Trailering Safety

 I am by no means an expert in the art of hauling horses but I have hauled various rigs shorter and longer distances and wanted to share the things that I have learned through all of this that might not come right to mind.

The very basic check list for getting ready to haul and actually hauling includes:

  • Check tire pressure of trailer and hauling vehicle
  • Hitch up trailer
    • Coupler locked
    • Safety chains hooked up
    • Electric connected
    • Check lights (running, brakes, turn signals)

  • Load up
    • Check trailer ties
    • Hay nets secure
    • Butt/ breast bars locked
    • Doors closed
    • Windows and vents open/ closed based on weather
  • Easy access to a medial kit and water

There are a lot of varied opinions about what side of the trailer a lone horse should go on and I am not going to battle with anyone about what side is right or wrong just like I am not going to try to get in debate about appropriate hauling vehicles or trailers. Be safe and smart people. Open

I will say that I generally like to put a bumper on my Annie’s head because she likes to giraffe and either shipping boots or bandages – those are personal preferences and also probably depend on the horse and length of the trip. Another thing that I do when I can is pack feet with magic cushion. A farrier recommended it for longer hauls and I figure it can’t hurt anything besides my pocket book.

After the general safety items are checked off and you have checked your supplies I think its really important to makes sure you plan out your trip – US Rider will also add a lot of peace of mind! I personally like to stop at least once for any haul over 2-3 hours and offer water/ let the horses have a break. For longer hauls (more than 8 or so hours) I would also recommend finding some kind of layover option or at least somewhere to let your horse take a break.

Do any of you all have thoughts or tips that I missed?

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  1. One of my friends will not haul anywhere without two full 5 gallon jugs of water. That way if the truck breaks down or you’re stranded, the horses have water, you have water and you have water should some problem with the truck need water.

  2. When I was a kid, we used regular bandages with no pillows and always used a bumper. Now we use shipping boots because it gets so hot under standing wraps here in FL, and only use a bumper if you have a horse that likes to beat their head about. Fortunately, I do not have one of those.

    The magic cushion is a fantastic idea that I will take to my trainer as a suggestion.

  3. Good post!! I always make sure my horses have shipping boots on no matter how long or short the journey. Better safe than sorry. I always also double check everything you mentioned.
    One thing you haven’t put is to make sure the spare tire is all good and you have everything in an easy to get place should you get a flat tire.