Brookledge, Bob Hubbard, and a few others represent the industry standard. With fuel prices lately, if the top line companies are not charging at least $2.25 per loaded mile these days, I’d be surprised. The upside is they have air-ride box stalls, several horses on their trucks at once, insurance, dispatchers, and they rarely lay over. Weather is the biggest variable that can slow or stall these big rigs.
That said, there are plenty of insured, DOT registered haulers who might be fine for your particular horse.
Laying over for long trips has its pros and cons. Most horses get in the groove and accept their new temporary job as Good Traveler™️ with grace. They drink, eat, poop, ride comfortably, rest at night, and recover well.
With fuel prices the way they are, if you’re paying less than $2 a loaded mile, you might have hired someone without insurance, or who takes your horse over a bunch of indirect miles picking up or dropping off other horses, or who hauls horses without documentation.
Plenty of people haul with these casual transporters, and Facebook is riven with some serious scammers, so you’re smart to start asking questions early and often.