle, smoke in it, etc.

You may also need it for hotels, etc. And in case something catastrophic happens, and you can't get to a bank machine, you need a credit card. As long as you pay it right off, it won't hurt your credit, in fact, it will help build your credit because it shows you are responsible with credit.

I think your plan of being there before your horse is the best one too. Can't help you with the exotics... didn't know you could mail tarantulas! But it sounds like you have a good grasp of what they need.
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post #9 of 12 Old 05-26-2018, 02:08 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info/reassurance lol I'm going to have to get set up with a credit card soon here... I imagine I could do to put groceries or something on it, then pay it off each month just to build my credit. I'm paying to have s/o fly up here just to ride with me, and I'm assuming I'll need him to do the rental. I'm paying him back of course! But in the US you need to be either 21 or 25 to rent a vehicle, and I'm fairly sure anything above a "normal" car is 25yrs to rent. "Normal" being just the regular stuff you rent when your car is in the shop or if you're on vacation and don't fancy walking everywhere. But looks like a Ryder rental will need the driver to be 25, and he's going to be 26, maybe 27, around the time I move...

@walkinthewalk I wish I had a dog to bring with... Always grown up with dogs but "my" dog is technically my mothers, and I'll be dropping her off at moms place before I leave Washington. Just in terms of safety since I'm 5' max, I do carry, I'll be keeping my old revolver on me just to be safe. But s/o is 6'3 200-some lbs of capable fighting southerner so I feel a lot better about traveling through strange areas for days on end with him along for the ride haha I'd rather him give someone a dirty look than myself have to bring a weapon into a sketchy situation.

@Acadianartist Yeah I figure it's about time I buck up and improve my credit. I'd like to have the card on me just for emergencies anyways. In life generally not even just talking about the trip. And yes, fun fact of the day for ya: You can totally mail tarantulas! And the stick bugs. And their food: Roaches (minus Florida). Their metabolism is so slow that they don't need oxygen like we do, or dogs/cats/birds/etc. You just tuck them into a deli container with some damp paper towels and tape the lid down with a few little air holes. Pop it in a box with some air packs or something, and maybe a heat pack if it'll be chilly and they're on their way! It's the getting them in there that's the hard part lol
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"The horse, with beauty unsurpassed, strength immeasurable, and grace unlike any other still remains humble enough to carry a man upon his back." -Wise and Greatful
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-26-2018, 03:58 AM
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As far as transporting exotics goes, the fish will be difficult depending on species. I always suspended my bags from the vehicle's coat hooks, the suspension keeps them relatively stable in the bag and not so much vibration and jostling unless you're doing stunt driver moves and slapping them against the window. Speaking of which, the bags will lose oxygen/gain co2/change temperature very rapidly, so they will need to be covered against too much sun or too much cold air, and if you can't pump them full of oxygen before closing I'd suggest travelling with the bags open to allow decent oxygen exchange. This is a long trip, so resign yourself to the fact that unless you travel with an air pump/heater/filter you may lose a few of the more temperamental ones.

Never had any of the other critters you mentioned, although I am currently owned by an Eclectus parrot so I have LOTS of experience travelling with one of those. Has your bird travelled before? If not I would accustom him/her to car rides now, otherwise you'll end up with a blown eardrum and a panicked fid an hour after you leave. If you're going to be driving a long way I would highly recommend a decent travel cage, one that you can buckle to the seat for security. NEVER travel at high speeds with your bird on your shoulder, this is very dangerous and your bird can end up anywhere in the cab - including under your foot - or start chewing on cables or something and you'll have a huge wreck on your hands. For everyone's safety, the bird is best left caged for the duration of the drive.

Some birds don't like seeing everything whizzing by and like to be covered. Other birds (my Akasha is one of these) love to stare out the window and see things, and will actually scream when covered. Figure that out now, so you're not having to constantly stop on the drive and change things around. Bear in mind that A/C or heaters blowing directly on your bird will cause their nares to run and they may catch a cold, so you'll have to make them comfortable in the vehicle without air blowing on them. Also, be prepared to hear everything your bird has ever wanted to tell you, over and over and over and over again, for the ENTIRETY of the drive. 90% of Akasha's vocabulary has been learned on car rides, and we will converse the entire time - even during the 18 hour drive to visit my folks in Las Vegas. Playing loud music in an attempt to drown them out for an hour will only result in louder bird-speak. You will have no choice but to talk to your bird, unless you want to listen to screaming. So get comfortable talking to your bird, and bring some cough drops and plenty of water to wet your whistle! Personally I love talking to Akasha for the first 5 hours or so, then my throat gets dry and I start whistling instead lol. If we have to drive for more than 1 day, she's usually pretty quiet the 2nd day - balancing on her perch all day long must be exhausting.

I don't travel with water in her cage, but I do feed her watery foods like apple, celery, watermelon, things like that during the trip, and stop several times to offer her water. Lay a cloth down on the seat or you'll be picking food bits out of the upholstery for days afterward. If your bird is harness trained, some time out of the cage at a quiet rest area will be appreciated. Akasha always likes to sit in the sun at lunchtime and have a short nap on my shoulder, out of the cage for a while, while she commandeers my food and drink. She is old hat at car trips though, and loves the attention she gets, and is very well trained to wear and move around in a harness - don't do this if your bird isn't trained or doesn't like attention or being outside, you'll just stress him out for nothing. If your bird isn't harness trained and you either can't or don't want to train him to accept it before the move, it's best if he remains in his cage. Never rely on a bird's clipped wings to keep him earthbound - even the harshest wing clips can allow a parrot to fly with the proper headwind, and you DON'T want to discover that he's overdue for a trim after he decides to go on an adventure in the middle of nowhere.

-- Kai
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