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Horse Transport - Long Distance Hauls!

Updated on April 12, 2011

They build slant load horse trailers, but that does not mean they expect you to haul a horse from San Diego to Maine in a slant load. Yet most small transport companies do just that. The horse is tied, has no room to move, cannot lower his head, and only gets to drink when water is offered. That is the way the transporter fits the most horses in his rig. And that is the way he can offer a low price.

Unfortunately, the LOW PRICE thing wins them a lot of business. People simply have no clue. They will pay lots of money for a horse on the other side of the country and then use the low cost carrier to bring the horse to them. I know because I did this for six years. I was Not the low cost guy. But people soon learned I was doing it the right way.

  • First and foremost your horse should have a box stall about 7’ x 10’. Most haulers would have two horses in this space.
  • Paste your horse with a good pro-biotic and an electrolyte the first night. He will eat and drink and you will be merry as a result.
  • The horse should have full access to water. I used to set a 30 gallon tub on the floor and fill it with about 20 gallons of water. If the water splashes out you are not driving safely, so it is a good check.
  • You can use a typical hay bag that hangs, or put a second tub on the floor for hay. A horse needs to lower his head for good respiration.  Do Not Feed Grain!
  • Clean shavings should cover the floor and be changed every two days.
  • The horse can sleep in the box stall and it is better to take extra time and stop every night and let the horse rest. The idea of two drivers and keep on moving is common but hard on the horse. There are studies that prove this point.
  • Unload your horse every other night at a Horse Hotel:

  • I usually get a paddock so the horse can exercise. This enables you to keep the horse on board the next night without him bouncing around in his box with cabin fever. When the horse sleeps in the trailer so should you. This enables you to know if the horse is stressed out .
  • Make sure you have good ventilation in the trailer
  • Trailer tires should have a minimum of Load Range E and be at least 10 ply. The government allows a tire to be labeled Load Range E and not be 10 ply if the tire has certain materials. Do not trust that. Get 10 ply or better.
  • Of course check each box for the slightest thing the horse could find to hurt himself. Even a small exposed screw can hurt the horse if he insists on rubbing it.
  • When you stop for fuel or to eat, check the condition of the horse(s) and the availability of water. Many truck stops do not offer potable water to freshen your supply. Flying J is the only one that does at most locations.

I am not going in to the truck. I left my dealer keep my truck in tip top condition. You do not want a load of horses in the Mojave Desert with transmission fluid leaking on the ground. Be sure your truck is in top quality condition.

Baby arriving in Florida

Montana to Florida

Oregon to Newfoundland


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    • Terry.Hirneisen profile image

      Terry.Hirneisen 6 years ago from Shenandoah Valley


      Thank you so much for the endorsement. I am afraid I no longer transport. A number of factors did me in, the biggest being the economy. It was a wonderful six years thanks to people like yourself.

    • profile image

      Sherry Davila 6 years ago

      Terry did a very professional job for us two years ago when he hauled our pony from Wisc. to Georgia. He cared very well for each horse he was hauling. I would contact him again if I ever need horse hauling again. He is a great guy very trust worthy.

    • Terry.Hirneisen profile image

      Terry.Hirneisen 6 years ago from Shenandoah Valley

      Thank you crystolite.

    • crystolite profile image

      Emma 6 years ago from Houston TX

      Nice hub with great pics.

    • Terry.Hirneisen profile image

      Terry.Hirneisen 6 years ago from Shenandoah Valley

      Hey webguyonline,

      Thanks for stopping in! Not sure which image you mean.

      But I will check out your hubs!

    • profile image

      Cynthia Mercer 6 years ago


      I wish there were more haulers like you. And as my vet said for the distance that they came -over 5000 miles and the terrible ferry crossing! they were is good condition, mainly because someone cared! Maybe you can make a special trip when we move :)

      Cynthia Diana & Arador (Newfoundland)

    • profile image

      Michelle Roberts 6 years ago

      You are so right, Terry, and we all can learn a valuable lesson from your hub. We were blessed to have you transport out horses several times and the condition in which they arrived at their destinations after a 3,000 miles journey proves that what you say is correct. The horses never lie! We miss your skill in transporting, but how wonderful that you can pass on your knowledge and experience to benefit others. Keep on trucking - with or without your rig!

    • profile image

      Fay Paxton 6 years ago

      I'm so glad I came back. What a treat...Willie Nelson!!!

      You made my day.

      BTW, You might be on the road again before you know it. If the price of gas keeps going up, people are going to start riding horses, bicycles and roller skates.

    • Terry.Hirneisen profile image

      Terry.Hirneisen 6 years ago from Shenandoah Valley

      Thank you Fay!

      I loved transport, but it meant my wife had a farm to tend on her own for weeks at a time and hold down a full time job. Then came the recession and my breeders were not selling horses. So after six years I left it with many memories of my Golden Retrievers and I traveling down the road:

      Willie Says it well

      "On the road again -

      Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway

      We're the best of friends.

      Insisting that the world keep turning our way

      And our way

      is on the road again."

    • profile image

      Fay Paxton 6 years ago

      This is a very interesting hub, Terry. Driving along the highway, I've often seen the trailers and wondered about the horses far they were going, whether or not they were comfortable. Now I'll know what I'm looking at.

      Here's a little story you'll appreciate. When I was a kid, my best friend had horses. Her family gave me one to ride that I called Chablis. I loved being able to ride, but wanted my own horse. My Dad said no because there was nowhere to keep one. I stayed angry at him forever because I just couldn't understand why a horse couldn't stay in the garage. Afterall, it wasn't as big as his car. We live and we learn.:)

      Nice hub.