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Horse Travel Documentation in the U.S.A
Added on Sat 4 Aug 2018

Disaster Preparedness

Imagine travelling hundreds of miles to a horse show and being turned away! It does happen. The reason is most states require certain health certificates, tests, and vaccinations. In the US there are no checkpoints that check for these requirements. However, any stable you use on the way should check your papers.

At the entrance of the show or clinic you are attending all your papers will be checked before you are allowed to enter the show grounds. There will be certified personnel present at the entrance to specifically check your negative EIA / Coggins papers (some require 6, some 12 month testing). Every state requires a negative Coggins. It is up to you as a horse owner to be informed about what is required.

In this article we are going to try and cover some of the requirements and time frames you will need to follow in order to gain entrance to the show grounds.

One month prior to travel

  • Follow this link in order to find out the exact requirements needed to enter that state www.interstatelivestock.com link opens new browser tab or window
  • Check the website of the event or clinic you are attending. Most will post regional and / or additional health requirements.
  • Check the website www.equinediseasecc.org link opens new browser tab or window to learn if there is an equine disease alert for the area of your destination.

One to two weeks before travel

Currently all states also require a Certificate of Veterinarian Inspection or a CVI. The CVI attests your horse shows no signs of obvious illness on the day of inspection. This CVI is good for 10 to 30 days. This certificate must be kept, along with your EIA / Coggins test paper, in the possession of the horse trailer’s driver and available for inspection by certified personnel upon entrance to the show grounds or any stables along the way.

Not mandatory but advisable

As there is no standard vaccination program for horses so, you should speak to your vet regarding what other preventative health measures you need to employ. For instance, if you are travelling to any state east of the Mississippi River and also Arkansas, Minnesota, South Dakota and Texas, a vaccination for Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis is recommended. When traveling west of the Mississippi River, the vaccination for Western Equine Encephalomyelitis is usually advised.

If your destination is more than 10 hours away a lay-over will be needed. This part of the plan does require a little homework but there ways to make planning easier. You can enter your required lay overs into the website www.horsenannies.com and see who is offering a stable or paddock to travellers. Horsenannies International is free to join for both providers, as well as, those seeking accommodations. You, as a potential customer, will be contacted by a secure message system as to what that stable offers. At that time you need to ask as many questions as you can!

With a bit of forethought and research, the stress of travelling with horses can be reduced so that you and your horse have a safe and happy journey.

Article by Guest Writer Christy R Taylor

Christy lives in Arkansas and has a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science with an Equine Science minor. She has owned horses and worked in the horse industry most of her adult life and loves training horses, some of which have gone on to win barrels and poles at the Arkansas State Horse Show. Christy says she can’t imagine a life without horses. She also writes a blog for an Instagram account: @eqstyletheory link opens new page to Instagram

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