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Well, it looks like there's an excellent chance that my husband, who was laid off from his job back in March after 5 years, is finding a wonderful new opportunity back in our home state of Texas. We live in Virginia right now. That means we'll be moving once we sell our house. I've never had to haul my horses long distances before and wanted to pick your brains on some of the most important pointers. Shipping boots are an obvious one. Our trailer is an extra tall thoroughbred trailer with an escape door in the front so roominess is not an issue. I realize frequent stops are in order for everyone to relax a little. How often would y'all actually unload and walk them? And what about sleep stops? Would you guys crash in the truck and stay with the rig? How have some of you handled that? Of course I'll have all their vet records up to date. Anyway, just throw some pointers at me. It could be a while before this all actually happens but I figure I'll start getting all my ducks in a row early. Thanks a lot!
 

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I hauled 7 horses and a donkey from Tulsa Ok to Utah. We didn't stop for anything but fuel untill we were half way home then we stopped at a motel for about 6 hours. I think I unloaded the horses once each day and I just let them stand while we ate lunch. I don't like to walk a horse much during a long trailer ride because they have to work plenty hard to stand up while your driving. I would rather they just stand still and rest while we're stopped. The less room your horse has the easier it is for them to stand so if your trailer has partitions close them so they are pretty snug then your horse can lean on them. Also I didn't feed them at all on the trip. I got home with 7 hungry horses but none coliked, which is what I was afraid of.
 

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when i haul pretty far we always give some some oil with their feed in the few days before & no grain the day we start out. we try to stop every two hours & find a barn to stay over night at on the way where we can put the horses in a paddock. also soak their hay in the hay bags in water. i dont usually wrap my horses legs in the trailer or use boots.
 

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When I hauled 1500 this fall, we would stop every 4-6 hours, exercise the horse, let him relax for a bit, give him a chance to drink, and then be back on the road. When we stopped for the night, I would sleep in my truck, and the horse was tied to the trailer, or in a corral next to me (when we were at a 'horse equipped' stop).

I kept hay in the horse's manger, as well. No grain, just hay. I've never had a problem feeding hay in the trailer as I travel, and I've taken quite a few long trips. I find it keeps a horse calmer, and certainly is better for him to be able to munch, than have to wait all day, or have only a few snacks through the day. On our breaks, I would give him a bit of grain with some electrolytes, so that he would drink a good drink of water. Dehydration when hauling a long distance is a big concern, so the more water you can get the horse to drink throughout the trip, the better.

Wraps on the legs, and a head bumper if you have one are always good, and depending on how chilly it is and whether your trailer is fully enclosed, you may want to throw light sheet over them. I blanketed at night too, just so he was more comfortable.
 

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Hubby and I own a hauling business, (shameless plug) H4 Services - Home

It depends on the horse's on board, but in general if they travel well he just keeps going. When he stops for fuel they get a chance to rest, he will top up water and hay bags. If it's more than 10-12 hour's he'll find a nice place to pull over for a nap in the reach of the trailer. Again, he'll top up water and hay.

We don't tie any horse unless they're a danger to themselves or other horses on board. This is also better for their air ways, they can get their heads down and sneeze.

If the owners want shipping boots, they're on only for as long as they stay up, which usually on a long trip isn't very long....LOL. We have hauled 1000's of horse's and believe me shipping boots are for you the horse could care a less, they do just fine without. If they're nut balls well maybe......we have video display in the truck so we can see the second something isn't right.

We ask all of our customers to not feed grain the day of hauling and we only feed a local grass hay, nothing rich. We also suggest that they don't grain for a day or so after the haul if it's a long one.

Electrolytes for a day or so before is good idea, if they won't drink on the trip then giving more is fine too. One trick that never fails is pack some cheap beer with you. Empty the water bucket, pour in 1/2 a beer and let the horse drink it down. They rinse the bucket and put in fresh water, they'll drink!!!!

We also have dry hay cubes in the trailer that we can soak to add more water into them.

For your own horse's you elect to take them off the trailer, we never do but they're not our horses. Like Kevin said just the trailer not moving is a rest for them. Too many things can go wrong letting them off the trailer, they are much safer left inside.
 

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On our long ones when we stopped for fuel we gave them water. We kept wetted down hay in hay bags in the trailer. We wrapped legs on teh middle horse, but we never had a problem with the front or back one getting to roughed up. I like dividers in between them. We also didn't take them out of the trailer. We always worry about one spooking or an idiot running them over. When we get to wherever we are going we get them out, let them stretch, adn put them where they will be.

Keep in mind my horses are used to long travel as well. Good luck with your trip.
 

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^^^ There's the answer from the pro. Seems like good advice to me. I also agree about shipping boots.
 

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Here's just a thought-

Carry a first aid kit, just in case. Also, have numbers handy for equine vets along your route for emergencies. Accidents can and unfortunatly do happen and it's always best to be prepared.

Good luck on your move :)
 

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This is great stuff!!! Thanks everyone. I might just save myself $100 in shipping boots. I'm also glad to hear y'all don't really unload. One of mine is an iffy loader so if I don't have to unload him, I'm all for it. Love the beer tip! ;) Total trip will be right at 24 hours so we'll definitely have to take one rest stop but I think I'll probably let hubby get a room with the kids and I'll probably sleep in the van. We haul with a 12 passenger E350 so there's plenty of space to stretch out on a bench. One of the bennies of having 6 kids is a nice big roomy van. ;) Thanks again for all your ideas.
 

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If you do decide that your horse might cut up it's legs or somthing you could always cut up an old blanket into strips and duct tape it. LOL, sounds funny but it's just about the same thing and way cheaper! Good luck on your move!
 

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If my horses are going more than an hour away- hay net full with a bale in the back to refill- boots or wraps - if windows will be open FLY MASK- bell boots ALWAYS - shavings in trailer, they help the horse grip.
We stop pretty frequently to check wraps, boots, offer some water etc. I have never had problems feeding the day off trailering. I always make sure they have the feed an hour before though. You might want to just look into getting them profesionally hauled, it would be alot less work. We had Geof hauled up here from FL.
Also, you HAVE to have health cirtificates if you are hauling over state lines.
 

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Hey, I moved from NY to KS with my two horses and I was paranoid that something was going to go wrong. I didn't have shipping boots, but I used fleece polo wraps & they worked out great. Since we had a stock trailer, the only other thing I used was fly masks to keep dirt & anything else out of the horses faces & eyes. We stopped every 3 hours or so for fuel, and every other stop or so we watered the horses & checked wraps, etc. We also bought the cheap floor mats at Tractor Supply, and then put woodshavings ontop of that. They got constant access to a hay net, and that is all they got during the trip. We stopped twice during the trip for overnight stays, and because we stayed at "horse hotels", the boys got to get out of the trailer & into a paddock. Hopefully this helps some :)
 

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I'm from Texas and went to college in VA so my poor pony had to make that trip twice. My horse is also a spazz and would quirt poop everywhere just looking at the trailer..

The week leading up to the trip I cut her grain in half and gave her as much hay as she would eat.. the day before and the day of she didn't get any grain and we added electrolytes (preparing for the explosive squirts!)

She is also an iffy loader so I didn't unload her at all during our trip.. I also drove straight through.. If your going to stop over night I would just arrange and overnight at a barn.

I made sure my mare had grass hay in front of her the whole time..My mare also wouldn't drink AT ALL .. so every time I stopped for gas I soaked alfalfa pellets (and a little scoop of electrolytes) to give at the next stop and made it really soupy she finished it all! There are studies that show alfalfa helps decrease stomach acid and it really seemed to help her stomach.

All the shippers were pretty firm against boots. Most agree that they get uncomfortable causing them to stomp around even more... If your horse bangs around during loading just put on some sport med. boots and bell boots and then take them off once he's loaded and put them back on for unloading. I do put on a fly mask.. decreases the chance of debris flying into their eyes.
 

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I'm from Texas and went to college in VA so my poor pony had to make that trip twice. My horse is also a spazz and would quirt poop everywhere just looking at the trailer..

The week leading up to the trip I cut her grain in half and gave her as much hay as she would eat.. the day before and the day of she didn't get any grain and we added electrolytes (preparing for the explosive squirts!)

She is also an iffy loader so I didn't unload her at all during our trip.. I also drove straight through.. If your going to stop over night I would just arrange and overnight at a barn.

I made sure my mare had grass hay in front of her the whole time..My mare also wouldn't drink AT ALL .. so every time I stopped for gas I soaked alfalfa pellets (and a little scoop of electrolytes) to give at the next stop and made it really soupy she finished it all! There are studies that show alfalfa helps decrease stomach acid and it really seemed to help her stomach.

All the shippers were pretty firm against boots. Most agree that they get uncomfortable causing them to stomp around even more... If your horse bangs around during loading just put on some sport med. boots and bell boots and then take them off once he's loaded and put them back on for unloading. I do put on a fly mask.. decreases the chance of debris flying into their eyes.
Sounds like we've traveled similar paths. I graduated from UNT in Denton many moons ago. I had my first child in Dallas. We actually grew up in the Austin area and I had 4 children there and have lived in the Richmond, VA area the last 5 years and had our last child there. It's now for sure that my husband got the new job and we're moving back to Dallas. I can't wait because I'll actually be able to have my horses on my own property once we get there. We have a long road ahead of us but it'll be worth it. Thanks again to all for your tips.
 
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