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Shipping a Horse or Livestock

Shipping a horse or livestock cross-country requires some up front planning, and finding the right transporter for the job. Preparing the horses or livestock several days before it ships will make the experience less stressful. There are some important questions the transporter should be asked first to ensure that the horse or livestock arrives at its destination in good condition.

Questions To Ask Horse Transporters

Shipping horses is not like shipping freight. Before you accept a bid, ask the transporter for references from prior customers. Call several references and ask for their general impressions of the shipper. Did the horses arrive in good condition? Were they too hot or too cold? Were they well hydrated? Feel free to contact us for more details.

Ask your how often they stop to check the horses. If the horses or livestock will be shipped through several climate zones, they should be checked every few hours. A horse that is comfortable when it leaves a 70-degree climate will be too hot when traveling through an 80-degree climate. The transporter should adjust ventilation in the shipping trailer as often as necessary.

Prepare the Horse to Ship

If the total shipping time is over ten hours, consider adding oil to the horse’s feed several days before it ships. This will help prevent impaction during transport. If you can, remove the horse’s shoes to prevent injuries. If you cannot remove the horse’s shoes, bandage it from just below the knee to the coronet band. Keep in mind that you may need to acclimate the horse to bandages if it is not accustomed to them. Just before shipping, check for loose nails and trim the hooves.

When the truck arrives, inspect the horse trailer yourself and verify that the horse will have plenty of hay and water. Complete any paperwork and other last-minute preparations before the horse is loaded on the truck.