Transporting your horse can be a stressful experience, both for you and your equine companion. To ensure a smooth and safe journey, it’s crucial to select a reliable horse shipper. With numerous transport companies available, asking the right questions can help you make an informed decision, ensuring your horse is safe on their journey. In this article, we’ll outline the twelve vital questions you should ask before choosing a horse shipper.
- Are they licensed and insured? Ensure the horse shipping company holds the necessary licenses and insurance. This provides a level of accountability and protects you and your horse in case of unforeseen circumstances.
- What type of transport do they offer? Determine whether the shipper provides both open and enclosed transport options. The choice may depend on your horse’s temperament, the weather conditions, and the distance of the journey.
- How experienced is the company? Inquire about the shipper’s experience in transporting horses. A company with a proven track record is more likely to handle your horse with care and navigate potential challenges effectively.
- What is their safety record? Request information on the company’s safety record. A reliable shipper should be transparent about their safety practices and share any incidents they’ve encountered in the past.
- What is the horse-to-staff ratio? A lower horse-to-staff ratio ensures that each horse receives individual attention during the journey. This is particularly important for long-distance transport.
- How often do they stop during transit? Horses need regular breaks during transportation to stretch their legs and stay hydrated. Inquire about the shipper’s schedule and ensure it aligns with your horse’s needs.
- Do they subcontract any portion of the journey, or is it their own staff the entire time? If part of the journey is subcontracted, your horse may not get the same care as the hired shipper guarantees.
- What is their emergency plan? Understand the shipper’s emergency procedures. In case of unexpected events like accidents or health issues, a reputable company should have a well-defined plan to address the situation promptly.
- Can you track your horse during transit? Many modern horse shippers offer tracking services, allowing you to monitor your horse’s location in real-time. This feature provides peace of mind and helps you stay informed throughout the journey.
- How often will they provide updates? Even in the presence of tracking services, it’s essential to comprehend the frequency and nature of the updates they provide. While certain shippers communicate through text messages, informing you of departure and arrival times at pickup, layover, and drop-off points, others may include visual updates such as photos and videos. Additionally, clarify whether you’ll receive comprehensive updates on your horse’s well-being, covering aspects like their eating and drinking habits, or if the updates are limited in scope.
- What kind of training do their drivers have? A skilled and knowledgeable driver is essential for a safe journey. Inquire about the training and experience of the drivers responsible for transporting your horse.
- What do their reviews say? Read reviews and testimonials from previous clients. This will give you valuable insights into the experiences of other horse owners and help you gauge the shipper’s reliability and customer satisfaction. Be sure to check multiple sources such as Facebook, Google, Yelp, etc.
Choosing a horse shipper is a significant decision that requires careful consideration. By asking these ten vital questions, you can ensure that your horse’s journey is as safe and stress-free as possible. Remember to prioritize the well-being of your equine companion and select a shipper that aligns with your specific needs and expectations. Safe travels for you and your horse!