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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I will be moving and taking my horse with me. It's about an 8-10 hour journey.

I had a hauler scheduled to do it in one day, but they had to cancel due to being needed for large animal evacuations.

I'm glad I was able to schedule a new hauler last minute who can haul my horse so that I can be there to load him, and there to unload him. The horse isn't great about loading, takes about 30 minutes for him to feel comfortable with the trailer before he slowly goes in.

When I got the haul schedule it said that they would be stopping overnight. I read on their site that they like to leave difficult to load horses on the trailer at night as it is less stressful for them and saves time. I was wondering what the general consensus with this is.

My previous horse was retired in the town they will be spending the night in and I also have a trainer friend who moved there a few months ago. I was thinking about touching bases with these people to see if they have a spot he can be in a stall overnight and if they can help load him as a possible option.

Now, I'm not sure if the hauler is planning to leave them in the trailer, or if he has a place lined up for them to spend the night in a stall or paddock, I need to call and get more information this weekend, I just got the schedule last night and it's early morning here.

This hauler gets great reviews and really seems like he knows what he is doing. His rig has misters and cameras in each stall for 24 hour monitoring. The horse will have a trailer size box stall for most of the trip, hay, and access to water. All the reviews he gets online are all glowing.

I'm a little worried since my horse has always seemed to hate riding in the trailer and he is sensitive and gets really bad diarrhea, especially when he is nervous.

If the hauler is planning to keep the horses in the trailer over night, is this something reasonable to do? I've never heard of this practice before.

Thanks!
 

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It might be ok, but if they've been driving during a hot day I would think the trailer wouldn't have enough time / ventilation to cool down sufficiently at night. I would also feel better having my horse unloaded and given a chance to walk a bit. Even if it's from the trailer to the horse motel. There have been too many horror stories of horses left on trailers only to colic or develop pneumonia. I would enlist the help of your friends, meet or follow the rig to the overnight area and take care of the unloading and the morning load up.
 

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I have heard of "good ole boys" who leave their horses on the trailer overnight regularly. The times I hauled long distance, I never wanted to do that. On long distance hauls, I have found that difficult loading horses start getting used to trailering for several days and start loading readily.

One time I did leave a horse on the trailer all night. It was a weanling pony, and I hauled him from Florida to Maryland. We literally lifted him into the trailer as he wouldn't load. I hauled him untied, as he was not trained to tie, (was not even halter broken) and left him untied all night in the trailer. He did fine. His new owner in Maryland kept him all his life and he turned out to be a wonderful pony.
 

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is this a professional hauler with box stalls in a semi? If so, it's not a big deal and as long as it's not overly hot where your horse will be, and he drinks well, he should be ok. If he's in a standard compartment or slant, no. I would not leave a horse on the trailer overnight unless there is no other option, especially if he is the nervous type.

Can you work with your horse ahead of time so he loads better? I would think that would be ideal, and then he could be unloaded and rested as need be.

I've left horses loaded overnight twice--- once was during storms when we were camping-- I loaded the horse back up as we were expecting hail. They spent the night in the rig as it just kept storming and the stock pens at the campgrounds were underwater by midnight. The other was during a long haul with a yearling who had not been handled. Unloading him would have been too risky. He had half a stock trailer to himself, so was basically like being in a stall, and he did fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think it will be pretty hot out, it's been really hot here lately.

I am worried about him not drinking, but he is smart enough that he doesn't let himself feel bad, he is always drinking even when we went through some really bad weather lately.

The trailer is a 6 load slant that will have 3 horses in it. It looks like the panels can be rearranged to convert to box stalls, as in some of the photos he had the areas open and it looked like it was around 8x8 or 8x10.

I've trained a few horses to go onto a trailer but I don't have access to a trailer to train him with.
 

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Most professional haulers have no difficulty loading a "difficult-loader"....
They have years of experience, exude presence and the horse respects the leadership being presented and go...they just go.
I would leave it to your shippers discretion....actually, you don't have any choices.
Once you put that horse into that shippers care, it is their responsibility to get the horse safely to the destination.
No professional shipping company is going to allow a unknown to be on their rigs, handling their charges...it just doesn't work that way.
I've never seen it...just never.

I've shipped both show horses and race horses and never did I "load" the horse on the rig.
I brought the horse to the rig, then handed them off to competent hands and abilities and off they went.
I've also met the rigs delivering horses to my barn location and never was I invited aboard...
I was met on the ground with the horse handed off to me at that point.
On the rig...not when you deal with professional shipping companies.
You don't know what other animals are on board and they surely are not going to put anyone, human or animal in harms way or risk...
That is why it is so important to ship with well-known companies with excellent reputations..
:runninghorse2:...
jmo...
 

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I guess I'm a little confused by your post.

Where does it mention if it's safe to leave a horse on a trailer overnight?

You mentioned how you load...and how you handle the horse and how she loads for you.
Now you are referring to a professional shipping company.

My point is it is not up to you.
Once you hand that horse to that shipper he will make those decisions of stays on or is removed...
You can give input, but it is their decision.
If the horse is on a trailer and you refer to unloading her at any place other than a barn, then yes, she is safest on a trailer, period.
The less times she must walk on or off a rig the safer she is...
Most large shipping companies have lay-over barns they own and use if needed.
Private facilities with their own employees taking care of the barn and inhabitants.
Just because a truck stops for a short time though does not mean the horses come off either.
If the horse is riding on a air-ride suspension trailer, in a box stall...that horse rides better usually than you do in your car on the road in comparison.
Air-ride takes out the fatigue of road vibration to the legs...
In the shipping companies ads and website it should state if they use air-ride trailers or not.
:runninghorse2:....
 

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Ok, so I've never used a paid hauler, but this all sounds a little weird to me.

First, why would anyone need to stay overnight for an 8-10 hour trip? I would first of all find one that went straight through.

Second, when I did look into hauling a horse a long distance, the professionals giving me bids ALL had box stalls or large straight stalls with air-ride suspension so the horses wouldn't feel the bumps in the road.

I would not haul a horse a long way and leave it overnight in a slant load.


Third, I have hauled my horses (my truck and trailer) long distances and a couple of times they did stay in the trailer overnight. BUT it was a stock trailer with a center divider so both horses could turn around and shift their weight, talk to each other, see each other. I had mats and deep bedding for them.

Forth, what kind of experience does this hauler have? Does he pick up horses and haul them to auctions or does he haul million dollar Thoroughbreds to races? Or something in between?

Someone used to hauling low budget horses may treat the horses in a less than careful way. Someone carrying millions of dollars worth of horses is going to be VERY careful of the horses feed/water/comfort needs.
 

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Pro shippers can load anything, anywhere, anytime. It's their job and they do it well. I have done both leave the horse on the trailer overnight and taken them off and laid over at a horse hotel. They've all come off the trailer just fine, eating and drinking well. I prefer to take them to a horse motel and drop them off and then go to a motel myself, but in some cases when it's been time to quit and I was out in the middle of God Forgot Where It Was Nowhere, I've slept in my truck and the horses have stayed on the trailer. None of us suffered any lasting discomforts.

One thing you can do before the trip is to give your horse a couple of tubes of Immediate Response to help his gut stay settled. You can also give him electrolytes before he leaves, and I also salt their feed pretty heavy for a day or 2 before they go, so they will be thirsty and drink.
 

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First, why would anyone need to stay overnight for an 8-10 hour trip? I would first of all find one that went straight through.
Just to answer this, it depends if the OP'S horse is being picked up on a route where horses were loaded previously.
Say if the hauler started in NW Oregon that morning, stops in Northern CA(Ca/Or border) to pick up OP's horse, they might over night a few hours down the road, maybe around Saramento. I'm just using these destinations as examples..
Next day OP's horse gets drop off mid day at his destination, say Tulare. Hauler continues on his route maybe with horses loaded before OPs . So the trip gets split into 2 days even though it's only a 8-10 trip.
Been my experience, haulers want a full load on a route so they will get hauled with other horses.
I do have a hauler who frequents my place to overnight who specializes in older horses, mare and foals or those who dont want to ride share. It is not cheap to book him.


Anyhow I have overnighted a horse or two in my stock trailer with no problem. Really no different than a box stall. I wouldn't purposely do so in a slant load with dividers with no way for him to move around.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So, yes, they are picking up some horses, coming down to pick up my guy, then heading back up to pick up another horse. That will take up the whole first day, then the second day heading the rest of the way, picking up 1 more then dropping off my guy.

I had a nonstop trip scheduled already but like I said they cancelled last minute due to emergency evacuations. I'm in the process of moving myself so while I think it would be ideal to get a one day trip I think I'm going to stick with what I have scheduled now with this hauler so that I can also give myself some time to get stuff squared away for me. Unless there's some huge red flag that comes up and it seems like a bad or dangerous situation (So, yes it is up to me, not the hauler if my horse will go with them?). Additionally I can afford this haulers price, and some quotes I've gotten are just outrageous so I don't want to try and push my luck with a day to go and end up paying 5 times more.

This hauler seems to have hauled all kinds of horses up and down the west coast, but these days he likes hauling mustangs. They used to haul as their primary business and stopped to be more focused on ranching. They are on the older side now, so I think that's why they now just do the occasional haul.
The trailer has suspension and while it is a 6 horse slant, it won't be full so they will have a 2 slot wide stall, and should be able to turn around and move a bit. There is also mats and bedding. It's really a pimped out trailer from what I've seen.

I have a clay supplement I give him that works really well for his nerves which I am planning to give him before he goes and will send some along if they feel it's needed.

My horse isn't bad to load or anything, he's not great either. He has only loaded onto a trailer a handful of times and one of those was from a chute at the BLM facility. He really likes to sniff and look around the trailer and then he walks right in without a problem. I just want to clear that up since I am getting the feeling people think he is difficult. He is inexperienced and I don't mind that he takes his time to feel safe.
 

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I would never leave my horses in the trailer overnight- it is too hot in Florida for that. With the temperatures we are seeing I would not risk it. That trailer gets really hot inside, and traps body heat even at night.


There are tons of places with campgrounds/stalls for horses to stay at. If I'm traveling far, I will be stopping somewhere to unload.
 

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I know of one big-time owner who says he instructs his staff to ALWAYS keep the horses on the trailer when hauling. His philosophy is for every bad thing that might happen to a horse on a trailer, there are a hundred that could happen in the process of unloading and loading. All the horses he moves around are $25,000 and up.


I have only made one long haul, and I unloaded several times a day. I even unloaded him once in the parking lot of a busy Applebees's restaurant.


We might all have strong opinions one way or another, but I don't think your horse will come to any harm if he stays on the trailer overnight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I guess they changed the schedule as they were running behind so it looks like he will not have to spend the night on the trailer, unless they change the plans again...
He will get picked up in the morning and delivered in the evening.
 
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