Making common mistakes with your horse trailer is totally normal, this article will point out what you’re doing wrong and tell you how to put it right.
You may think you’re totally set when it comes to your horse and trailer. Travelling around together is always a doddle and you both seem to be really happy. Until that one day when everything goes… HOOFS UP and everything can get ruined. Never fear! The Stoneways blog is here to uncover the 6 top common mistakes you are most likely making regarding your trusty stead and trailer.
1. If your trailer is on the rusty side
Rusty doors, rotten floors, pokey latches and poor electrical connections are signs that your trailer needs fixing up and a good old clean. According to an article on trailer care which included advice from Carrie Wheeler of Edelson Equine Associates states that horses can get caught on the rusty frames etc which can cause horrible injuries. Also, some of the gravest injuries come from floor failure.
To further ensure your horse’s safety, an article on how to reduce horse stress during transportation says to make sure that the floor is non-slip the entire journey by providing absorbent materials or bedding to soak up any urine.
If you have not loaded your horse onto the trailer in a few seasons, then it’s very likely that it will not really enjoy the experience of being loaded into a steel box no matter how lovely it looks. Understand this and calmly practice with your horse so they grow accustomed to it again.
Once you’ve loaded your horse or horses, they may feel anxious and start to stumble around. Watch out when it comes to unloading because they tend to gallop on out of there if they feel uncomfortable. Take them on regular trips so they get used to the sensation of being in the trailer.
3. Don’t ever leave your loved one unattended
Dr Wheeler explains that leaving your horse can be a huge mistake. Leaving them can cause them to rear, become extremely distressed and head quickly towards any escape route. This can be very dangerous for the horse and other people so always check up on them and never leave them unattended.
4. Slow down there fellow, your horse can feel everything!
How ever fancy your vehicle may be, it will not provide a lovely smooth ride for your horse that has to stand in the back. As an experiment, get someone to drive you while you stand in the trailer to get a better idea of how the horse feels.
You’ll certainly feel every bend, dip and the speed will mess with your balance. This exact same thing happens with your horse so be cautious of your driving and the speed you’re driving at. After all, you may turn up at the racecourse or horse show 10 minutes earlier but with a dizzy and moody horse- that’s not want you want.
5. You might be using the wrong type of tow vehicle or hitch vehicle
No matter how impressive your new chic trailer or truck is, you need is to make sure that the hitch is properly rated to hold the full weight of the horse trailer weight and tongue weight.
Also, ensure that your tow vehicle can handle the full weight! A weakly matched hitch, trailer, and tow vehicle can be highly dangerous putting you, your horse, your trailer and everyone else on the road at risk.
6. Don’t let your poor precious ponies get sweaty or get too chilly
In the summer months, it pretty common for people to forget that the trailer can become a sauna on wheels for the horses. While we may like a hot sauna, horses really don’t. They get dehydrated and rather cranky. The best way is to make sure your trailer is suited for the warm weather. The best are white trailers as they reflect heat. Look for trailers that have double material to keep the inside of the horsebox cool. The trailers that overheat the most are mill-finished aluminum ones.
In the winter, make sure your horse is nice and snug with a blanket. Usually, they are just fine with a good winter coat and another cosy horse companion.
Hope you enjoyed this post and happy transporting!