Horses shipped from overseas normally travel in jet stalls, specially made containers that house three adult horses or five foals.
David Hasenauer, president and CEO of Jet Pets, Inc. in Los Angeles, a privately owned and operated quarantine facility under contract with USDA, offers this piece of advice before shipping a horse to the United States: "If you're going to spend a lot of money to purchase a quality horse, spend the money and put the horse in a bigger stall."
If there are three large horses in a stall, they will have a cramped trip, and that will increase their stress levels. (Picture yourself on transatlantic trip in coach--now picture that same trip for a tall, heavy set person.) If only two horses are in a three-horse stall (known as a double stall), they will be calmer when they arrive at their destination, he says.
"They are going to be standing there for 12-18 hours by the time they are loaded, shipped, and unloaded," he says. "Most horses do okay, but many horses are really big--17 to 18 hands tall, and they are long. They can use the extra space. It's not cheap to ship them that way," he admits, "but it's a little extra space assurance for them."
Disclaimer: Seek the advice of a qualified veterinarian before proceeding with any diagnosis, treatment, or therapy.