In addition to taking good care of your horse, we at Brook Ledge Inc. are
concerned that your horse travel in the optimum stall space to reduce stress
during the trip. Although we supply the standard stall alternatives (stall,
stall & 1/2 and box stall), we urge our customers to consider the box
stall option. Recent industry research and articles have noted the health
advantages of box stalls for transporting horses. Horses shipped in box
stalls arrive fresher and are less inclined to have any health issues related
to shipping. Most of the top stables and trainers ship their horses in box
stalls. Their experience has shown them that even though the initial expense
is higher, the actual cost is lower due to virtually no sickness or 'down
time'. Please note the following articles ...
"Do Your Homework: Make sure you ship your horses with licensed carriers" by Cynthia McFarland
Carrier Licensing Equine Transportation – Thoroughbred Times, June 25, 2011
This article noted the advantages of shipping a horse with a licensed carrier, which means its drivers are qualified to operate the rigs and its hours are logged and tracked.
"Mobile Horses Part 8: Shipping Fever" by Coree Reuter
Chronicle of the Horse, August 17, 2010
Shipping fever is a respiratory infection that affects the chest cavity and the lungs. It occurs most often during transport because of the stress of travel combined with the fact that air quality declines inside horse trailers if they arenât properly ventilated and horses don't have room to stretch out their head and necks. Because horses normally do not carry their head above the withers, cross-tying a horse in that position doesnât allow him to clear their respiratory track effectively.
Tips For Preventing Shipping Fever
"Thousands of horses travel every year and never have a problem," said Lewis (Jordan Lewis, DVM, of Palm Beach Equine Medical Center in Wellington, Fla). "But if you have a horse at increased risk, ship them in a box stall, make sure they're well vaccinated, and if you have a horse that's more prone, think about an immune stimulant."
- Trailers should be clean and well ventilated.
- Ship your horses loose in box stalls if possible.
- Provide free choice water, or stop every 4-6 hours to provide water.
- Provide free choice hay, but, if possible, offer it on the ground or at chest level to encourage the horses to put their heads down.
- Hay should be watered to prevent dust inhalation.
- Remove manure and urine as often as possible.
- Only ship a healthy horse!
"A Bad Mix, Cross-Tying and Cross-Country Transport" by Christine Barakat,
EQUUS Magazine, December 2002, p. 9
EQUUS magazine reported on an University of California-Davis study that found that horses who were cross-tied for the duration of a long trailer ride had dramatic physiological changes to their immune system, leaving them more susceptible to illness after their journey. The study's author recommended allowing a horse to stand untied in a trailer so that he can drop his head to below withers-height.
"On the Road Again" by Carolyn Heinz,
The HORSE Magazine, April 2003, pp. 63-68
This article noted the health and safety concerns in transporting horses. In addition to the important variables of temperature, ventilation and food, the article recommended the box stall to allow the horse freedom of movement.
"Preparing Broodmares for the long haul" by Cynthia McFarland
Thoroughbred Times, February 3, 2007, pg. 41, 42 & 44
Danny Shifflett, Manager of William S. Farish's Lane's End Texas in Hempstead. Shifflett has been in the horse business for more that 30 years and has found that many sickness problems related to shipping can be avoided if horses have good ventilation and plenty of water during the trip. "Give them plenty of room and absolutely give them a box stall for anything over 300 or 400 miles."
"It doesn't matter if it's a broodmare, a racehorse or a yearling, shipping is stressful to them, and you don't want to compromise them by starting with a problem." Consider a
mares overall condition before subjecting her to long distance travel. For example, Mathews said he does not like to see a mare with chronic laminitis have to stand on a
Van for such a journey. "The stress of the trip can be tough on them," says Mathews.
"If you have any feet or lameness issues, certainly give her a box stall to encourage her
to lie down if she will. Just give her that option."
Brook Ledge would be happy to provide you with complete copies of the articles upon request.
Click here to send us an email requesting copies. (Remember to give us your mailing address.)
"Preparing Broodmares for the long haul" however, is not available.