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Shipping - Maryland to Colorado

Does anyone have recommendations for cross-country shippers? I’ve requested a quote from Brookledge already, and wanted to know if you all had other preferences/ideas. I’d like to shop around a bit for reference, but don’t want to sacrifice the level of service either.

I want to ship my mare from Montgomery County, MD, to Douglas County, CO, sometime in late spring. I would appreciate any travel recommendations (for myself and her) that you all have - I am planning on going back to MD to help pack her up/see her off and didn’t know whether others have typically just flown back across the country to wait for their horse to arrive or whether they’ve helicopter owner-ed their way across the country by following the trailer (I imagine not). Also, to wrap/boot or not to wrap? Any and all info is welcome!

Thanks in advance!

Most commercial shippers won’t let you wrap on longer trips. I used Brookledge to ship my guy from MD to MA. Waiting for a shipping date was the most painful part (I had to wait 10 days after I bought him for him to arrive). Communication was great, the driver was very professional and since they had room in the trailer, he got a box stall even though I only paid for one normal space.

Try Annick at First Class Equine Transport. http://www.firstclassequinetransport.com/

It’s just her and her trailer, but she did a phenomenal job with my 2 year old, including making a special detour to pick her up in Texas on her way to Denver. She even took the time to do a trailer loading/unloading session to make sure my filly was comfortable, since it was only her 2nd or 3rd trailer ride ever. Price was very reasonable and she took wonderful care of my baby horse, who walked off the trailer looking relaxed and happy. She’s based in Colorado and makes east coast runs fairly often.


I was only considering a box stall…is a regular setup doable for that long of a ride? MD to MA is shorter, the trip to CO is about 23 hours (obviously split up) in a car, which made me think box stall is the only way to go even with the extra cost.

Shmon, were you at all worried about her being in a regular trailer vs a tractor trailer? I always see the “Air Ride” technology advertised, and since it’s a long trek and my girl is 15, I was worried she would be super sore if I didn’t opt for the tractor trailer.

Shipped my guy from Nebraska to Maryland last summer with Brookledge, and will happily use them again. Because I’m military, they actually upgraded my guy to a box stall at no charge (I paid 1.5 stall rate). He had a layover at their Lexington facility.

If you can swing a box stall, I would, but you don’t “have” to. Most trailers are configured to do 2 abreast, 3 abreast or a stall within a single area. You can do a slot and a half (2 horses next to each other) configuration for a long ride - I think many people pick that option.

My biggest piece of advice would be to use Ulcerguard for a few days before/after shipping and each day she is on the truck.

I was a little bit concerned about that, but my trip was shorter than yours (it was about 1000 miles) and she was in a box stall. She showed no soreness or stress from her 2-day trailer ride despite not having “Air Ride” on the trailer. Annick does stop every few hours to let them rest so maybe that helps. She overnights at barns where the horses can get out of the trailer and rest in stalls, too.

FWIW, my barns (current and previous) have used Brookledge quite a bit for cross country shipping and they do a good job. For my trip, they didn’t have anything going near that route, so I had to look elsewhere. I got quotes from a bunch of different companies, none of whom I was completely comfortable with (or they were astronomically expensive, or said they would put her on the list for sometime in the next 2-3 months and let me know when they had a full enough trailer to ship her). I was just so impressed with Annick and how she handled my filly and ensured she was comfortable and relaxed the whole trip. She kept in constant communication with me via text, showered my filly with compliments, and showed up right on time. I would definitely not hesitate to recommend her to anyone (and the fact that she lives in Steamboat helps since most of her trips stop/start here).

Thank you everyone!! Super helpful. Obviously have no background knowledge for long trips like this, so I really appreciate all the tips.

Annick sounds wonderful, I’ll definitely ask her for a quote!

Don’t bother getting a quote from Nationwide. It’s based in CoSpgs, so it would maybe seem convenient. They’re not the worst shippers out there, but they have cruddy communication and actually delivered the wrong horse to someone I know (her horse was still at their facility in CoSpgs.)

Friend shipped from NY to CO, with Brookledge. Horse had box stall, and had a great trip. They layover in KY at their own facility.

I shipped my horse from VA to CO with Brookledge, and they were awesome. They came when they said they would, and she was here a couple days later looking the way she did when we loaded her. Totally worth the cost and I would use them again in a heartbeat!

Annick is picking up my new horse in FL today and shipping him to CO. Just happened to catch her with an open spot and a trip already booked en route. I’m using a stall and a half size but she can do box stall configuration in her rig. Same with Brookledge. Brookledge was my go-to, but their truck heading west this week was already full when I called and I didn’t really want to wait another week if I didn’t have to. Price was quoted about the same between the two haulers. I like that Annick does layovers in barns where the horses can get off the rig for a bit. I think Brookledge would have made a stop at their barn in Lexington and then gone straight through. I can report back in a couple of days when the new beast arrives!

Thanks IPEsq! I’ll keep an eye out for your response :slight_smile:

I shipped my guy from Dover, DE to Fort Collins, CO using Nationwide horse transport. I was satisified with the updates they provided as well as the condition he was in upon his arrival. I would recommend them for sure. :slight_smile:

We’ve used Brookledge frequently, as well as Horse Jitney, based out of Va. Athena, at HJ, is great! She shipped a couple from NY to AZ for a client this past Sept. Her # is 301-526-8273

Thanks all! Getting a quote from Brookledge was …eye-opening! I knew it would be expensive but I can already hear my bank account crying. Costs aside, Brookledge can only give me at most 48 hours notice of when they’ll pick up my horse which I don’t think is going to work for me. I was planning on flying back to Maryland from Denver a few days in advance of the departure date to pack everything up and see her off. Is Brookledge the only place that does this?

I cannot recommend WarHorse transport enough if they can make the trip for you. They’re based in Pueblo, CO. Small, family-run, amazing customer service (they’ll be able to do better than 48 hours notice!). Call them to see if they’ll work with you. They hauled my horse from CO-IL and IL-CO for me last year.

OP, that situation can be fairly common when the shippers want to have a full load before heading off across the country. It wouldn’t be cost effective for them to only have your horse on board. I’ve had shippers give me the same kind of quote numerous times before.

I’ve shipped horses back and forth from east coast to Texas and Arizona. I’ve used Brookledge several times but I prefer Equine Express. I always ship in a box for that long a journey.

I shipped my boy from SC to CO 2 years ago. Brookledge told me they don’t do that route and recommended Equine Express. I had everything set up with them and they delayed his trip by 3 weeks, less than 24 hours before he was supposed to be picked up! I ended up getting a last minute ride on a Nationwide van in a boxstall. He arrived safe and sound