horse transport

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by marvella, Feb 25, 2005.

  1. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    i agreed to take two old horses that were posted on this forum. both are older, one is blind and the other club footed. i didn't realize at the time how hard it would to be to arrange to move them here! anyway, what i have, almost, worked out now, is a half ton truck and i can rent a horse trailer from the co-op. also i have an experienced driver for them.

    what i want to know is... is a half ton chevy truck big enough to pull that trailer 300 miles? i don't want to tear up the guy's truck. all i have is a 93 s-10, and i know that's not big enough.


    any and all advice is appreciated.
     
  2. allenslabs

    allenslabs Saanen & Boer Breeder

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    It SHOULD be taking into account it works ok now. I've seen people go camping with an explorer pulling a 2 horse trailer. If anything if they guy wants he could go with you. Just a thought!
    Anyway best of luck!
     

  3. Phantomfyre

    Phantomfyre Black Cat Farm Supporter

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    As long as it's not a really big or heavy trailer, that truck should do fine. I have a 1/2-ton Chevy, and it pulled my horse and trailer from VA to MN (1200 miles) and back, then from VA to OH (about 500 miles), from OH to MN (nearly 800 miles) and back again. The VA runs involved mountains.

    My truck does have a heavy duty transmission cooler (I think I am remembering that right, but I'm having a brain fart at the moment...It's a HD cooler for something) and I made sure I didn't have it in overdrive in hilly areas or when accelerating. Once up to speed and on the flat, I'd put it in OD to save on gas. Took my time to save wear and tear on the truck AND the horse.

    These long-distance trips only had one horse in the trailer at a time, but I did often have the other half of the trailer full of other stuff and the bed loaded, too.

    The last trip from MN to OH was bringing my mom's retired 27-year-old gelding from her farm to my place. I had to take everything even slower than normal for him - VERY slow starts, stops and corners, lots of stops and breaks along the way to check on him, let him stand quietly and rest, offer water, etc. He handled the trip surprisingly well. He was a bit stiff and tired, but recouperated quickly.

    Another thing I did to make sure the horses would be OK was to give them electrolytes a day or so before the trip, to get them to drink up beforehand. Stopped grain 24 hours prior, but offered hay free-choice. Had a dose of tranquilizer with me from the vet just in case, and also made sure I had the paperwork needed to move the horses across state lines. (30-day health certificate, current coggins)

    Be sure to check the tires (condition and air pressure) on the truck and trailer, lights, brakes, floorboards in the trailer, etc. BEFORE you get underway. Trust me, sitting on the side of the interstate in the middle of nowhere with a loaded trailer and a blown tire on a Friday night is NOT FUN. (Fortunately, I had some horse friends who lived in the vicinity of that "middle of nowhere" who were able to come and help me out!)

    I hope that helps you out. Bless you for taking care of these horses. :)

    Diana
     
  4. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    bumped due to forum burp.
     
  5. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    that's odd. when i went to check on this post, at 1:30 am, it said no replies. so i bumped it and all of a sudden these three replies showed up.

    anyway, thanks to you all. i should know for sure by tomorrow. it's a 6 hour trip one way, but as far as i know there is no need to hurry. my DD is dating a truck driver, and i think he will drive his brothers truck. i've found a couple of horse transport people that i can hire if worse comes to worse. might be worth it, if it gets to be too much trouble. i'd like to do it myself, if i can.

    we are looking forward to having horses around again. i've been saying for years i wish i could find an old horse that wanted to live out his days on pasture. and lookie here! two of them!
     
  6. Cindy in KY

    Cindy in KY Well-Known Member

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    Where are the horses? From where to where in TN?

    We are meeting a roping horse trainer coming from SC tomorrow to KY.
    Just thought I'd ask.
     
  7. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I ASSume the trailer is a bumper hitch type and not a goose neck. The co-op trailers are VERY heavy because they know most people treat tham like a rented mule. Just the weight alone of that all steel horse trailer(again I ASSume) is going to be tough on the pickup. Now if you use this truck does it have a class 3 hitch(receiver type)? This is the only hitch you could or should pull a large trailer with. Also does the truck have a brake controller to activate the trailers brakes? I would not even consider it unless the truck had the hitch and the brake control. Even with all that it's not going to be fun for the truck.
     
  8. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    cindy- we are picking them up outside waverly (which is west of nashville) and bringing them to outside newport (east of knoxville.) will be glad to consider sharing transport costs if you are running parallel with I-40. you will probably take I 26 to I 40, to I 75?

    beeman- that's what i wanted to know. i looked at the co-op trailer this morning and it is a 4 horse, nice looking trailer. and heavy as heck. and a bumper hitch on the truck. we will be driving through mountains. i won't risk tearing up the guys truck.

    it looks like i should just go ahead and call the guy who has a good rep and is cheapest. by the time i spend enough money and try to rent a big enough truck, plus gas and meals for whoever ends up going, i could pay someone to deliver them to my front gate and save us all the trouble. if anyone is in the area and has the right equipment, and heading in that direction in the next week, i'll be glad to give the business to another forum member. feel free to pass the word.
     
  9. Cindy in KY

    Cindy in KY Well-Known Member

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    Wrong directions. He'll be going north then south again on 1-24 from Atlanta & then 1-65 thru TN & KY. He has to go back the same way as he's taking a pup for us down there. Good luck getting your horses.
     
  10. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    Bumper hitches are just for show and really shouldn't be used to pull anything. The ratings are a joke because they don't take into account how or who installed the bumper.

    Tearing up the guys truck is the smallest worry. Killing other people, the horses and yourself should top the list.

    Ask around your area or at the co-op and I'm sure you'll find someone that has a ton truck and a good trailer. I'm sure by the time this is over it would be cheaper to buy healthy horses from someone local. I have a feeling these horses are going to cost you a lot more than you can imagine.
     
  11. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We have a GMC Yukon with a trailer hitch. In October my husband pulled a three horse trailer with two horses in it from Shreveport, LA to Memphis, TN (normally a five hour trip without a trailer). Only problem he had was a broken belt in the engine which left him stranded on I-40 for a couple hours (should have checked his belts, etc. BEFORE he made the trip). Horses were fine.

    My BIL pulled three horses in a rented trailer behind his 1/2 ton extended cab on the same trip with no problems whatsoever.
     
  12. Phantomfyre

    Phantomfyre Black Cat Farm Supporter

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    Beeman brought up things I didn't think about, but are VERY important! Yes, definitely a receiver-type hitch! Never a ball on the bumper! :eek: And the truck will need to be wired for a trailer (7-way plug, sometimes 6-way) with a brake control box. Stock option on trucks is 4-way, I believe. So it might not even have the right plug recepticle, much less a brake box.

    IF the truck is properly equipped, is there someplace else you could rent a smaller trailer from? A big ol' steel 4-horse will be a lot for that truck to pull. A stock trailer might not be as bad, but a true 4-horse steel HORSE trailer = heavy! My trailer is steel, but it's a 2-horse step-up, without a dressing room. When it's empty, I barely know it's back there. Putting a horse or two in there makes a BIG difference, especially if they don't stand quietly.

    Check with horse vanning companies. They might not be as expensive as you think. Before I had my truck and trailer, I had my mare moved from Minnesota to VA (1200 miles). It cost under $500. I used a company called Horsin' Around Vanning - they did a great job. I would give some thought to that option.

    Diana
     
  13. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    beeman- these are free horses that come under the category of rescue. if i can't do it, i'll see to it they will go somewhere they can be taken care of in the way this woman hopes for. they are her pets and big babies, and when we talked,, it turned out we were all a good fit. i don't intend to use these horses for anything except pasture ornaments, and maybe to give my grandbabies a taste of being on horseback, being led around. i'm going to give it a couple more days and see if anything doable perks to the top. i just like animals, and i like fooling with them. keeps me out of trouble. i;ve always takn in strays ono oone sort or another, my whole life. at last it's not stray men any more. when they cost me too much, or were too much trouble, i couldn't put them down or give them away like i can a critter. LOL!!

    thanks anyway cindy!!

    phantom- i have been doing that for the past couple of days. a neighbor told me of a company that moved his horse here from memphis for $500. this distance is about half that, but the lowest price i've found yet is $400. still working on it tho.

    ken s- if you happen to talk to mrs. s, please tell her i am working on it and hope to have them within a week or so. i'll call her as soon as i have a definite date and time. thanks!!
     
  14. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Marvella:

    OK, your problem is solved (I think) since I also want these horses to go to a good final home.

    I have a large flatbed and 16' gooseneck, enclosed front cattle trailer. Back is low to the ground. I don't see why horses can be tied to the side rails. Has a cut gate in the middle.

    Here's deal. You come day before and make final arrangements (as noted above). I'll put you up overnight. Next morning we head in caravan to your place and you put me up overnight. I'll leave at o-dark-thirty next morning. Don't like to drive long-distances anymore. Eight hours is about max. This way I don't need to have a neighbor feed the critters.

    I have a spare bedroom and bath. I'll toss all of the eBay packaging boxes off the bed. However, I am a bachelor and housekeeping isn't one of my strong points.

    Your cost: My gas money (truck gets about 15 mpg hauling).

    I'm pretty well available anytime.

    Health certificates shouldn't be needed since this is intra-state. Do though talk to your local vet about how the horses should be prepped before loading. Since it is only about six hours I doubt they would need to be watered enroute.

    I can take trailer over to their old house in advance so they can practice loading them.

    Ken Scharabok
     
  15. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    wow!! ken, that is a great offer!! however, i'm 99% sure we worked it out. the truck i mentioned above is 3/4 ton, (not 1/2) and the owner says it should pull the trailer without any trouble. he says he has the right hitch too. my middle daughter is dating a long distance trucker and he assures me he knows how to do this, and is eager to earn some brownie points with his girlfriends mom. LOL!! so, as it is now, we are planning on getting them this coming friday. i'm going to call mrs. s later today. if somehow this falls through, i am going to take you up on this offer, ken. please don't worry about the housekeeping. lots of times i have better things to do than housework, myself! i'll gladly pay for your gas and meals, and something for your trouble as well. it would be nice if you could be there anyway, as i always enjoy meeting other forum members. they all have turned out to be good folks! thanks again for putting me in touch. believe it or not, i was looking for an old horse that needed a good home, and found 2.:)
     
  16. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    ps- i'll call the vet this week too. i imagine they need their feet seen to, and their teeth floated as well. someone told me the club foot could be corrected with a good farrier. i'll arrange for a farm call when i get them here. are you aware of any obvious problems they have? it helps to know in advance as much as i can.
     
  17. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No, they won't need water on a six hour trip. If something happens and it goes over that you will need to offer them water though.
     
  18. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    The horses haven't been in a stock trailer since they were very young. Only one has a halter on, so you will need to consider loading. Blind one follows the club-foot one around. What might work is for me to take my trailer over and have her husband try to get them use to going into it for feed. Then transfer them from my trailer to yours by backing up to each other.

    Also her husband has to move some stuff before a vehicle can access where they are. He is a packrat who has a preference for large objects which need to be in mechanical order to be moved.
     
  19. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    i truly appreciate all the help, ken. that might be a good idea to get them used to it. i picked up a couple of new halters and leads yesterday while i was at the co-op. be best to get them on while they are confined. i wondered if that is how the blind horse managed. i intend to keep them near the barn and the house for a while when they first get here. let her get used to the place and sounds for a while. it's going to be traumatic for them, for sure. i let the day get by me and haven't called mrs. s, yet, but will in the morning. last time we talked, she said she had a friend who is a horse person, and would also come to help load. may have to unload in the dark, or wait until morning. we're going to take it slow and easy. it depends on this truck driving guy's schedule, but there is the possibility that we move the whole thing to the following monday and tuesday that i have off from work. give us two days just in case.
     
  20. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Something else to think about is these horses haven't been on pasture the entire they have been with the S's. They have been in a woodslot shared with goats. Feed has been, as far as I know, commerical feed and hay. Before they are put on pasture you need to consult with the vet on the best way to do so - such as gradually.

    For a while you might want to tie the blind one to the other while it learns it way around its new home.

    Since they have been living in a small area the blind one likely feels quite comfortable in it. Road on one side and woods to the back so likely it can orient itself pretty well by the road and houses noises there.

    I would think twice about trying to correct the clubfoot on the one. It has likely learned to live with it and orthepedic (sp?) shoeing is rather expensive. Remember they haven't been shoed and likely haven't seen a farrier, perhaps as long as the Ss have owned them. They are on hard packed cherty ground now so likely it is keeping their hoofs down. If put on soft ground, such as pasture, they may need periodic trimming.

    Be very, very careful not to harm them with kindness. They are old and use to a certain way of life. Any change should likely be very, very gradual. For example, initially you might want to bring fresh grasses to them. The S's are more animal accumulators than good guardians.

    Your first stop when arriving back may be to the vet's clinic for a thorough examination. Ask if the vet would be willing to meet you after hours there.