Moving horse from Ohio to Arizona in July

I recently took a job in AZ (Kingman) and will be shipping my horse out the first week in July. I’m not thrilled about shipping to the SW in July but it can’t be helped. He’s going to be shipped commercially in a box stall with Bob Hubbard.

I lived in Phoenix for a few years so I’m familiar with the challenges. However, I’m concerned about the transition, especially regarding his health and feet. He’s an OTTB who looses weight easily (but he always has an appetite) and the hay availability with the subsequent feeding frequency and most barns has me a little worried.

I found the best barn in town (ie safest) but I’m still worried about the general ground condition (HARD!) and keeping him sound for turn out and being in a “pen” and not bedded stall like I’m used to. He’s in front shoes now but he has thin soles and walls and I want to make the transition as easy as possible on him.

Any suggestions or words of wisdom from this worried horse mom?

I’m in Prescott, Arizona, which is a couple hours from Kingman. It’s a cooler climate here and a higher elevation, but it was still a big change moving my horses here from SoCal. I sympathize with you!

The alfalfa and Bermuda quality varies widely. My neighbor always gets lovely stuff from a hay broker in Wickenburg but you’re kind of at the mercy of wherever your new barn buys their hay.

When I first moved here I kept my horses at a place that was a fancy facility but they never fed enough. I kept a bale of quality hay (I discovered beautiful orchard grass at a little place in Chino Valley) at home. Every day I went to the barn I stuck a flake into a hay net and just took it with me.

Fortunately I found a much better place that feeds what my horses need but I do understand your concerns.

Because of the outside pens, and because of the sandy nature of the ground, I’d suggest feeding psyllium regularly to your horse. But you probably already knew that.

As for your horse’s feet… It can get dry and hard out here in the summer, but then we (hopefully!) have the monsoons so suddenly it’s muddy. Stone bruises became an issue with my gelding (thin soles) so he had to wear pads.

Good, educated farriers are few and far between even in my area. There are some who make a great living doing the remuda/ranch horses but they’re in over their heads with a horse that requires anything special or nuanced. Personal experience taught me that. But since there are plenty of performance horses in your general area I’d assume your new barn can connect you with a decent farrier. Hold onto them dearly, LOL!

Give yourself and your horse time to settle in. It’ll all come together, like it eventually did for me and my horses. And welcome to AZ! :sunglasses: