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Transporting a Horse in the UK

Equine transport can be a very stressful process, not only for the horse, but for you as well. When you need to transport a horse, you want the most experienced transport services with the best ratings and reviews. You want to hire someone you can trust to care for your horse while on the road, and feel secure they will arrive in a timely fashion.

Transporting horses can be an expensive endeavour, especially with the amount of care horse transportation companies offer. From show horse or racehorse to a rescue horse going to a better home, we will go over how to prepare your horse for delivery, how to transport your horse, and how to save money on your transportation.

White horse against a blue sky

Horse Rescue Transportation

Sometimes it’s necessary to send a horse to a rescue, whether you can no longer care for the horse, or perhaps there is a horse you see being malnourished or mistreated. You also may be able to adopt a horse from a rescue, but don’t have a trailer. You may not have the time to go to Lincoln, Norwich, Monmouth or anywhere in between. Saving horses, whether bringing them home or sending them to a rescue, means finding the right transportation company with the right amount of care at the right price.

Transporting Show Horses and Racehorses

From steeple chases to championships to fleet racing, there may be a time you need your horse to meet you at the location of the show or race. Racehorses and show horses require a specific amount of care when transported. You want to check in with your preferred horse transport company and be sure they know the level of care you expect for transit. Research your transport options and their experience in transporting horses like yours.

How to Prepare a Horse for Transport

Always check that your horse is healthy before you start any journey. If there is an injury or an illness then the journey should be delayed, as you run the very real risk of making the situation worse, or perhaps contaminating other animals with the illness. It is very likely that your company of choice will want to see certificates of your horse’s health, so you will need to get your horse checked out with a vet prior to the journey. Even if there is no requirement for certificates, having a check over with a vet is a good idea prior to any journey.

Woman loading a brown show horse into a trailer

How to Teach Your Horse to Load into a Trailer

It's a good idea to get your horse used to the process of moving before the day, so you should practice loading into the trainer and unloading. Before you do this, it’s a good idea to get them comfortable with the actual trailer itself. Lead them around it and let them sniff and explore. Remain calm yourself and don’t build the experience up to be something out of the ordinary. Let your horse go into the trailer of their own accord, and never force them. The idea is to help guide them, not push.

Your horse should be aware of and use simple, regular commands. When using a trailer, a horse should know the following commands:

  • Walk
  • Stop
  • Back up
  • Turn around

The next step is to teach your horse how to go into the trailer calmly. The trailer needs to be parked in an area which is enclosed and quiet. Walk your horse towards the ramp in a calm and easy manner. Slowly guide the horse towards the trailer by the nose and use the command of ‘walk’. You might have to go over this a few times before you’re successful, but stay calm and let your horse find his or her way slowly.

You might need to practice this over a few times before your horse is not only confident but comfortable with the trailer. The easier you can get your horse to trailer, the easier the entire journey will be, and the safer it will be too, with less stress on your horse.

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Tips for Safe Horse Transportation

  • Ensure that you teach your horse how to go into and out of the trailer far in advance of the journey.
  • Check the shoes of your horse carefully and if you need advice on bandaging, ask the transportation company what they would advise.
  • Unless specifically advised by your vet, avoid tranquillising your horse.
  • Arrange the journey so your horse isn’t rushed, and they have time to rest and go at their own pace on the day.
  • Ensure you give your transportation company a list of any requirements you have in terms of how you want your horse to be moved.

Horses in a horse trailer

Using uShip for Your Horse Transportation Needs

uShip is your one stop shop for finding the perfect horse transportation company at the perfect price. Simply create a listing for your transport needs and information on your horse, including any special needs they may have. Once your listing is complete, you will start receiving transport quotes from couriers who specialise in moving horses. They will be competing for your business, ensuring you get the best rates. You can talk to the transporters while they send you horse transport cost estimates, so you feel confident the courier has the experience you know you need. uShip puts you in complete control of who you work with and for how much. We also supply an extra line of support, should you need it.

How Much Does Horse Transport Cost?

The cost of horse transport varies depending upon several factors, including horse delivery costs per mile, the size of your horse, and any other special requirements you have. The average price to move a horse around the UK ranges from £1.93 for moves less than a 100 miles, transport above 100 miles averages around £0.83 per mile. For more information, check out our page dedicated to Horse Transport Costs. Here you can check past journeys and get a real feel for what is involved, as well as the likely cost. This will help you become more confident in the process.

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