Closing on your horse farm property is a step towards growing your dream. As an experienced horse owner, you have done your research and have found the perfect property. But like all things worth achieving, there will be some work involved along with adequate preparation.


For example, something to consider is what you will be doing yourself. Are you loading a moving truck and heading to your exquisite equestrian paradise or hiring a mover? Will you drive vehicles, tow them, or do you need them shipped with a car transport company?


What about your horses? Every horse has an individual personality, which can influence the way they react in a variety of situations. Moving is very stressful for animals.  So aside from your wanting to protect your personal items, vehicles, and valuables, your horses will need to be moved safely. It’s a good idea to be prepared so they are comfortable.


Deciding To Move – Doing it Yourself vs. Hiring a Professional


So, the old farm is sold, closing date is set, and it’s time to start thinking about the move. What should you do?


Moving Your Horses – Your Truck and Trailer


Many choose to move their horses themselves out of fear that something could go wrong. If you have experience driving long distances with your trailer and feel safe, be sure to follow the following steps to secure your safety and that of your horses.


It’s easy to become overwhelmed with the thrill of bringing a horse into your home, but having an established plan for their transition is essential. Taking some simple steps before and after arrival will create a safe and secure environment.


Prior to heading out on the open road, be totally sure that the horse (or horses) is comfortable sitting in the trailer you’ll be using. Long-distance hauling can be a challenging experience but with proper preparation and attention to detail it doesn’t have to be.


Whether you’re planning a cross country journey or simply crossing a single state line, it’s essential to secure a Coggins test (valid for 1 year) and Health Certificate prior to departure. To avoid any last-minute delays, be sure to plan two weeks ahead of your travel date in order to acquire the necessary results on time.


To ensure a successful excursion, make sure to do your due diligence no less than one week prior and two weeks if you are traveling far. Inspect the truck and trailer rigorously; check that all lights are operational. Make sure there is adequate air in the tires, top off any needed fluids, and pack bearings properly. Timely shipment of parts can be unpredictable so it’s important to have everything prepared beforehand!


To have your best chances at a smooth and successful journey, meticulously plan the route. Additionally, if applicable, try to go through any high traffic areas during slower hours such as weekends or between rush hour traffic times. In the event of multi-day rides, research and get addresses for stables or even fairgrounds where your horses can rest from the road after long stretches of travel.


With your itinerary in mind, phone stables ahead of time to ensure accommodations. To pinpoint overnight boarding facilities, search ‘stables’ or ‘fairgrounds’ in the regions you are traveling through on Google. When mapping out a route, aim not to go over 8 hours between breaks for resting at night.



Hiring a Horse Transporter


Both commercial and independent shippers alike will promote their services in both local and national horse publications, and of course online. Search carefully.


When you’re searching for a shipper, it’s essential to ask these very pertinent questions:


  • How often is the trailer sanitized?
  • How frequently does the horse receive hay?
  • How often is water provided?
  • Is the trailer tailored to the right size?
  • How long will the horse be in transit?
  • Will they have enough clearance to lower their heads comfortably?
  • Are regular safety inspections conducted on trucks and trailers?
  • Is there a first aid kit on hand in case of unforeseen issues?
  • In the event of an emergency, will experienced veterinary help be accessible?
  • Are these vets knowledgeable and capable to handle medical complications if necessary?


Verify all licenses and insurance. Call and just talk to them. Are they pushing paper, or do they care about your horses



Moving Your Home – Renting a Truck or Doing it Yourself


If you are already moving your horses, you may want to Caravan it across the country. But more often than not, this can be complicated. It’s best to do one or the other. Move your horses or move your home’s belongings yourself. That is unless you have enough manpower for both.


Moving Yourself


As soon as you have chosen a date for your move, make sure to devise an exact timetable. I’’s vital to take account of potential obstacles ahead of time so that relocating is a smooth process. Anticipate the distance of your journey, any weather that may be encountered along the way, and all the physical labor involved in getting settled into your new home.


When estimating the cost of renting a moving truck, always make sure to include ALL the possible charges including mileage, fuel, insurance, pad rental, and car dolly rental. Keep in mind that the pads they will rent you are basically a thick felt and are approximately 1/3 the thickness of a standard movers quilted pad. For this reason, it may be necessary to double up pads when covering grandma’s antique china cabinet. In order to pad your belongings well enough to protect them it may take as many as 12 dozen pads for a three-bedroom horse property.


Safeguarding your items is of utmost importance. Even though professional moving companies often supply these protective measures themselves; these supplies are also easily attainable from retail stores like Walmart or Target. By investing in packaging materials including packing wrap, bubble wrap, foam peanuts, adhesive tape and mattress bags you can effectively protect your belongings while they are being transported.


Also don’t forget to add in the cost of making a mistake or having to be off work for a week because you threw out your back lifting the refrigerator. Just make sure you are aware of all the costs, actual, potential, and even physical before you make the choice.


Choosing a Mover


So, you have decided that “doing it yourself” isn’t really worth the headache, you then will want to begin the process of finding a good mover and auto shipper.


Ask Friends and Family


This is easy. First, ask around. Nothing is better than a direct referral. Find out if friends, family members, or co-workers have used a mover recently. Who did they use? Were they happy with the service they received?


Search Online


Be sure to check online to see top rater movers, look at reviews. Before deciding, call each one.

Because here is the important part, listen to how they treat you.


Call Your Prospects


Do they quickly give you their rates then try to schedule your move? Do they seem uninterested in answering your questions? Listen carefully, the way in which they treat potential customers Is a clue as to how important your business is to them.


Ask if They Have Experience Moving from to/from Farms


This isn’t your normal city slicker move. Ask if they have experience moving farm homes and equipment. It could mean a huge difference.


More Steps Before Hiring a Mover


Before hiring a moving company, make sure you understand their pricing system. While the majority charge either by the hour or item, be mindful that if they bill per piece and you forget to include certain furnishings on your list, there’s potential for additional charges. To avoid such costs down the line – ensure that your inventory of movables is detailed and accurate when providing it them! Do not sign a thing until you have the contract in writing for the final price, regardless of what the initial quote was.


Ask if the movers coming to your home are full-time employees of the company, not just another contractor group. When they hire contractors, they tend to work for multiple companies simultaneously – thus making it difficult to supervise their performance and maintain quality control.


Ask the following:


  • How do they charge?
  • Do they have a minimum?
  • Are workers covered by workman’s comp?
  • Are they a member of the Better Business Bureau?
  • Are movers contractors or company employees?
  • Do they use temp labor?
  • Are they insured and bonded?



Moving Your Vehicles – Tow Them, Drive Them, or Ship Them?


Unless you are making multiple roundtrips or have lots of family caravanning it to your new   farm property, you will have to choose between shipping your vehicle or towing it yourself.


Towing or Driving Your Vehicles Yourself


Working with horses and likely on a farm, you will most probably have a strong enough truck or SUV to pull other vehicles or have reliable vehicles to drive to your new home.


If Driving


  • Check fluids.
  • Make sure your last oil change was recent.
  • Check tires.
  • Have your vehicle inspected.
  • Make sure you are comfortable with long distance driving.


If Towing


  • Check fluids.
  • Make sure your last oil change was recent.
  • Check tires.
  • Have your vehicle inspected.
  • Make sure you are comfortable with long distance driving.
  • Is the trailer tailored to the right size?
  • Are bearings in good condition?
  • Check fuses and lights.



Hiring and Auto Transport Company


Hiring an auto shipper that knows what they are doing is key to success. Keep in mind, most auto shippers are brokers. This is not bad, as trucks compete for the space and offer good rates, but it’s important to choose the right one.


Make sure the auto transport company has good reviews. You cannot stress this enough. Good reviews and plenty of them will assure that the company consistently does a good job of moving people’s cars around.


Also, make sure you are not charged a penny until a truck is secured for pick up. Speaking of charges, it’s great to not only check how much deposit they charge you once they do have a truck ready, but that you also call the truck driver to make sure you know how much they expect to get paid at delivery.


Remember, just like movers, car shipping companies sometimes are not honest about the rate. At the same time, if you don’t accurately describe your vehicle (lifted, tow bars, camper, etc.) , the price may change.


Aside from these tips also:


  • Check that they are bonded and insured.
  • Read the contract before providing any monies.
  • Make sure you have access to the driver’s number.
  • Confirm the dates with your other moves and transport.
  • Make sure the price has not changed.




Moving to your new horse farm property can be a good experience by choosing the best way to move that fits your budget and needs.  You can opt to have it all professionally done or to do it all yourself. With careful planning and attention to detail, it can go smoothly.

Leave a Reply