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Horse Transport - A Frequent Necessity

Commercial  transport trailer with horses heads peaking through windows Horse transport is not a small business in today's world and horses are transported by sea, air, and train as well as by van and trailer. There are many commercial haulers large and small, and hauling by owner is also common, of course.


If you wish to make known to others, your own or your company's horse transport services, you may join our database users and create your Horse Hauling listing, yourself, and you may edit and update the listing at your own convenience throughout the year.


However, once upon a time, moving horses by transport, while not unheard of, was an infrequent event. Yet it did take place. Archaeological artifacts prove that at east one horse was transported by boat as long ago as 1500 B. C and 5th century Greece has documented for us in their written history, the transportation of war horses.

Horse transport no doubt received it first strong motivation from the desire to take the asset of the horse into battle and conquest, from the days of the Vikings to the discovery of America and through both World Wars. Early horse transport by ship, caused much suffering of horses and many deaths from the 1500's right through the 1800's.

The moving across distance of a single, very valuable horse has also been recorded in England, in the early 1700's, when sling suspension in a structure pulled by horses was used to transport a race horse (owned by royalty) to the track. Again in the late 1700's a horse drawn vehicle was used to transport the famous Thoroughbred foundation sire Eclipse, who suffered from very sore feet. So, this early version of a horse trailer changed for the better, the entire history of the Thoroughbred breed.

Of course horse transport changed forever with the invention and then the common used of motorized vehicle by the 1900's, and has been improving ever since. Whether by ship, train, van, trailer, or air each mode has its advantages and its dangers to the horse. With the ever growing concern in civilized countries for the welfare of the horse, much has been learned by both experience and research. In the commercial and private horse transport methods utilized today, much is to be learned, questioned and considered before hauling a horse
commences or is hired.


If the selected mode of horse transport is via one's own trailer or van, or by commercial vans, there are many things to be considered.

Is it better to place a specific horse in a large or small box, a single? This may be determined by the age and health of the horse, by the sex of the horse or if the animal is a broodmare and in foal. Many horsemen say, if in doubt, choose the box. Do you prefer a solid partition between stalls? There seem to be theories to support each opinion. Those who do not advocate a solid partition say that a horse feels more free in being able to spread its feet when it wants or needs to do so and the same reasoning advocates not tying the horse. Horses that are younger or older should be separated.

Is it better for the horse transport to face the horse forward or backward? Most research shows that a horse facing the rear of the conveyance will tend to be more at rest in positioning of legs and head and also be better able to brace against movement.

Should the horse be shod all around, or only wear shoes on the front hooves? Should all legs and even the tail be bandaged, and what kind of bandages? Generally bandages should begin just below the knee and extend to cover the coronary band of each leg. Bell boots can always be added.  Be sure to check for loose nails or a spread shoe as a horse can easily injure himself unavoidably and a horse stepping on himself is unfortunately common if traveling without suitable protection. Separate shod and unshod horses!

Horse transport is mainly concerned with getting the horse there safely and in comfort, with the smallest amount of stress possible. For sure, there are many concerns of health such as, water, ventilation, prevention of too much heat or too much cold. To allow a horse to become too hot is very dangerous, and cooler is better, but too cold engenders health problems also, so temperature control is of vital concern, be it by window or vehicle temperature control and a clipped coat must be taken into consideration in relation to the temperature of the season or the vehicle and drafts of air. An optimum temperature range is 75 to 90 degrees F (24 -32 degrees C).

orse transport companies, and vets advise against grain feeding while hauling, but insist on lots of water to avoid impaction. Feeding hay is desirable as this helps the horse s body to retain water and also gives the horse something to do.

Is the horse to remain in the transport vehicle or is he to be allowed to move around after so many hours of confinement and artificial movement? It is very clear that periodic exercise is the more healthy approach, especially for the long haulers.

Many companies offering horse transport provide video and personal monitoring, with horses being checked personally every two to three hours. Special needs of individual horses are also a service offered by the commercial hauler, as well as service in the event of a breakdown or illness or injury of an animal while traveling.

Whomever is responsible for the horse transport of each individual equine needs to be aware of the health requirements for interstate and out of state trips. Proof of Coggins with current health certificate is required these days, and perhaps much more. You can determine the requirements of different states by going to pretty universal. To find out the different state requirements within the United States, call 1-800-545-8732 or visit the link provided below for legal health requirements and protection.

From ancient times to modern times the reasons behind transport have included: horses long distances for their role in the military, racing, breeding, horse shows, deliveries to buyers of horses, emergencies, vet appointments, and slaughter. Research and talk to many horse transport companies to make the wisest decisions. It makes little sense, economic or emotional , not to safeguard the safety and value of your horse when transporting them. Many commercial firms advertise on the internet as well as in phone directories and online there are search databases for transportation to specific destinations, putting horse transport companies looking for a full load with the horse owners who need to arrange shipping. Most companies require that your horse have basic manners and be halter broke; some require that the horse will stand tied. Ask questions about a calm, clean, healthy environment. Long term stress of 24 hours or more can cause a number of problems in various physical systems of the horse.

Listings on this site by companies who sell or construct horse barns ;can be located in the Shopping section of the site, and individual listings will display product information, often photos and pricing, and contact emails, phone numbers and links to individual Horse Transport companies.

You may also wish to visit the site section about Horse Trailers.

Other HSC site areas of interest to horsemen are Horse Industry Stables/Farms/Ranches, Stallions at Stud, Horse Associations - Clubs and Horses for Sale - each area offers an online search facility.

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