Five Tips for Safe Horse Travels
by Double D Trailers - 2/20/2015
Owning a horse trailer is a great responsibility, traveling with it doubly so. No matter where you’re going, safety has to come first -- that’s why we compiled these tips to make your next horse adventure extra safe. Before you leave on your next trip with your horse trailer, run down this list of safety tips:
1. Always inspect Your Trailer Thoroughly. Before you even think about loading your horse or any supplies, make sure your trailer is road-ready. Check the tires for any worn or cracked spots and proper pressure, ensure that the latches and doors are all closing tightly, that the lights all work and test your hitch for a proper fit. A horse accident is terrifying, spending a few minutes making basic safety checks before leaving for a trip will help prevent trouble.
2. Don’t Forget the Breakaway Brake. There’s not a more important bit of safety equipment on your trailer than the breakaway brake. In the rare case your trailer should come loose from your tow vehicle, the breakaway brake ensures that it doesn’t go far. Check this vital component each and every time you travel and carry an extra battery, just in case.
3. Take the Corners Slowly. It may seem like common sense, but this bit of advice bears repeating. Take the corners carefully and stop slowly. Your horse is counting on you to make those transitions easier for him. Since he can’t see the road ahead, each new turn is a surprise that he must brace for at the last minute. If your horse can’t respond appropriately to a turn, he may end up on the floor or worse, tangled in something in the horse compartment. Sudden turns and stops should be avoided at all costs.
4. Bring Plenty of Supplies. You may have remembered to stock up on water and extra hay, but what about your other horse supplies? Never leave home without an extra halter and lead, an extra blanket or two for winter or wet travel can also be a life-saver. Also remember to pack your horse’s paperwork since you may need to prove he’s been properly vaccinated or has a clean Coggins.
5. Keep an Emergency Kit Onboard. Even if you’re just going for a trip to the vet, an emergency kit is a must-have. Along with the standard automotive safety items, make sure you’re carrying plenty of horse gear along. You never know when your horse is going to cut himself, sprain a leg or panic and break a halter, so keep spares of everything, as well as commonly used items like leg wraps and first aid gear in the trailer.
Even if you’re traveling with a bomb proof horse in a trailer you’ve hauled many times, there’s always a risk of something serious going wrong. Horse trailer accidents are ugly and often end with the horse in question being euthanized, so this travel season take a few extra precautions. If you’re looking at horse trailers for sale for this season, make sure you’re getting all the extra safety gear available to make your trips as smooth and worry-free as possible.