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Moving To Portugal – Day 1: Start in the Netherlands

On September 6th, Maestro, Romanesque, Prince Elmelund, Toronto and El Blanco traveled with me to Portugal!

It took us four days:

  • On the first day we traveled to the South of the Netherlands for a final check up by the veterinarian.
  • On day 2, we traveled to France.
  • Then, on day 3, we ended up in Spain.
  • And on day 4, we finally arrived in Portugal!

But before we were ‘ready, set, go’, we have researched everything to the finest detail when it comes to horse transport 😉


Only The Best

Since it was such a ‘long-distance’ journey, I wanted only the best for my horses.

I wanted to travel my horses in a safe and healthy way where the well-being of my horses was put first.

Now, there are many horse carrier services, who all provide the best possible care for horses…

But Marcel Jordan Horse Transport – with his custom-design and horse-friendly trucks – stands out when it comes to quality of transportation!

It’s the extra 2mm difference when it comes to the driver, the stands, food, water, bedding and vision, and all these little details together make a huge difference when it comes to keeping a horse healthy and happy during transportation.

So I would like to share with you the 6 most important ingredients – in random order – when it comes to long-distance transport:

1. Diagonally loading

Research has shown horses will naturally take a diagonal position on the road when given a choice.

That’s why Marcel Jordan Horse Transport loads all horses diagonally.

A diagonal position also allows the horse more room, and he won’t press his tail against the wall.

2. Space, Light and Fresh Air

Horses are more likely to feel uncomfortable when there is not enough air.

So ventilation is a must and there also must be enough room between the horses, so the horses don’t sweat or become agitated.

Also bright light makes the transport much more pleasant.

Therefore, space, light and fresh air are all sufficient and top-standard with Marcel Jordan Horse Transport.

3. Freely moving heads

In general, a horse will find traveling less stressful when he can move his head freely. 

Plus, he’s less likely to develop ‘shipping fever‘:

Shipping fever is a disorder appearing in horses shipped long distances and it’s associated with lung fluid.

Remember: in general, horses spend most of the day with their heads down

And if you realize that all horses have a certain amount of lung fluid

And that gravity will cause the fluid to leave the body – with or without a cough or sneeze …

The lungs will be cleared from fluid in a natural way.

Now during transportation, if a horse is secured too tightly, or he’s not able to move his head up and down freely, the fluid will stay in the lungs….

And this is a natural breeding ground for a bacterium

Causing respiratory infection, which is the major reason behind motion sickness.

So that’s why each of my horses had their own stand in the truck of Marcel Jordan Horse Transport – with no need to attach them – allowing them to move their heads up and down freely!

4. First-class Hay & Water

Because horses produce gall but have no gall bladder, gall will seep into the stomach.

The only way to neutralise the acid that gall contains is through saliva, which is produced by chewing food.

So without enough roughage and regular chewing, this acid can damage the stomach, which might lead to ulcers.

Eventually, too little forage can even cause wind-sucking, because the horse will end up trying to fill its stomach any way it can, to avoid the pain caused by the ulcers.

So hay is a must during transportation.

And when a horse eats hay, a horse will drink – 30 to 40 litres a horse a day are no exception.

Therefore, all four days, my horses had enough first-class hay and water and the horses where regularly to make sure of this, to avoid any health issues.

5. Plenty Of Wood Shavings

Every day there were enough shavings on the floor, because too little shavings cause more of a mess.

Plus, the urine will splash on the horse’s legs, which might lead to causing the horses to stop urinating before they are done.

So a horse that has plenty of shavings is less likely to have trouble urinating.

And Marcel Jordan Horse Transport always makes sure there’s plenty of wood shavings on the ground.

6. A Top Class Driver

To any horse, being transported is an ‘exigent sport’ – as Marcel Jordan Horse Transport calls it.

Because the horse is in motion continuously

Working with the motions of the vehicle accelerating and slowing down…

Manoeuvring on bumpy or winding roads…

Therefore, specific driving skills are crucial!

And Ronnie Veldhuizen – our driver – had outstanding skills, so the levels of stress where reduced to a minimum!

At every stop, Ronnie first insured the well-being of my horses – topping up the water and hay supply for each horse – before taking care of himself

What a top class driver!

Many thanks to Ronnie and Marcel Jordan Horse Transport for treating my horses with the best care possible, as they made their way to Portugal!

Maestro, Romanesque, Prince Elmelund, Toronto and El Blanco have been travelling in the best possible comfort!

And thanks so much Heleen from Team Buitengewoon in Hoevelaken, to help us with the packing of the truck and trailer and loading of the horses!

Video Of The First Day

Here’s a video of the first stage of the journey to Portugal:


This blog post is part of the series of ‘Moving To Portugal’ and
just in case you missed one of the other episodes, here they are:

Turning Dreams Into Reality: Why Portugal? >>

Day 1: Start In The Netherlands >>

Day 2: On Our Way To France >>

Day 3: Transport To Spain >>

Day 4: Arrival In Portugal >>



5 thoughts on “Moving To Portugal – Day 1: Start in the Netherlands

Comment author said

By Frédérique Henrichs on 2 October 2017 at 01:15

Merci de nous faire partager cette aventure ! Bonne route et belles aventures au Portugal !


Comment author said

By Wendy Knowles on 2 October 2017 at 22:17

I am wondering about shipping bandages…I noticed you don’t use any.


Comment author said

By Marijke de Jong on 14 October 2017 at 12:18

Good question Wendy! On long distance journeys it will take over 9-11 hours of travel (including rests). Then shipping bandages might do more harm than good. Because if a horse has to wear them for so many hours the temperature might get too high below them or they might cause irritation. And in my situation, the loading and driving is stress free, so I don’t need shipping bandages for protection.


Comment author said

By Christina on 3 October 2017 at 09:11

Congratulations on your moving to Portugal Marijke! Well done! I hope El Blanco will enjoy hist new environment! Wishing you all the best in your new home! Christina


Comment author said

By Violet on 5 October 2017 at 01:52

Where in Portugal are you moving to?


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