Thursday, October 30, 2008

How to Pick a Horse Carrier

This is guest post written by Leslie Hsu of, an auction-style marketplace for Horse Transport.

The majority of us would prefer to stay with our equine when he has to be transported. However, there are some instances when this is not possible, and we must entrust in others to do the task for us. Here are some guidelines to remember when looking for a horse carrier to help keep your mind at ease when your horse is in transit.

Make sure the horse carrier has a USDOT and MC number. This can be verified on Check that the driver is licensed and has good knowledge of the transportation laws in each state it will pass through. Also check to see if the driver has a live animal transport license and insurance that will adequately cover the loss, injury, or death of your horse during transport. Leave your contact information with the service provider incase a problem arises during transit. Checking for references isn’t a bad idea either. It will help give you a feel how the carrier handles the road as well as horses.

Here are some questions to consider asking your transporter:

· How many years have you had experience transporting horses?

· Do you haul a horse with his head tied?
- A horse should be left loose in order to prevent respiratory stress. When a horse is able to move around and lower his head, he is able to blow and clear his nasal passages of dirt and debris.

· How many horses do you transport at one time?
- If a horse is shipped with unfamiliar horses, this adds stress to the trip.

· How often will you stop?
- Water should be offered four hours or at every stop to prevent dehydration from occurring, and horses also need time to rest and use the restroom.

· Do you provide hay?
- Do not feed the horse grain or rich feed prior or during shipping as this may cause problems in the large intestine.

· What happens if my horse has a medical emergency?

· How often will you update me?

· What is your fee?

· How can I best prepare my horse for transport with you?

· What supplies do I need to pack for my horse?

Things to remember – Have your horse checked with a veterinarian within thirty days of the trip to make sure he is healthy and will be able to endure the journey. This is especially important if the expedition is long. Also, practice loading in and out of trailers with your horse, that way he can familiarize himself with the procedure and it will make it easier for the carrier. Shipping boots are also recommended to be worn on your horse as they serve as protection for the legs, however if your horse is not yet accustomed to wearing these, take time to let your horse get used to them before the journey.


Andrea said...

What a great post! I have thought about using a transportaion service when my colts turn two. I want to send them to Ohio to be broke. I know, how much farther away can I get?? But great questions. I will have to keep this post in mind for when I need a transportation service. Thanks

Rising Rainbow said...

Great post! There's lots of useful information here and I doubt most people even know about some of this stuff they should be checking before they ship a horse.

Callie said...

Informative post! Thanks!

Strawberry Lane said...

Great info! You've added a few more things to my "before shipping" list. Thanks!

Fantastyk Voyager said...

very informative post, thanks!

Katee said...

One last thing to remember: if you can avoid it, do NOT send any tack (aside from halter) with your horse!! I moved my gelding from California to Minnesota with a halter, lead, English saddle and Western saddle. When he arrived in Minnesota all he had was his halter! The rest had been stolen.

If you must send tack, take lots and lots of pictures, have the high $$ items appraised beforehand, make sure your shipper sees those appraisals and puts in writing that he is aware of what he is carrying for you.

As Nuzz Muzz will agree, finding a saddle is NOT easy. The check my shipper sent me was nice, but I really would have preferred my nice, broken in, perfect fitting saddle be sent to me instead!

Vaquerogirl said...

Great info! Thanks

Anonymous said...

uship is run with illegal carriers. They steal money and items. You need to go to their forum and read the "ASK MICKEY" section.

You will see the scams and people who lost everything because of illegal carriers on uship.

Please be weary when using that site. There are too many illegal carriers and uship allows them on their site and make it the users responsibility to verify that they are legal.

Like someone who never shipped is going to do that (until it is too late)