What You Need to Know When Shipping Your Horse- An Interview with Leading Equine Transporter
By Paige Cerulli
Whether you’re shipping your horse an hour away or are transporting him overseas, you’ll want to do your very best to keep your
horse healthy and relaxed during the trip. How better can you learn about tips for shipping your horse than directly from experts in the field?
Apollo Equine has been a leader in horse air transportation since 2008. Karl Webster and Lupe Marquez have been working in equine transportation since 1998 and have since built Apollo Equine into a horse shipping company that is respected and trusted. Apollo Equine ships some of the highest standard of horses in the world, and imported and exported horses for the World Cup in Las Vegas and the Longines L.A. Masters.
We sat down with Karl and Lupe to get their advice about shipping your horse and keeping your horse healthy during transport.
Do you have any tips for a successful shipping experience?
A successful shipping experience depends on good planning. If you are using a shipping company, carefully research the company and start planning the trip well ahead of time. If you are shipping the horse yourself, then schedule stops and book overnight stays for your horse, if necessary.
Make sure that you also have all of your paperwork ready ahead of time. You may need health certificates and vaccination records if you’re traveling out of state, and the requirements for shipping a horse internationally are very strict. Find out what you need ahead of time and get your paperwork in order before the trip.
How do you advise keeping a horse hydrated during a long shipping trip?
Keeping a horse hydrated during transportation is vital to the horse’s health. Horses who get dehydrated are at risk of other health issues, like impaction colic. We advise giving your horse electrolytes a few days before shipping him. Make sure that you or the shipping company stops every few hours to offer the horse water.
If you’re taking a short trip away from home, it’s a good idea to bring some water from home so that your horse doesn’t have to deal with drinking strange water at a different facility. Some horses are very particular when it comes to the water that they drink. If you have to give your horse different water, then adding a product to the water, like Horse Quencher, can make that new water more appealing. Horse Quencher does a really good job of keeping horses hydrated for long overseas flights or long shipping trips.
Do you have any tips for choosing a good shipping company?
Do your research, and don’t make your selection based only on rates. Find out about the company’s reputation and pay attention to the customer testimonials that the company provides. Look into the company’s history – you want your horse to be transported by people who are experienced in both transporting and in handling horses.
You will also want to look into the equipment used by the shipping company. If your horse is traveling across the country, then you will want him on a vehicle that has an air ride to help reduce the stress of the trip on his body. You don’t want to trust your horse’s safety to sub-par equipment, and you should stay away from any shipping company using equipment that you wouldn’t trust fully.
Ask how the horses are handled during the trip, and what measures are implemented in order to keep them safe and healthy. Are there breaks to water and feed horses, and will your horse have a chance to get off the trailer during a multi-day trip? Any quality shipping company should make your horse’s health and safety a priority – at Apollo Equine, we treat your horse as if he were our own.