The Best Questions to Pose to Your Horse Hauler

If you are thinking about hauling your horse across the county, state or beyond, do not give your business to any old horse hauler.  Meet with prospective horse haulers to find out about their services and pose some important questions.  Below, we take a look at the top questions to ask your horse hauler before handing over your horse for transportation. These are the same questions that Richard Schibell has been asking his haulers for decades!

Are additional services beyond the bare minimum available for higher fees?

If the horse hauler provides tiered services, find out what the higher fees provide.  If paying a bit more provides niceties ranging from comfortable accommodations to superior safety equipment or video surveillance of your horse while on the way to the destination, consider paying for the perks.

How long will it take to transport my horse?

You should be mindful of the time your horse spends on the big rig.  The average horse can easily endure a trip of two to three hours while positioned in a standing stall.  However, if the horse is traveling beyond a couple hours, a box stall should be used.  This way, the horse’s head will be free so it can move downward to permit mucous to drain out of the nose.  This drainage is essential to preventing illness.  Furthermore, providing the horse with additional room allows it enough space to move around.

If you are temped to bypass the horse hauling service and use your own trailer or van, do not do it.  Take the cheap route and you will almost certainly regret it in the end.  Big rigs have air-cushioned suspensions that really do decrease the stress applied to the horse’s body, making the trip that much more comfy.

What happens if there is a mechanical breakdown?

One of the worse possible outcomes of a horse haul is being stuck on an interstate road with a group of horses in tow.  A mechanical breakdown amidst a horse haul is a legitimately dangerous situation.  The best horse haulers perform consistent vehicle inspections and conduct preventive maintenance with regularity.  However, if a mechanical breakdown occurs, you should be aware of the company’s protocol.  You deserve to be aware of the safeguards in place to ensure your horses are safely transported.  Furthermore, you should know if the trip will be canceled, delayed or continued after the unexpected occurs.

What will you do if my horse needs veterinary care?

Ideally, the driver hauling the horses will be experienced with these animals.  The driver should check on the horses every now and then.  As long as he or she is experienced handling horses, it will be fairly easy to determine if something is wrong during the haul.  The driver should also be trained to provide equine first aid in the event of an emergency.  The business should provide each driver with a list of equine vets stationed along the way to the destination.  Furthermore, the driver should be willing to communicate with you immediately after health problems are noticed.

 Can I contact the driver at any time?

The best horse haulers are never too busy or too far off the grid to take a phone call.  The bottom line is you should always be able to reach the driver, regardless of his or her location.

What do you do to keep the transportation vehicles clean?

The big rigs should be thoroughly cleaned and fully disinfected between runs.  This thorough cleaning is essential to preventing disease and thwarting substances that have the potential to trigger a positive test following the race.

Is the driver qualified to transport my horse?

Any old big rig driver will not suffice for a project of this magnitude.  The truck driver should have a commercial driver’s license, known as the CDL.  Two drivers should be available just in case one becomes incapacitated.  A two-driver setup also allows one driver to sleep while the other drives.  This approach will ensure your horse reaches its final destination as quickly as possible.  However, it is a mistake to have two inexperienced drivers working alongside one another.

Find out about the drivers’ experience levels and whether they have been vetted in terms of background checks and drug checks.  Take a good look at the drivers when they arrive to pick up your horses.  If the drivers appear fatigued or off in any way, contact the company to make them aware of the development.

What is the horse hauler’s safety rating?

Take a look at the Company Snapshot database provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.  This database provides helpful safety information about horse haulers.  The information includes the carriers’ safety ratings along with a summary detailing the roadside out-of-service inspection information and crash data.

Consider What Former and Current Clients say About the Horse Hauler

Perform a Google search to find out what others have to say about the horse transporter you are considering.  You can also pick the minds of those in the industry to gauge which horse movers are ideal for the haul you have in mind.  Just be sure to give some leeway to companies with a negative review or two posted to the web’s online review directories as a single customer’s warped view has the potential to portray the company in an unjustified dark light.

In the end your not just paying for the haul itself. The peace of mind that your horse will arrive safely and in a timely matter is with the extra price tag. Richard Schibell Racing has gone great lengths in sourcing the best haulers in the country to ensure that their horses are given the best treatment possible. Do the same and make sure your animal is in good hands!