Local Horse Transport

Horse Jitney is located in Howard County Maryland and offers local and regional horse trailering for one to five horses for barn to barn moves, clinics, shows, and emergencies. If you are interested in a local transport for your horse, please contact us for a quote. Rates are based on total mileage from Horse Jitney headquarters and returning from transport and may be subject to a minimum. Call to discuss your specific needs.

Long distance horse transport - regional and across the nation

Request a quote info@horsejitney.com or call or txt me at 301-526-8273

When shipping your horse long distance there are a number of things to consider that can make or break how well your horse travels, including:

  • Trailer type (Gooseneck or tractor trailer - step up or ramp access)
  • Stall configuration (straight stalls, box, slant, open
  • Driver's horse care and handling experience
  • Water and hay access
  • Frequency of rest breaks

I have shipped thousands of horses and traveled nearly a million miles and am happy to share with you what has worked well for me and my clients' horses.

What you should know about shipping with the Horse Jitney:

  • Trailers are custom-configured with extra length in the horse stalls
  • Horses travel in either an oversized straight stall facing forwards or backwards or ship loose in a box stall
  • The trailers are 40 feet long and hold up to five horses
  • Full wall stallion dividers separate horse areas just like stalls in a barn
  • Horses have access to hay and water at all times
  • horses are not unloaded during rest breaks

Requirements for interstate travel as directed by the United States Department of Agriculture.

  • Current coggins dated within 12 months of travel
  • 30-day interstate health certificate - your veterinarian cannot write a health certificate without a current coggins test
  • Check with your state and inbound barn for additional vaccination requirements - do not vaccinate your horse within two weeks of travel.

It is your responsibility to have accurate paperwork or else we will not transport your horse and you WILL be responsible for the full fare

YES, your horse is required to have a health certificate dated within 30 days when traveling across state lines. It is the law.

Long Distance Shipping Information

When shipping your horse distances long distances (over three hours), there are a whole new set of parameters to be concerned about that aren't in play at shorter distances.

Water and food

Horses must drink, and they will and do readily, even the fussiest of horses, when water is kept available at all times, not just presented for a minute or two at stops. After about three hours the horses will generally start drinking. I monitor closely how well a horse is drinking, and will let the receiving barn know if I have any concerns.

They must eat plenty of hay to make up for the amount of energy (calories) burned during travel, and they are burning quite a bit as their bodies are working hard holding themselves against the general sway and motion, very much like a human doing Pilates for hours on end. I keep hay available at all times, and request that you send a bale of their own hay along so we aren't making too many changes.

I do not recommend giving grain en route. It would be similar to graining a horse that just took an hour break at a horse show but is about to go back out and perform. It's better not to put a large bolus of heavy grain in their belly when traveling.

Rest

Rest time appropriate to the length of travel is extremely important, and they should be tied long or completely untied so they can stretch their noses down and blow dust and debris from their lungs just as they would at home in their own stall. These factors help prevent shipping fevers, colic, and fatigue. I stop every three hours for about 20-30 minutes, usually timing it with fuel or stops to deliver or pickup other passengers. I also stop after working 14 hours with 11 hours of driving, in accordance with the Department of Transportation laws. Your horses stay on board and I stay with them.

Space

For the comfort of your horse, our trailers provide ample space for even the largest of horses with overisized stalls that allow him to adjust his stance as needed, and even lay down when shipping in a box stall. They have an interior height of 7'8" with expansive head room for those long-necked warmbloods as well! Individual vents and windows are adjusted as needed to accommodate climate changes. Full stallion walls and head dividers limit interaction between passengers. The suspensions are rubber torsion, providing a very smooth ride that's easy on their joints.

Recommendations for successful, healthy travel

Dress for success

Do not bubble wrap your horse!!! Resist the urge to over-dress your horse. Leave the bubble wrap in the barn. Forget the boots, head bumpers, and tail wraps. Leave the wraps off. Why? Because unless all of those items are things your horse wears 12 hours or more a day in all types of heat and humidity, the risks of problems increase significantly with every hour they are on your horse. They hold heat in, and when your horse sweats under equipment he wants to rub that part of the body, just like when he sweats under his bridle and rubs his head on you after work.

When they rub a head bumper, it dislodges and falls over the eyes, scaring your horse and causing head injuries as he flails to get away. When sweat rolls down a leg under boots, the boots slip, scaring the horse or he kicks and dislodges the boot, scaring the horse, or worse, strangulating a tendon. Unless you are a professional wrapper, and your horse routinely lives in wraps for the length of time he will be traveling, don't wrap. Need I say more?

Prepare your horse

  • Reduce grain rations 48 hours prior to traveling and even wet the grain he eats a few meals ahead of travel
  • Accustom horse to any tack they will wear during travel prior to the trip
  • NO head bumpers or tail wraps!!!
  • No boots and wraps only if you are an exceptional wrapper - better to leave them naked
  • Practice loading before the big day
  • Do not feed grain within 2 hours of travel
  • Supply at least one bale of hay
  • Don't over dress your horse - remember horses and over-the-road-travel generates quite a bit of heat!
  • Do NOT lunge or work your horse prior to travel or chase him around an arena right after arrival
  • Tell me about any odd behaviors, likes, and dislikes
  • Mention any and all medical conditions your horse has had recently or during travel such as colic, ulcers, fractures, infections, etc.

Request a quote info@horsejitney.com or just give us a call at 301-526-8273

Some insights from my experience

If you have a horse with hock issues, I prefer to put that horse facing backwards to keep the pressure off the hocks, and if your horse has a front leg injury, I prefer to ship it facing forwards. Please let me know if your horse has any special needs or health issues.

I much prefer a straight load trailer over a slant because it allows direct access to each horse without unloading horses for deliveries or in an emergency situation. Horses in straight loads have a much larger space and they are less fatigued because they are not limited to using just the left side of their body to balance against the motion.

The trailers have two 10x8 box stalls and one 9x8 box which have full floor to ceiling divider walls, grilled at the top for excellent ventilation. Horses ship loose in the box stalls, which is our preferred method for trips involving two nights en route. Mares with foals, weanlings, most yearlings, and all neurologic horses or horses with HYPP should be shipped loose in a box stall.

It's hard work for a horse to balance in a moving trailer, and even though these trailers have the smoothest of rides, horses get fatiqued if they don't have enough breaks, so I stop every three hours for at last twenty minutes, with longer breaks to avoid rush hour traffic whenever possible.

Even onthe rare occasion there are two drivers, I prefer not to run the trucks 24/7 because it's too hard on the horses without a significant break. I generally stop the truck from midnight to 7 or 8 am to give everyone a break. Most horses are thankful for the break and quietly eat their hay, drink water, and snooze. When they are ready to go, they'll let us know, as we sleep in the trailer with them so we are right there in case there's an unhappy or sick camper on board.

Request a quote info@horsejitney.com or just give us a call at 301-526-8273

How we drive

We believe safety of the horses and humans comes first and foremost, though we do try to stay on schedule. What this means to you is that if we miss a turn, we DO NOT slam on the brakes to miss the turn, but find the nearest safe place to turn the rig around. We drive at a safe speed, moving with the flow of traffic on highways, depending on traffic, weather, and road conditions. The care and health of the horses must come first, and we will do our best to communicate with you throughout the trip.

While it may take us a little longer at each stop, we find the horses arrive in stellar condition, regardless of age or attitude. We promise to take good care of your horse and keep you apprised of our location, but we cannot promise a specific pickup or delivery time well in advance as we are usually traveling many thousands of miles before arrive. We will generally provide a 3-5 day pickup window up until about a week ahead, when it will narrow to a couple of a days, and as it gets close we will communicate with you so the horse is ready to go. Please remember, the weather and traffic conditions in your location may be radically different than where we were 10 hours before we are due to arrive at your farm.

When traveling off the highway, we typically travel with the traffic flow, but off the highway it is sometimes signficantly below, depending on the width of the road, height of the road crown, windy turns, and weather conditions. We ask that you tell us about any one lane bridges, low overpasses, one lane roads, steep hills, or tight turns ahead of time. When planning our route, you can help us get to you safely by identifying any obstacles that might cause and 18 wheeler tractor trailer to have trouble... we are affected by many of the same conditions.

What you should know about loading and unloading your horse

We reserve the right to unload and load your horse at or near your driveway or lane if we do not feel we can maneuver our expensive trailers in your location. We require 150 feet of turning radius on relatively flat, stable ground which is free and clear of any trees, bushes, jumps, pot holes, ruts, or mud. No winding driveways or steep driveways. We have a side ramp and will drop the ramp on your driveway, making it inviting for your horse.

Our job is to ship your horse - which means your job is to make sure you provide a horse that will readily load into a trailer. If your horse does not load within sixty minutes of arrival, we reserve the right to assess loading fees which start at $50.

We cannot risk injury to ourselves or our equipment, but will work with you to determine if loading is possible. Please advise us ahead of time of any issues you expect with your horse. Rarely do we meet a horse that takes this long, even when not accustomed to shipping.

Special needs horses

We are the preferred shipper for special needs horses, which are those horses who may have neurologic problems, injuries, inexperience, aged horses, HYPP positive, or babies requiring box stalls. We take our time to understand each horse's condition, and work with you to establish reasonable expectations, and advise on the best stall configuration.

Rates and Fees

Long distance rates

Rates depend on several factors, including the price of Diesel, but also the loaded miles, unloaded travel time to pickup locations, number of horses on the rig, number of drivers, tolls, and travel conditions such as mountains or heavy traffic. We quote fair and reasonable prices for the services we offer, taking into account our overhead for maintaining safe trailers, and actually paying the driver a salary. You wouldn't want us to ship your horse if we were working for minimum wage!

While we are happy to wait for you to pay your board bill, hose or brush your horse, bring him in from the field, pack his "carry on", bring the horse from another barn, or any other non-loading induced pauses in loading, there will be a $50 fee per hour assessed should we need to wait more than 30 minutes.

Request a quote info@horsejitney.com or just give us a call at 301-526-8273