How to Move a Horse

Full article 13 min read
Move a Horse

Moving a pet from one place to another is not easy. It is essential to take precautions to avoid any injury to the pet or yourself. It’s not easy to move a horse. Horses are big and strong, and they can be challenging to control. If you’re not careful, you could get hurt. This article will teach you how to move a horse safely and efficiently. We’ll also give you some tips on making the process easier for both you and your horse.

Before Moving: Plan and Prepare

Horses are frequently transported, and many people do it regularly, such as competitions, horse shows, and breeding. Horses are frequently sold and moved to their new owners; some even accompany their homeowners when they relocate.

The most important part of moving a horse is planning and preparation. You need to make sure that you have everything you need before starting. This includes having the right equipment, such as a trailer or truck big enough to transport your horse, and knowing how to use it correctly.

It’s also important to plan your route. Ensure that you know the area well and that there are no low-hanging branches or other obstacles that could cause harm to your horse. You should also check for traffic and plan your route accordingly.

Each state has its own rules for horses from out of state that enter or transit through. To find out your state’s requirements, contact the offices of the state veterinarians in each state you’ll be visiting. This should be done at least 30 – 60 days before your move date. If your horse will require any vaccinations or boosters, give yourself enough time to get them done.

Also Read: Tips For Moving With Birds To A New Home

Your horse might also require the most recent negative Coggins test. This is to check for Equine Infectious Anemia, EIA, a blood virus that causes untreatable swamp fever. The test must be conducted within the last year. In California, the Coggins test must be dated within the previous six months. If you travel through Arizona, New Mexico, or Oklahoma, your horse will need to have a negative Coggins test within the last 12 months.

You’ll also need an Interstate Veterinary Health Certificate, which is a document that proves your horse is healthy and free of any infectious diseases. This certificate must be issued by a USDA-accredited veterinarian. Finally, you’ll need to have a copy of your horse’s registration papers with you.

If you’re traveling by air, there are additional requirements that you’ll need to meet. Contact the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) for more information.

See Also: How to Dog Proof Your Home After Moving


Things to Consider When Transporting a Horse

If you’re moving a horse long-distance, make sure you allow enough time for the journey. Don’t try to rush through it. The horse will need to rest and eat along the way.

When transporting a horse, you’ll also need to consider its safety. There are a few things you can do to make sure your horse is as safe as possible during the move:

  • Use a trailer or truck that is big enough for the horse and has adequate ventilation.
  • Make sure the horse is tied securely in the trailer or truck.
  • If you’re traveling on the road, make sure to drive slowly and avoid bumps and potholes.
  • Stop regularly so the horse can drink and rest.

How to Move a Horse: Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you know what to consider when moving a horse let’s discuss how to move a horse.

By Road

The first step in moving a horse is to ensure that you have enough help. You’ll need at least one other person to help you move the horse. It’s essential to have someone there to help you control the horse and provide support if the horse becomes agitated or restless.

The next step is to prepare the horse for transport. You’ll need to secure the horse’s head and neck so that it can’t move around. There are a few different ways to do this. One way is to use a halter and lead rope. Another way is to use a bridle and reins. If you’re using a halter and lead rope, attach the lead rope to the halter and tie it around a post or tree. If you’re using a bridle and reins, attach the reins to the bridle and tie them around a post or tree.

Once the horse is in the trailer, secure it in place. Once the horse is secured, you can begin loading it into the trailer. It’s important to be patient and take your time. The goal is to get the horse in the trailer without causing any injury. You may have to use a little bit of force to get the horse moving, but be careful not to be too aggressive. There are a few different ways to do this. One way is to use a tie-down. Another way is to use a stall bar. Once the horse is secured, you can start driving. Make sure to drive slowly and avoid bumps and potholes. Stop regularly so the horse can drink and rest.

If you’re moving a horse short-distance, you can do it without a trailer. All you need is a truck and a ramp. The process is essentially the same as loading the horse into a trailer. You’ll need to secure the horse’s head and neck and then use a ramp to get it into the truck. Once the horse is in the truck, you can drive it to its new home. Again, make sure to drive slowly and avoid bumps and potholes.

Although it costs less to transport your horse by trailer than air, there is a significant disadvantage. According to uShip, transporting anything less than 100 miles by vehicle costs on average $2.55 per mile, while transporting anything less than 1,000 kilometers via automobile costs on average $1.10 per kilometer.

Also Read: How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Moving Truck?



Horses are frequent flyers. They stand behind humans in terms of frequency. However, unlike people, their confinement should be kept to a minimum. Direct flights should be taken whenever feasible, and the quickest route should be considered before traveling. When traveling by air, horses require good air quality, and auxiliary ventilation systems should be utilized to maintain it. Horses that are going to be moved internationally will usually fly. Flying is the obvious choice when it comes to transporting horses across borders. Some horses that travel domestically may do better flying for 6 hours than traveling by road in a trailer for five days.

However, air travel isn’t cheap, and flight schedules may be restricted. Depending on the destination and degree of care, a domestic one-way ticket might cost between $2,000 and $10,000. An international journey can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000. These prices do not include the cost of getting your horse to and from the airport.


Unless you’re moving to another country, shipping your horse by ship is out of the question. And yet, even if you could locate a company that carried horses, there’s a good reason why they wouldn’t. Horses can become seasick, and because vomiting isn’t an option for them, they can develop colic. If that weren’t enough to persuade you to look for a different mode of transportation, sea travel takes longer, and your horse will have to remain in his stall the whole way. So, for your horse’s sake, spend the extra money and reserve airline reservations.

See Also: How to Move a Boat?

Acclimating your horse

Transporting a horse from one place to another usually goes smoothly for most horses, and they adapt to their new home with little effort. Still, it takes a lot of planning to transport your horse across state lines and time to ensure he adjusts once he arrives. On top of that, you must pack and relocate your own belongings. When your horse comes, let him loose in the paddock and observe him. If he shows any indication of lameness, damage, or discomfort, contact a veterinarian immediately. A lack of interest at mealtimes or weight loss is a sign of stress that should be treated by a veterinarian.

The best way to minimize any problems is to slowly adjust your horse’s routine before, during, and after transport. Start by changing his living environment a little bit at a time. If you have access to a large round pen or paddock, let him graze for short periods in the new area. Then, add in a new person, another horse, or a new noise to his environment. If your horse is still showing signs of stress after a few days, continue the acclimation process until he seems comfortable. Then, load him into the trailer and take him to his new home. Remember that it’s important to keep your cool and remain patient throughout the entire process; after all, your horse is worth it.



Finally, we can say that there is no one perfect way to move a horse. Each mode of transportation has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the best way to know which one is right for you and your horse is to consider the individual situation. Remember that your horse’s welfare should be your top priority, and take the time to plan his relocation carefully. With a bit of forethought and preparation, you can move your horse with ease and ensure that he has a smooth transition to his new home.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you get a stubborn horse to move?

The easiest method to persuade your adamant horse that he’s wrong is to divert his attention away from the issue. Backing up with the reins or lead rope, or pushing his nose down toward his chest, so that he moves. Even if it’s not in the proper direction, this gets him going.

How do you get a horse to start moving?

If your horse is particularly stubborn, you may need to use a little force to get him moving. However, this should only be a last resort, as it can be dangerous for both you and your horse. Try using positive reinforcement instead, such as treats or verbal encouragement, to get him going in the right direction.

Is it better to ship a horse or drive him of your choice?

There is no definitive answer, as the best way to move a horse depends on the situation. Driving may be a more affordable option, but shipping your horse by air is often more comfortable for him. Make sure to take into account his health and well-being before making a decision.


Can you move a horse without a trailer? Yes, it is possible to move a horse without a trailer by using other forms of transportation, such as driving or shipping. However, this may not be the most comfortable or safe option for your horse, so make sure to weigh all your options before deciding.

Written by

Alex Sherr is the founder of My Long Distance Movers, a blog that provides moving information and resources for people who are relocating. He has more than two decades of experience in the moving and relocation industry, and he is passionate about helping people relocate smoothly and efficiently. When he's not writing or blogging, Alex enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.