Who hauls their horses in a mini van?

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maplegum

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I'm thinking a mini van is the way to go for carting Bailey and Willow around. Horse trailers are so expensive here in Australia.


For those of you that do use a van, how do you deal with the..... you know.....the poop and pee? Do you use shavings/bedding and put rubber matting in the back? Do you use one of those bags under the horses butt to catch the poop?

I'd like to buy a passenger mini van, and remove the 2 rows of back seats to cart the horses around but most of those vans are carpeted. I guess you could replace the carpet with rubber.

Do you think a mini van would be big enough for 2 horses?

If anyone could perhaps post some photos of their minis in a 'mini van' I'd love to see the set up. Do you have a safety barrier set up between the driver and the back area? Any other tips and tricks?

Thanks

Leonie xox
 

Sixstardanes

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As you know Saber rides in our Astro van with the middle seat removed.

On the floor we have a 2 inch thick blue waterproof foam mat and on top of that it 4' x 6' rubber stall mat with the front rolled under a bit to create a roll back feature in case of mess.

Attached to the handle grip by the rolling side door is a nylon bucket strap that we clip Saber's halter to so he can't reach the driver. With this he can either chose to hang back a little and watch the world go by fron the side window (which he does enjoy doing) or he can rest his chin on the passenger which is usually me.

He does wear a slightly modified (deeper) diaper when in the van to catch poo but of late doesn't go while travelling alot.

As for urine we've trained him to whiz on cue so get him to go prior to departure & upon arrival after unloading.

When we have a Dane travelling with him they lay on the back seat behind him.
 

Nathan Luszcz

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I've used a truck to haul around my pony. But you have a lot of work to do... first you have to make the vehicle safe for the horses; no windows, no sharp edges, etc. Then, more importantly, you have to make it safe for the driver. No way for the horses to molest him/her, no way for their body's to become missiles in the event of a crash, and to prevent the driver from getting distracted in any manner while driving. I think that all of these things would be very difficult to do in a mini van, that's why I used my truck. He had enough room to move and to be comfy, but not enough room to get up speed. The back of my seats were designed to keep weight in place and could handle him leaning on them in an accident. It was quite safe and non-distracting to me, the driver.

As far as pee and poop, that's gonna happen. I used mats covered in plastic covered in towels covered in pellet bedding.
 

Miniv

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We line the cargo area with a tarp and then put a thin rubber mat over that. The mini van is mostly used for a quick ride to the vet, so we rarely bed it....... And yes, we always have a second person holding the horse's lead........
 

Margot

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We haul our minis in a conversion van which is bigger than a mini van, basically a work van would work also. We have built a plywood box that fits in the back and sits enough of the floor to push a ramp underneath it to use for loading. The box has a foam mat in it and contains all the mess. We can take the box out and use the van for other purposes. It is carpeted but the box seems to contain the horsey smell or I have just gotten used to it. We have hauled horses on long trips, several thousand miles and there is room for supplies and luggage as the box is behind the second row of seats. My friend had a mini van for hauling, she removed all the passenger seats and had a wooden barrier built behind the front seats.Also removed all the carpet and put rubber mats down. This is good for hauls to the vet but does not leave a lot of room if you are going to a show for supplies.
 

susanne

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If you're starting from scratch, look for a delivery van/fleet vehicle that has a minimum of windows, no carpet, and ideally a safety barrier separating cargo area from "cockpit."

Then install rubber matting on the floors and metal grating over any windows. I would also install anti-sway bars to counteract a higher center of gravity.

We use our Ford Windstar with a homemade safety barrier and with back seats removed. We put down a tarp, then plywood, carpet padding and shavings. With our gelding, we've never had any pee escape this, although he did leave3 a poop deposit in one of the cupholders, lol! I wouldn't place bets on our filly, who's a "let it fly" kind of girl...

Ironically, before we had horses, we had the ideal mini hauler. It was a GMC Safari with no windows in back or on the sides, rubber matting on floor, a moon roof and anti-sway bars. Unfortunately it went to minivan heaven long before we really needed it.
 
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rabbitsfizz

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What vehicles are available to you.??

Also, check with the Law on this, since you are in Oz I am not sure how you are placed, it seems to be legal in the US to stick a horse in anything, here it is illegal to carry an Equine of any sort , however small, in anything not six foot from ceiling to floor- which of course is a nonsense as this is way more than a Mini needs and way less than a Shire would need.

The law is being revised and it looks as if we will come out with "two foot headroom" but it will have to be clearer than that to make it fair to everyone!!

I use a Ford Transit (honestly GB would grind to a halt without this fantastic van, it is called "The backbone of Britain"!!) I have a high top, just about five foot six clearance, with the horses carried in the body of the van.

Sticking them right at the back will make for a bumpier ride as they would be right over the springs and the rear wheels, but I see no reason why it should not work if that is really where you want to put them- I have the dogs cages in this position.

I have never used partitions as I do find (so long as the horses get on) that tying them so they can get themselves into a good position is best.

I have a full, in built, partition between the cab and the body, but could easily put a window in this, and am seriously thinking of doing so.

I have a ramp that slots in, and then when they are loaded the ramp goes across the door space so if, God forbid, something were to happen and the door slide open, there would still be a partition between them and the road!!

This is a 2.2 litre engine (well up to towing my trailer fully loaded, although, again, this is illegal if there are horses in the body of the van) and it does around 28-30 miles to the gallon.

It has a turbo engine so it can do around 90-95 without sweating, but I am afraid I never have- the fastest I have ever been in it was 80mph on the motorway, by mistake, no horses on board!!

It cruises happily around 50, loaded.
 

Suzie

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We just bought a Chevy cargo van for just such use. It came with factory wire on the windows and rubber matting. It also had a bulkhead installed. I purchased a handicap ramp for loading in the side door. We have decided to make a box for hauling. We thought about plywood flooring with rubber matting (pond lining) since it is strong and flexible covering the floor. We plan to join 4 panels of chain link fence gating together since they have 4 rounded tubular sides or go with carrilite panels joined. I think it will be a lot more comfortable for us and the horses to ride in, especially in winter and summer and in big cities.
 

Katiean

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In the '70's I had a mini that had to go to UC Davis. I had a pinto hatchback. I took the back seat out and bedded the floor with shavings and tied him to the door handle (arm rest). we took that 40 mile trip to the vet and he never peed but he did poop. When I got there they sent someone out to help me unload. When he asked me where my rig was I pointed to the car. They were shocked. I said "It's no different than having 2 adults in the back seat" they said "yeh, but adults very seldom defficate in the back seat" I had no argument for that. I just cleaned the car with a shop vac and it left no "LINGERING" smells.
 

susanne

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My brothers are always appalled that we would desecrate our van by transporting horses in it. One brother told my husband "Every single time you put a horse in there, it loses value." My husband replied, "No, after riding in the van our horses are worth just as much."
 

SampleMM

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Oh darn, my regular computer is down and I have several photos of my new stallion that I picked up in a minivan. We have a cargo van (for work) that has the seats removed. My husband built a wooden box out of heavy duty plywood with a door that screwed off and on. The door for the portable stall was on the side. I actually hauled a stallion from Pennsylvania to Kentucky and then another stallion from Kentucky back to Pennsylvania. It was nice for the horses as it was 94 degrees in the shade and a horse trailer would have been hot but in the van with us it was nice and cool.

When my other computer is working I'll post photos.

WARNING****be prepared for several onlookers and people caught off guard.
 

Brandi*

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I hauled Miss Melody to the vet twice in a mini van. I put down a rubber mat, then a tarp and some shavings. It worked great!!!!!!! The first time I took out both rows of seats and there seemed to be way to much room for her so the second time I only removed one row and that worked much better. She was able to brace easier. The shavings absorbed her "messes" and nothing leaked through to the carpet. The hardest part was getting her in there but even still she took to it like a pro
 
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Nathan Luszcz

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The first and second pictures were taken the first day when I decided to try it out... the last picture is him in his modified ride... seats removed, pad put down, and crosstie installed
 
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CyndiD

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I use my van often for hauling horses and for the "natural" things that can happen, I have had good luck with heavy shower curtains put over the carpeting...and then for bedding I use old bed sheets and old towels. They absorb the wet stuff and the sheets will cover up some of the more solid things that "happen" and are easily cleaned and reused.
 

susanne

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I have to add...

The only REALLY obnoxious mess we've ever had in our van was when our Maltese had an accident on the driver's seat, and Keith sat in it...not a happy guy!
 

HorseMom

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We haul our minis in a conversion van which is bigger than a mini van, basically a work van would work also. We have built a plywood box that fits in the back and sits enough of the floor to push a ramp underneath it to use for loading. The box has a foam mat in it and contains all the mess. We can take the box out and use the van for other purposes. It is carpeted but the box seems to contain the horsey smell or I have just gotten used to it. We have hauled horses on long trips, several thousand miles and there is room for supplies and luggage as the box is behind the second row of seats. My friend had a mini van for hauling, she removed all the passenger seats and had a wooden barrier built behind the front seats.Also removed all the carpet and put rubber mats down. This is good for hauls to the vet but does not leave a lot of room if you are going to a show for supplies.
I was just talking to my husband about doing just that over the winter. Building a box that slides in so the ramp can fit underneath. Do you happen to have any pictures of your van that I could see?

Heather
 

maplegum

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It seems that many of you haul your horses this way. Fabulous! I think this is the way I will go. I'm up for a new car shortly so I might just get a minivan. That way I don't need to worry about hooking up a trailer etc. Husband was horrified to say the least when I mentioned letting the little horses in the back of a minivan. Oh well, he'll get over it!

Another option was to buy a box trailer. I'm not sure what you call them over there. Basically, a normal tandem trailer (not horse trailer) that has a wire cage around it. Then hubby could modify it and convert it into a horse trailer, mini size!

Shari, I checked out those links you posted. How perfect are those horse boxes!!!! I would love one of those! And those Brenerup trailers are the type of trailers that most people use over here in Australia. They are really expensive though. For a two horse trailer I would be looking at around $10,000 or more. That's crazy! That's why I was thinking of the minivan option of husband building me a trailer.

If anyone else has photos to post of their horses in a minivan or even a smaller 'home made' style trailer, I'd love to see them!

Thanks everyone

xox Leonie xox
 

Miniv

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Yes.........Nathan is right.........the absolute safest way to haul a horse is in a (2 axle) trailer.

We still have our mini van for emergency situations and short trips for one horse.

Nathan also showed a good way to move one mini when you have a pickup with an extra cab. Before we owned the mini van Larry has moved more than one mini -- in a pinch -- by removing the back seat of his pickup, laying down the tarp and bedding, etc........

One of the wonderful things about our little ones is that we can be creative IN A PINCH. (I've hauled one in the back of a station wagon! Years ago........)
 

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