Transportation Solutions for Equine Athletes
Call Us: 508-428-8303


Frequently Asked Questions:

Health Requirements for shipping

HITS Ocala

Winter Equestrian Festival, Wellington”

I’ve never done this before, what do I need to do?

While this may seem like a vague question to ask, it’s a very common one for new customers who don’t have a sport-horse oriented background. Because questions which fall under this category are very important to us and we want to answer them correctly, please take the time to ask them over the phone when you call our office, but please take the time to read on as some may be answered below.

 Do you ship in my area?

Holly Hill Transport, Inc. has authority granted by the FMCSA to ship in the lower 48 states and Canada. We are based in Marstons Mills, Ma. West Windsor, Vt. and seasonally in Wellington, Fl.  We make regular trips to popular equestrian destinations in Florida, Virginia, Kentucky, Southern Pines, NC and Aiken, SC with additional service to many other states. We offer local service throughout the winter in Wellington, Fl. and the surrounding region.  We offer only limited service in the west, so for point to point transportation for single horse shipments west of the Mississippi, we won’t likely be able to move your horse. We can however help you arrange to move your horse anywhere you need to go through referrals.

 What size stall is best for my horse?

We offer three basic stall sizes, though only two are normally recommended. The first is the box stall and the second being the stall and a half. In a stall and a half your horse is tied (the horse must have a standard style halter, not the tied rope type) and must be not only “halter broke”, but must have been trailered before. For horses that have never been shipped, a box is the only way we’ll transport. Mare and foals, weanling/yearlings are a box stall must and it’s recommended for a senior horse on a long trip.

In a box stall your horse will be loose and free to move around within the stall. While many horse-people ship their horses in a stall and a half, the discerning opt for a box for long distance travel. It’s akin to the coach and first class analogy. Box stalls are more expensive because one box stall takes up as much space as two stall and a halfs, so they are priced accordingly. The third size is a single stall and is only offered to customers who are booking a charter or a partial charter and their horses must be able to fit in a single comfortably. Please see our gallery for a photo description of the different stall sizes.

If no one is going to be around, will Holly Hill transport, Inc. pick up and/or deliver a horse?

No, for safety and insurance purposes, the owner, trainer or farm/stable staff must be present at loading and unloading to sign the bill of lading. We understand that pickups and deliveries may occur at a time outside of what is considered normal-business- hours, but unfortunately this is the nature of horse transportation. While we will always try and accommodate a customer’s schedule, we can make no guarantee that the time initially estimated during the booking process will be met precisely, unless of course it’s a charter scenario where a customer has hired a van exclusively. We will always call in advance and will never arrive unannounced. We are excellent with communication, but have no control over factors like traffic, weather, poor loaders at another farm, etc. If we aren’t going to be able to make an on time arrival, we’ll call and give plenty of notice.

Will the drivers feed and water horses during travel?

Yes, of course. We’ll keep a hay-net full at all times and water the horses frequently during transport. On trips which take longer than eight hours each horse has their own water bucket hung in the trailer so they may drink when they so choose (a  bucket which we provide) . On van charters or partial charters where horses are transported in a box stall we are happy to feed your horses grain or bran mash if it’s provided by the owner, trainer or groom and clear instructions are provided to the driver(s). If your horse has issues with hay, we are happy to feed a hay alternative like Dengie if it’s provided.

Should I blanket my horse?

If your horse wears a sheet and or blankets regularly, then they are a necessity during travel in cold weather. We will add or remove the horse clothes you provide depending on the temperature outside and therefore in the van. If your horse lives comfortably outside without blankets in the winter, then they aren’t necessary. This is a very important aspect of your horse’s trip and we suggest you ask questions to our office when booking and the driver(s) at the time of pickup regarding this. We take a lot of care making sure your horse has a comfortable trip and proper blanketing is a key component that. If your horse is a new purchase and you can’t get blankets to the farm prior to pickup, we’ll work with you to make sure they’re provided.

Should I use shipping bandages or boots?

This depends entirely on your horse’s program. If you regularly use bandages or wraps for shipping or after exercising your horse then they are a great protective accessory. Obviously though, one must be trained in their correct application or they will do more harm than good. Shipping boots are also fine if your horses are used to them. However they should be well used in advance of shipment as they take time to break in and for your horse to get used to. Shipping boots can cause rubs if they fit incorrectly though, so proper fitment of a broken in boot is a must. If your horse never wears wraps or boots, they are not an absolute necessity. Each stall in our trailers is equipped with a kick pad to ensure your horse’s physical well being. If shipping boots or wraps are utilized and they settle to what our drivers deem unsafe, they will be removed. Unless prior written permission is granted, we won’t re-wrap or re-boot your horse.

What are some tips to prepare my horse(s) shipping?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Different horses require different amounts of preparation. Hydration is first and foremost. If your horse responds well to electrolyte supplements, this is a great tool to help your horse hydrate prior to a trip. If your horse is used to bran-mash, changing a meal the night before or the morning of departure is also an excellent option. Adding mineral oil to their mash or grain works well too. We don’t recommend horses be oiled (tubed) unless traveling cross country or if they have a history of colic. We recommend that you send your own hay for trips of any distance (your horse is used to it). If this isn’t possible, we’ll need to know in advance and we’ll try to provide. For show horses that travel frequently and are therefore used to it, nothing more than a hot mash with a little mineral oil is necessary and that would only be for trips over 18 hours. This is our opinion and experience, but we’ll happily defer to you or your veterinarian regarding your horse(s).

 What are the Health Paperwork Requirements?

All horses must have a current negative Coggins test (original if hand drawn, a  PDF type copy is fine) dated less than one year from the horse’s arrival date (six months if entering California) and a Health Certificate dated within 30 days of arrival. We recommend you visit  to get the most updated information or let us do the work for you by asking what you’ll need when you call.

Will you go point to point or make stops in between?

This will depend on the trip. If we’re doing a “less than trailer-load” shipment for you, i.e. one or a few horses, we’ll inevitably have other horses on the trailer who’s origin and destination will be along the same route as yours. Because of this, we may make stops after we pick up your horse(s). We’re always happy to disclose the other points along the route we’ll be stopping so you have an idea where your horse will be and how long it will take. Unlike some other carriers, we will stay within a geographic corridor during a trip which ensures a reasonable transit time for your horse(s), for example we won’t route a trailer through western NC on a trip from New England to Florida when there are horses originating in New England.

How much insurance will my horse have?

Holly Hill Transport, Inc. provides $2000 mortality insurance on every horse. This is an industry standard. Those companies which offer more insurance automatically are generally moonlighters who are covered under the care, custody and control policy that covers them as farm/stable owners and are rarely licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to legally haul for hire. This is a grey area with much ambiguity and it’s legality is very untested.

If you want additional insurance, it is available through private agents. Our office can provide you with the name and number of a capable agent. We strongly recommend that you obtain in advance an equine mortality policy to cover you and your horse for whatever your horse’s value is.  We’re happy to provide in advance a copy of our Bill of Lading which clearly outlines the terms and conditions of shipment and for what we are and aren’t liable.

May I check on my horse during shipment?

Yes, we monitor our trucks’ locations constantly and our drivers monitor your horse(s) continually via closed circuit monitor from trailer to truck. To check on your horse(s) during shipment, feel free to call our office during the day or, if arrangements are made at pickup, with the driver(s) 24 hours a day per the driver(s)’ discretion. Will you take my tack with my horse?

We will take a reasonable amount of tack and equipment with each horse free of charge. Please let us know in advance what will be accompanying your horse(s). On single horse shipments, make sure your tack is boxed and clearly marked. Because tack and equipment are shipped free of charge we assume no responsibility for it. If you will be sending high-end trunks with your horse(s) we highly recommend spending the money on a fitted cover as they are likely to be stacked with other trunks.  We are a show horse carrier and as such transport a tremendous amount of equipment safely and effectively everyday for very happy customers, but we couldn’t possibly be competitive with our rates if we had to insure said equipment for its actual value.

How do I pay for the shipment of my horse?

Payment can be made by check (if credit is established), credit card (Amex, Visa, MC, Discover), bank wire, cash and direct billing (as long as credit and a pre-established account is in place). We will expect payment at the time of delivery. On a case by case basis, for new or occasional customers, we may ask for a credit card number in advance to hold your space on the van.

How do I schedule the transportation?

(508) 428-8303 or e-mail to schedule transport. We are happy to field questions via email, but will only schedule pickup and delivery over the phone. We’ll need to speak with whoever is going to be present at the origin and destination over the phone in advance of the actual move. It’s imperative that the person loading your horse(s) has a functional phone so we may reach them in the event there is an issue with traffic, directions, etc.

What kind of van will my horse ride in?

All long distance trips are made in semi-tractor trailers equipped with air-ride suspensions and will be staffed by two professional equine chauffeurs. Shorter trips may be made with one of our smaller, gooseneck type vans. All are equipped with closed-circuit monitoring systems to better aid us in ensuring your horse has a safe and stress free trip. This is our primary concern.

We’ll need to know in advance whether the farm/stable at both pickup/origin and delivery are tractor-trailer accessible. Ultimately our driver(s) will make the decision of whether or not we can make it into your farm safely and without damaging both your property and ours. There have been many occasions where customers have insisted their farm was tractor-trailer accessible, but it simply wasn’t big enough to safely fit one of our vans. If we choose not to drive into your farm, we aren’t trying to be difficult we simply feel it’s unsafe. If your driveway is long, but inaccessible by tractor-trailer and we have to load on the street, it will be the responsibility of the person loading the horse to walk the horse to the trailer.  Our trailers are some of the nicest in the country and we work hard to keep them that way. If you have low branches or other growth inhibiting accessibility, we won’t risk damage to our equipment. This will be taken on a case by case basis and again will be ultimately decided by the van driver.

Do you use attendants in your trailers?

No, we utilize closed circuit monitors in all of our trucks and trailers. Attendants can be made available to you per request in advance at an additional fee.

 Will there be more than one driver per truck on long trips?

On all long trips there will be two drivers per truck. The FMCSA requirements mandate that each driver may only drive for a total of 11 hours in a 14 hour period and must then rest for 10 hours. We strictly adhere to this as is proven by our DOT rating.  If another carrier isn’t following these rules they are operating illegally and can be placed in an “out of service” situation where your horse will be stranded. Anyone hauling for hire in an interstate scenario must have a DOT number. Feel free to check up on us online using the FMCSA’s website,, our DOT # is 345646.

Holly Hill Transport Inc.

Transportation Solutions for the Equine Athlete

Licensed & Insured

Fully Licensed and insured commercial horse carrier, also a member of the American Horse Carriers Association.

Contact Us

Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Wellington, Florida
Phone: (508) 428-8303
Fax: (508) 419-1266