Transporting horses, especially over long distances, can be a large undertaking. Entrusting a stranger with the task of hauling your horse is scary. Use the following guidelines when selecting a transportation service:
- Always verify a hauler’s credentials. Transporters must be licensed by the USDOT and must display their license number on their website and business cards. You can verify the license of your prospective hauler by visiting: http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov/CompanySnapshot.aspx
- Ask the hauler what their feed and water policy is for long-distance hauling. If a hauler simply says that they provide feed and water, that is not enough. Horses often refuse water while en route. It is not uncommon for a horse to become dehydrated during transport. Look for a service that includes stops every 3 to 4 hours so your horse will have a chance to rest and rehydrate.
- Verify the transportation schedule. Look for a hauler who can meet your deadline. However, make sure that you and the transportation service account for rest stops and overnight rest. Providing sufficient rest for both the driver and your horse helps ensure your horse arrives safely.
- Ask to see the equipment used to haul your horse. Will your horse be in a separate stall with no contact with other horses? Is the trailer enclosed for winter travel or well vented for summer travel? If you have the opportunity to see the transportation provider’s, perform the same type of check of their equipment that you would of your own. Check the tires for sufficient tread. Ask to see a road-side safety kit. Check the trailer for solid flooring. Reputable transporters will be happy to walk you through their truck and trailer and answer your questions.
- Ask the provider for references. It is not enough to see the testimonials that the provider lists on their webpage. Ask for contacts and follow-up with those contacts. Especially seek references from people who’ve used the transporter for similar jobs to the one you need. If you are having a mare and foal delivered, ask for references of other mare and foal deliveries.
A reputable transportation service will gladly answer any of your questions and show you their equipment. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, you are placing precious cargo in their hands.