With nice weather occasionally appearing this time of year, you and your horse are probably chomping at the bit to trailer over to your favorite spot and go riding when a sunny day presents itself. On the other hand, maybe you are dealing with an emergency and need to trailer your horse over to the vet.
Both situations (and all situations involving horses) call for safety to remain the highest priority.
Keep these trailering tips in mind to make sure that you and your four-legged partner get safely to your destination!
Check The Trailer
- Make sure all lights are working
- Check the breaks and make sure brake maintenance is up to date
- Check the hitch to make sure it is secure and that the safety chains are on
- Clean out the trailer and dispose of all dirt and debris from previous excursions
- Make sure the mats are clean
- Securely fasten the dividers
- Check and loose or rattling parts and if they are loose, secure and tighten
- Remove any sharp edges or loose wires inside the trailer
- Check the tire pressure and make sure it is within the recommended ranges when cool
- Do not load the trailer over its weight limit
- Secure all lug nuts on the wheels and make sure to tighten them
After you make sure the trailer is in good working order, it’s time to make sure you’ve packed everything!
Pack the Necessities
- Make sure to pack your first aid kit (human and horse)
- Emergency kit (this should include lead rope(s), extra halters, extra jack, flares or cones
- A working fire extinguisher
- A list of emergency numbers including your vet, horse friends, and physician
- Fully charged cell phones and a charger
- A tire iron and a tire pressure gauge
- Equipment that is safely secured with bungee cords or rope to keep it in place in the event of an accident
Now that your trailer is prepared, check the horse and the inside of the trailer.
Once Your Horse is Loaded
- Make sure your horse is tied securely and that he has enough length of the lead rope (or quick release trailer tie
- Check that the hay nets are secure
- Fasten the bars
- Make sure all doors and windows are latched and secure
Great! Your trailer is in good working order and your horse is happily loaded and munching on his road snack!
Important Trailering Tips
- Give yourself plenty of time to stop
- Leave a lot of room between you and the people driving in front of you
- Use your turn signal earlier
- Stop every few hours to give your horses a break and to let them get water
- Try not to drive for over 12 hours at a time; if a trip looks like it will take longer than 12 hours, make a plan to stay somewhere overnight
Carolina Equine Hospital
At Carolina Equine Hospital, we know how fun it is to have a horse and to be able to take him places. Trailer safety is very important for both horse and rider, as well as for everyone you may encounter on the road. Always put safety first when dealing with horses. If you ever experience an equine emergency while trailering your horse, do not hesitate to call your vet! We offer haul in services as well as appointments and emergency calls on the farm.