Long trailer trip questions - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 09-29-2020, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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Long trailer trip questions

Hi all, thank you in advance for any and all answers. We are going to be moving our horse from WI to Alabama. We are purchasing a new 2 horse slant. He has trailered very well in both slants and straight entry. The plan is to drive straight through, stop every four hours for water, let him rest, refresh his watered hay, etc. Maybe take a cat nap, lol. Should be about 20 hours give or take so I have no plan to get him out. Don't want to take the chance of a nervous boy not wanting to get back on. He's done 5 hour hauls by himself with no issues, so I am hoping we will be ok. I'm putting him in the first stall-- lots of discussion about the next part- I don't believe I will tie him. Let him stretch his neck as he wants. Have him in a breakaway halter with the lead thrown over his back in case of an emergency. Some are just so against this. It's kinda traveling loose, however he's in the tight area, not all open so I don't really see it that way? I will obviously have trailer ties and such. Does it sound like a solid plan? Oh-- Which slow eating hay nets does everyone like?

Thanks!

Monica
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post #2 of 5 Old 09-29-2020, 02:41 PM
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Are you planning on hauling him with the divider open or shut? If the divider is open, yes he needs to be tied - you don't want him turning around willy-nilly in a two horse slant unless the divider is taken out and there is no rear tack room. In my opinion, that space is just too tight for him to navigate in a moving vehicle, and you wouldn't want the trailer to jolt at the wrong time and put him on the floor.

If the divider is closed, I think it's up to you on whether or not you tie him. I tied my horses during a 10-hour ride, and allowed them full mobility of their necks, but I wanted them to have a lead on in-case of emergency, especially on my hard-to-catch mare.

I'm sure you know this, but absolutely no elastic/bungee trailer ties - they are dangerous in the case of an emergency and can hurt (and take out eyes) of humans and horses. Also, make sure to tie a twine loop to your horses halter ring, and then attach a nylon trailer tie - NOT the other way around with the twine attached to the trailer - same concern of the twine breaking and sending a trailer tie towards you or your horses face.

I would consider stopping and unloading for the night someplace with a 20 hour drive - my longest trailer ride with my horses was 12 hours, and that was when my horse was much younger and we had a roomy trailer. I would especially consider stopping if your horse doesn't readily eat and drink in a trailer - colic is a concern of mine because my horse will barely pick hay in a trailer (even the best, greenest, freshest hay) and won't drink either. If you have concerns of him not getting back on the trailer, well that comes down to training and patience.

Good luck - and I hope your horse adapts to the heat of Alabama well!
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post #3 of 5 Old 09-30-2020, 02:02 PM
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I did a 1300 mile haul eight years ago, but it was for a vacation, and I turned around and hauled my horse home. On the way out I took three days and on the way home I took two, and even at that I stopped several times a day and unloaded my horse and walked him around and offered him water. People do it both ways (never unload vs. frequent unload) and horses survive, so I don't have any advice. I was perhaps overconfident that my horse would go back in the trailer, but he did, and got better every time.
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post #4 of 5 Old 09-30-2020, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monicak View Post
Have him in a breakaway halter with the lead thrown over his back in case of an emergency. Some are just so against this. It's kinda traveling loose, however he's in the tight area, not all open so I don't really see it that way?
I would NOT do the above, either tie or don't and leave the lead OFF. You don't know if it would stay on his back and he could step on the lead pull back and break the halter then you have a loose horse if you do need to unload. Or if he didn't pull back but gave to pressure he could have his head bent for a ways..

If it were me and I have had to haul a total of 30 hours, I looked for a horse hotel in the middle and pulled them off, let them stretch their legs and slept in the trailer. But they have stayed on the trailer over 24 hours but that was someone else hauling.

Good Luck!! And be safe!
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post #5 of 5 Old 09-30-2020, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lb27312 View Post
I would NOT do the above, either tie or don't and leave the lead OFF. You don't know if it would stay on his back and he could step on the lead pull back and break the halter then you have a loose horse if you do need to unload. Or if he didn't pull back but gave to pressure he could have his head bent for a ways..
I was taught to do this by old timers. The lead wasn't just "tossed" over the neck - it was safely tied in a specific loop around the neck so it wouldn't drop off or get tangled under the feet. I haven't done it in years because now instead of using trailer ties I run the lead rope in the loop. The loop lays flat so when they pull against it the rope stays where I put it but if I need to get out quick I pull straight up - it comes right out.
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