Transporting your horse over a long distance is extremely taxing on it physically and mentally, so plan accordingly. It is important to trust such a sensitive project to highly professional shipping partner service providers, like Avon Solutions and Logistics. We make the job easy without any stress on the horse. Learn more about the challenges faced during shipping and how to overcome them from our expert-advice article given below.
Types of Horse Shippers
Commercial shippers transport horses on high-traffic routes and may not unload their horse until it has arrived at its final destination. You will almost always need to contract with a commercial shipper well before your trip. Once you have contracted, your reservation will not be complete until you have paid a deposit to the shipper (normally 50 per cent of the total cost to ship).
Independent shippers are individuals who own their trucks and trailers and ship horses individually. They are insured and knowledgeable about dealing with emergencies involving both the horse and the transportation equipment. If you use an independent shipper to ship your horse, you will pay for the actual fuel consumed, and are responsible for any return travel costs.
Factors to Keep in Mind While Shipping Horses
When shipping a horse, you should be aware that you may incur additional costs if the horse is difficult to load, the driver must stop, or the access road at either the origination or destination point is difficult to negotiate. The essential parameters to consider while shipping a horse are:
- When shipping your horse, you should know how long the horse will be in the vehicle, and the driver should keep all parties informed of the expected pick-up and arrival times.
- If your horse is being shipped, make sure the trailer is large enough to accommodate your horse and that the shipper has a truck large enough to tow the trailer safely and securely.
- If your horse is under stress, you should inquire whether the shipper or shipping company carries medications and whether the driver is qualified to make a diagnosis.
- If your horse is being transported, make sure to inquire about the trailer’s temperature, how often the driver stops, and whether there will be more than one driver.
- If the horse is being transported across state lines, the driver must have a current health certificate and a copy of the horse’s negative Coggins test.
- Every horse’s immunization should be current, and you should inform the driver if your horse has any unusual characteristics that could cause it to become ill or injured during transport.
- Before shipping your horse, consult with your veterinarian about the appropriateness of using leg wraps, bell boots, tail wraps, electrolytes, oil, and other items.
- If your horse is to be transported, ensure that the shipping company has your contact information and that the driver has all the necessary information about the destination.
Steps to Take Post Shipping
Once the horse has been unloaded, take him for a walk around the barn. If the horse has travelled a long distance, examine him for injuries, brush and rubdown his feet and legs, and feel the heat. After your horse has settled down, please give him a thorough brushing and make sure he has plenty of hay and freshwater. Grooming the horse provides an opportunity to check on its overall health.
- Start with the horse’s coat and comb to loosen dirt and dead skin.
- Clean the horse’s legs and saddle with a sponge and lift each foot to clean the hoofs.
- Detangle the horse’s mane and tail as much as possible, using commercial products.
- After your horse is groomed, allow it to spend some time in the paddock.
Challenges Faced During Shipping Horse & How to Handle It?
When a horse escapes from a crowded show area, do not encourage onlookers or courier partners to track him down. If your horse escapes, proceed with caution. Be familiar with various strategies for dealing with situations. The horse’s herd instinct and his natural fear of predatory behavior when approaching him are the two things that motivate a loose horse’s actions. You must override your first instinct and outwit the horse.
If a horse is scared, it’s best to wait for him to return to you on his own and provide him with treats or food.
- A horse in the red zone is highly reactive and may snort, rear, or otherwise behave menacingly.
- The horse is in a yellow zone, can be approachable. Be patient, and offer treats if available rather than trying to capture them.
- A horse in the green zone is generally calm, and you can approach him in the same way you would approach any other horse in a pasture.
If your horse is lost, notify the police, sheriff, and emergency services, and notify nearby animal shelters. Consider having your horse’s branding, freeze marking, or micro chipping done as an option to prevent any such mishap.
You can create a profile on social media, post notices on Facebook, and update your posts regularly to find your missing horse. Keep the search organized and use a brightly colored surveyor’s ribbon or sticky notes to be stapled to trees.
Create and stick a poster of the horse’s information in gas stations, feed stores, sporting goods stores, grocery stores, and the local paper. Reprint the poster as often as necessary. Besides all the steps, if you still cannot find your horse, check that you have adequate insurance coverage before you pick up a new horse.
Veterinarians recommend feeding your horse a diet primarily composed of forage in the days before the move. This will encourage your horse to drink more water and stay healthy during transit. When transporting your horse, take precautions to protect your horse’s legs by laying down rubber mats and giving your horse a break every few hours. Ensure that the horse’s quarantine period is between 1-3 weeks after moving to ensure its safety.