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Hiring a horse transporter

There are many considerations to take on-board when hiring the right horse transporter to take care of your pride and joy.

It is important to be aware of what experience, training, credentials and safety checks the horse transporter you are looking to use has. Don’t take it for granted that they have any competencies when handling your horse, or that their vehicle has been examined by any authorities to ensure its safety for your horse’s wellbeing.

Cheap or expensive quotes doesn’t mean it’s safe.

Top Tip
It is worthwhile looking into any customer feedback when searching for a transporter.

There are two levels of Horse Transporter:

Type 1 Transporter 

  • Needs a ‘Certificate of Competence for Drivers or Attendants’ 
  • Can then apply for an Animal Transporter Authorisation. 
  • Requires no checks of the vehicle being used or the competence to handle a horse.
  • The horse must only be in the transporters care for up to 8 hours.

Type 2 Transporter

  • Needs a ‘Certificate of Competence for Drivers or Attendants’
  • Can then apply for an Animal Transporter Authorisation
  • Must complete and pass an online test, demonstrating their ability to handle, load and drive horses safely. 
  • The vehicle must be inspected by a DEFRA authorised inspector for elements such as safety, ventilation and temperature monitoring.
  • The horse can be in the transporters care for over 8 hours.

If the horse transporter is over 3.5 tonnes, they’re required to have an Operator’s license and display the disc in the windscreen plus, have a tachograph fitted.  

Top Tip
It's worth noting these other points to ask the horse transporter.
Do they have:

  • hire and reward insurance?
  • care, custody & control insurance (not a legal requirement)
  • specific equine breakdown cover (not a legal requirement)
  • What measures do they have in place to prevent the spread of equine disease?

Please note: There is always a risk of horses being injured when being transported by either a horse transporter or your own transport, but knowing some of the above will minimise the risk and help you make well-informed decisions.  

Further advice for transporting your horse


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