Horse Transport FAQ: Shared and private load road transportation of horses or ponies with LOC International Horse Transport

FAQ: What is the difference between Shared, Dedicated and Semi-Private Transport?

The process of transporting a horse or pony on a private or shared load from the UK across Europe sounds complicated but if you find an experienced horse transport company who is well versed with dealing with the specific requirements, it makes the whole process a lot easier!

At LOC Ltd International we have a wealth of experience of transporting horses from the UK across Europe by road. When making your initial enquiry with LOC, all we need to know are a few details such as how many horses you would like transported, a few facts such as your horse’s size, age, breed etc., the address where your horse will be transported from and the destination. We will also take the time to chat to you about your horse and what your specific requirements are. By doing so we are able to ascertain what option may suit you best and answer any questions you may have. It is important to chat through any concerns and of course help you decide (if you haven’t already done so) what the best option for you and your horses would be. We will then take care of every element of your horses travel from door to door whether you are interested in a private charter or shared load road transport service.

Whether you choose a co-load or our VIP private transport service, rest assured your horse will have over 10 years of horse transport experience taking care of him. You will be given the drivers name and number so that you can keep in touch directly with them to see how your horse’s journey is progressing and of course how your horse is travelling.

All horses who are travelling whether it be on a private or shared load have access to a constant supply of hay or haylage and are watered every three to four hours. On longer journeys the horses are rested each evening at one of our approved lairage yards across Europe – this is just like B&B for horses – it allows them to break the journey up into manageable chunks and most importantly of all to get their head down to allow their respiratory tracts to drain. It is unnatural for horses to eat hay at head height when in their natural environment they would be grazing with their heads down. By stabling up for the night and providing hay and water from the floor rather than tied up in nets, any build-up of dust and fluids can drain out and thus avoiding the likelihood of travel sickness.

By offering different transport options, we are able to cater for all of our client’s and horses needs whether it be a specific transport date or the most cost effective transport solution.

Shared loads

Also known as a co-load, this is the most cost effective way to travel – Economy Class if you like. Our lorry carries up to 10/11 horses so your horse or pony is sharing the journey with others and therefore the costs are spread between the owners. Your horse will have company which is very important as they are naturally herd animals. Most horses tend to be calmer when travelling alongside others, young and inexperienced horses especially will take their lead from their companions and if they are loaded next to a calm and relaxed horse it can have a soothing effect show them that there is nothing to be worried about. These shared load routes are generally via ferry unless otherwise advised.

Shared Horse Transport is great if you are flexible on your dates and don’t mind when your horses travels. You simply let us know your preferred date window – i.e. earliest and latest possible dates for travel, and we’ll let you know what trip dates we have scheduled.

All of LOC’s vehicles both large and small, have been built specifically for the comfort and safety of your horses on long distance journeys. For example, our 10 horse lorry has features such as fan assisted ventilation, padded partitions and back walls, air suspension and infra-red lights for travelling at night. Our vehicles have on board CCTV cameras so that we can keep any eye on your horse throughout the journey to make sure they are safe, relaxed and comfortable. Many owners ask about our route and how long it will take as they are concerned that their horse will be taking the scenic tour around Europe rather than going direct to their destination. Rest assured that when we plan our routes, we do so with your horses welfare in mind – they do not need to go sight-seeing and we will plan our bookings and routes accordingly so that we do not have to zig-zag from one side of France to the other to get your horse to Spain.

At LOC we believe that slow and steady wins the race and it’s not a competition to get you horse from A-Z in the fastest time possible (even if you are excited to see them!). We would much rather your horse took an extra day or two to get to you and arrive fresh, well-rested and in good condition after the journey, than to arrive in lightning quick time but exhausted. Our rest stops are for a minimum of 12 hours and up to 24 hours for unregistered horses; this ensures that they can settle into their surroundings and really rest up (rather than having a few frantic hours of off-loading, the bustle and strangeness of being in a new environment and being quickly loaded back on the truck again).

Semi Private Load

Usually on one of our 3.5 tonne ‘2 horse’ boxes, your horse will travel with one other horse only in ‘Upper Class’ or ‘Premium’. As there is only one other horse travelling, the route is more direct from door-to-door without stopping to drop or collect lots of other horses. Journey times are generally quicker than a shared load, and your horse still has the reassuring presence of another horse to keep him or her company. Semi-private horse transport is the ideal option for those wanting a little more than a shared load but not quite having the budget to stretch to a dedicated load. It is great for those routes that perhaps aren’t on our usual trips and a little more out of the way – we can offer better availability for you rather than you having to perhaps wait for a lorry load of horses travelling in the same direction. All of the usual perks apply, with twice daily contact from the drivers to update you on their progress, water stops and ad-lib hay throughout the journey.

Dedicated Private Charter Load

This is our VIP, First Class, bespoke service! Depending on the number of horses you have to travel and your requirements, we can carry out your VIP transport on either our 10 horse truck or one of the 3.5 tonne vans or even on of the fleet of Ifor Williams 511 trailers we use for local work.

This premium service allows you to choose your dates for travel, your horse/s will have a door-to-door service without having to detour to collect or drop off other horses on route. We will call you up to three times a day to update you on your horses’ progress; you can receive picture updates by email or Whatsapp. If you are concerned about your horse and would like to travel with us then you are more than welcome to keep our driver company. You can also specify whether you prefer the ferry or the Eurotunnel and if you have a few horses plus all of their equipment, feed bins and feed then you can hire the lorry to use for this purpose. For small to medium groups of horses travelling we can open up the partitions to allow your horse extra room for travel. For mares with foals at foot this is ideal as the foal will need to be able to lie down or stand up to nurse from his dam.

We can provide electrolytes as required, some horses have specific medication or feed regimes and this can be specifically catered for.

Private Horse Transport is ideal for those relocating abroad and who are tied to the date constraints of house sales going through and furniture removal specifics. We can fit in to your plans and ensure that your horses make the move when you need them to.

Likewise if you are travelling to compete abroad and need to be at the showgrounds on a specific date, we can work with you on this to fit it around our schedule.

In Summary

At LOC we are often asked by clients which road transport option they should choose, this entirely depends on what you and your horses needs are. For example if your horse has a flight to catch on a specific date, a vet’s appointment, you are moving house or you have an older horse, a mare and foal or a horse that doesn’t like getting close to other horses then a private load is likely to be the perfect solution for you and your horse.

Whereas if you have brought or sold a horse, are planning on competing abroad, sending a horse to stud or are relocating and flexible on transport dates and looking for a cost effective transport solution then a shared load is likely to be a more suitable option for you.

From Shires to Shetlands and Percherons to PRE’s, we have a transport solution to meet all of your requirements. We understand the importance of providing not only a safe environment for your horse but to ensure that his experience of travelling long distance is a positive and stress free one. Our professional driver grooms are patient, experienced horse men and women who really go out of their way to treat your horses with the same care and attention that you as their owner would expect.

The team at LOC International Horse Transport have a wealth of knowledge and experience in transporting horses around the UK, across Europe and Worldwide! If you would like some more information on private or shared load transport options or any of our other services, please contact our friendly team today.

You can either email us on, or alternatively, use our contact form to get in touch.

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