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What tests and paperwork did you need when crossing state borders with horses?

“Hi Stacy! Since you have travelled all over the US, I feel like you’d be the best person to ask this:

I’m potentially moving out of state within the next couple of years and when I move my horses, I know that they’ll need to have Coggins testing done (some states require 1 year negative result). Where there other tests that you did with the horses? What is the process like when you cross the state borders? What kind of paperwork is needed and what were some of the pre-planning things you did (horse motels, etc) to ensure a smooth travel across the country? Thank you for your time! “Jess F.

a sample of horse papers needed for travel with horses

Proof of my horses health from around the country: health papers & Coggins tests.

Generally the two documents that are needed are a current Coggins test and current health papers. “Current” is actually defined by each state. In general it is considered current within a year but there are states that are exceptions, for example, one state requires the coggins to be within 6 months AND within the current year. Quirky.

But that is where your vet comes in.

When the vet writes the ‘health paper’ they will do a physical exam of the horse and get the address of where you are headed. They will call the state you are going to and double check that states requirements. The other great thing about this is that the vets are aware of any current health ‘issues’ that may be happening in certain areas. If there has been a recent outbreak of a disease some states may not allow you to travel to them. An example of this would be someone who wanted to travel from Texas to Kentucky during a time that Texas was having an outbreak in the area. Even if the horse that wishes to travel is not at a farm that is directly affected it is possible for the health paper to be denied. Inconvenient but understandable.

Some states, such as Florida and California, have inspection areas where they will check your paperwork. On our trip from Texas to Alabama the highway took us into Florida. Although we were not traveling ‘to’ Florida as our final destination they still checked our paperwork. Kentucky is a state where it is fairly common to be randomly pulled over and asked for your paperwork. Other states will do their inspections at events.

Sometimes I wonder what I should do with all of the paperwork I have accumulated. If I bound all my horsey travel papers together I could have a book. I am looking forward to the day when Global Vet Link or a similar service is wide spread but for now I will continue to carry my many colored pages. I’m glad you asked this question…it gave me another use for all these documents!

P.S.- Here is a link to a blog I did about finding horse motels too.

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2015 in Video

 

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Staying at show grounds, fairgrounds and friends houses while traveling with horses

 “My computer has been messing up I may have missed posts about your travels. How is it going with the bad weather? I have been concerned as last said in Texas and planned on being in Dothan, Alabama Saturday.” -Edee S.

I apologize for the lack of updates recently. We have been making our quick trip across the country and have also been squeezing in some visiting along the way. We spent Saturday night in New Mexico at Armstrong Equine which is a place we chose because we knew the family from the reining world and had mutual friends. The great news is that they also offer overnighting horses for anyone traveling through La Mesa as part of their business. I saw my first foal of the year while we were there and although we wanted to stay longer it became apparent that if we wanted to get ahead of the ice storm we would have to leave in the morning.

Barbra Schulte & Stacy Westfall, both inducted into Cowgirl Hall of Fame, 2012

Barbra Schulte & Stacy Westfall, both inducted into Cowgirl Hall of Fame, 2012

Sunday became the great race against the storm. We did managed to stay just ahead of it for the entire trip although we could feel the wind and temperatures dropping. We drove a longer stretch that day than we would have chosen normally but with the cool weather the horses were fine. They were happily munching hay and drinking water when offered. Newt seems to feel an obligation to drink a sip each time it is offered and my boys were having fun seeing how many times he would force down one more sip.

We found a facility that hosts horse shows just outside San Antonio to stay the night at, The San Antonio Rose Palace.  Many people we know who travel with horses look for rodeo grounds, fairgrounds or show facilities to over night at. One person even said that in a pinch you can often call the local sheriff who can unlock the fairgrounds. We haven’t actually tried that yet but it could be useful information down the road, especially in an emergency type situation.

We were just outside the freezing zone but we were also tired of traveling which lead to our next great idea: go visit Barbra Schulte! I have known Barbra for years but the last time I had seen her was in 2012 when we were both inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame. I had to laugh because we had been playing ‘phone tag’ all last week and then I called her and asked if we could pull into her place and spend the night…quite a change of events! Not only did she agree but she also volunteered to cook us dinner. What a blessing it was to have a short day of driving and a long time to visit with friends.

Tuesday we hit the road again and drove into Louisiana making it possible for Jesse to say he had visited his 47th state. Only three left to go: Oregon, Alaska and Hawaii. From where we are right now we only have about a six or seven hour drive to Dothan, Alabama where I will be speaking at Jeffers on Saturday.

How are the horses handling this quick-ish trip? Amazing. We took them out for a ride today and they were fresh and spunky. Even after some play time in the round pen they were both bright eyed and excited when we climbed on. They are very fit from all of our riding in Arizona and Southern California and combined with the 40 degree drop in temperature has left them acting a bit more like deer rather than horses. It makes me happy to know that the travel is easy for them.

lousiana

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2015 in Life, Members Question

 

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With all the travel you’re doing has the climate change affected the horses?

“Stacy, With all the travel you’re doing has the climate change affected the horses any? Do you do or give them anything extra? I know from driving a truck you can be in shorts and 90 degree weather and in 24 hours be in sub freezing temps. It caused a lot of cold symptoms with me.”-Jeff B.

We haven’t had issues with the travel negatively affecting the horses. There are probably several reasons for this. We knew we were going to be traveling to a variety of climates with the horses so we began blanketing them in the fall. This has given us the ability to regulate their ‘coats’ easily. We have seen other horses that were hauled into the warm weather in Arizona that had grown full winter coats. At night the temperatures dropped and we put blankets on ours and during the day the temperatures were in the mid to high 70’s and our horses could be naked. The other horses didn’t have that flexibility. Does the reduced heat stress make life easier on the horses? My guess is that it did and may have helped us keep them healthy.

We have kept their feed consistent although we do buy hay along the way. It has been easy to get consistency in the hay because most of it is coming from irrigated fields and the bales are amazingly similar. We also transition any hay changes gradually.

Our horses were also accustom to travel before we began this bigger journey. They have been hauled to horse shows and other places to ride all of their lives. They are also young, four and six, which makes them a bit more like teenager humans…very resilient.

Another possible key is that we are making a s-l-o-w trip unlike what you described. We tend to work our way to one area and then stay there for awhile. If we do happen to make a bigger move, several days of travel in a row, we skip riding the horses and pay close attention to any changes we may need to make in their blankets, windows or vents.

I worried some before the trip began about how we would handle things if a horse did get sick and then it dawned on me that I would handle it pretty much the same as if one of my children got sick. A few years ago on a trip to Colorado one of my sons woke up not feeling well. We were on our way to see the four corners but we stayed an extra day in the hotel. One extra day turned into two and then three. We never did make it to the four corners…but our son got feeling better and we just skipped that part of our trip.

Below is a video of our horses having fun on a hot day last week in California!

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2015 in Life, Members Question, Video

 

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New Mexico – here we are!

New Mexico sign

Today we hauled the horses from Oklahoma to New Mexico. The idea is that we are chasing warm…but the weather currently has something else in mind. This is my first time in New Mexico and I have already been impressed. I can’t wait to ride, but I am currently fighting a CRAZY cold that is ignoring all cold medicine. The photos, videos and ideas that I had will all have to wait…cuz I’m going to bed:(

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2014 in Life

 

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If you’re living on the road, where do you keep your horses?

The most frequently asked question we are receiving at the moment is: If you’re living on the road, where do you keep your horses? I am going to try to keep everyone updated by making short videos and blogs of the moves.

We just moved out of a horse show (Quarter Horse Congress) yesterday and now we will spend about a week in our old home town. We are camping at a park and our horses will be staying at a friends house.

As we just finished a couple of tough weeks at the show, the horses will enjoy turnout time and some lighter riding. If the weather stays nice (it is supposed to rain) then I would love to do some trail riding…but not in the rain.

What questions would you like to have answered about life on the road with horses?

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2014 in Members Question, Video

 

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Video: How we plan on living on the road; husband, wife, three kids and four horses.

I think the nomadic idea was secretly planted in my head by my husband. It also helped that we met other people, one family in particular, that moved around with their family performing at rodeos and equine events.

Our life has slowly morphed into travel because we can serve more people by moving around both at clinics and expos. By the time our youngest son was seven he had traveled to 40 states…each time returning to Mount Gilead, Ohio. It just seemed logical to try living on the road. We also like the idea of spending more time together as a family. And we can always go back!

Now that we are in a full blown motor home we are ready to take this show on the road. Some of the goals our family has, outside of work are:

  • see all 48 states (this lead to a discussion of Alaska & Hawaii)
  • live ‘off the grid’ for a week…in RV terms this means staying in a remote location without electric, water or sewer hook up
  • trail ride in the mountains…park the motor home and be able to ride from the camping site up into the mountains

If you were going to live in a motor home for a year…what would you hope to accomplish? What questions about our travel plans would you like us to answer?

 

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2014 in Life, Stops with Stacy, Video

 

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“I would travel only by horse, if I had the choice.”

I can appreciate this quote because I also believe that the world looks better from the back of the horse. I love the pace, whether that is walking and enjoying all the detail you would miss from a car, or if it is galloping up a hill feeling the wind, smelling the fresh air and feeling the power of the horse I am riding. Traveling by horse gives me time to think and appreciate my surroundings.

 

Do you prefer riding a horse over other forms of transportation? Why?"I would travel only by horse, if I had the choice." Linda McCartneyHere is a link to a blog about a man who has been traveling by horseback for years!

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2014 in Life, quote

 

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