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Taking Your Horse on the Road

By Emily Heggan Subscribe to RSS | August 10th 2012 | Views:

Before you hook up your trailer and load up your horse; there are a few things you should check over before pulling away.

If your horse or pony regularly travels in a trailer, it is your responsibility to check it over and keep up with the maintenance of the trailer, making sure it is clean and safe. Your trailer needs regular maintenance just like a car or any other type of transportation. Here are a few things you must do before you load your horse onto the trailer.

Check the trailer’s floor. If your trailer is older and has a wooden floor, it can sometimes start to rot out and your horse or pony could put a hoof through a soft spot and fall through. You should remove all the mats in the trailer and give the floor a good once over. You should also jump or stomp around on the floor to make sure the floor feels solid and sturdy.

After a trailer ride, clean out all the manure and wet sports. If you don’t clean out your trailer after every use, your horse’s urine can seep through the floor mats and start to eat away at the trailer floor. It is also good to clean out your trailer to keep it fresh and attract fewer bugs. If the floor is wet, let the trailer air dry before adding the mats or more bedding.

Check all the bolts and screws on the trailer. Make sure they are all on tightly and aren’t coming loose. If there are a few loose nuts and bolts, tighten them. You don’t want them to wiggle or move around at all. You should also oil all the hinges and latches on the trailer to make sure they are moving smoothly. Also lubricate the ball on the hitch of the trailer to make sure it can slide into place easily and create less friction.

Make sure you have a spare tire and all the tools necessary to change a flat tire. You don’t want your tire to blow out on your way to a horse show and not have anything you need to change the tire.

If there is rust spots on your trailer, try and sand them down with special sandpaper made for cars and trucks to remove the rust from the trailer. Once you have sanded the spots down, spray the area with a metal primer to help prevent more rust from appearing in that area.

If you have a tack room in your trailer or a space to keep tack or other items, make sure you have a spare halter and lead rope. You never know when your horse may decide to see a fire breathing monster and break his halter. A spare halter and lead rope will come in handy.

You should also check the tire pressure on a regular basis. If you don’t have an air compressor at your house, you can take the trailer to a gas station and use their air pumps. Making sure the trailer has the right amount of air pressure will keep your trailer running smoothly and prevent the tires from blowing out or becoming flat.

Along with checking the tire pressure, you should also check your trailer’s brakes and lights. You should take the trailer to a trailer center to be checked out by a mechanic about once a year to make sure everything is working properly. They will check the brakes, suspension, lubricate the wheel bearings and rotate the tires on the trailer to they are being used evenly on both sides.

So before you head out on the road with your horse and trailer, make sure you go over everything on the trailer and that everything is working properly.

Emily Heggan - About Author:
Emily Heggan is a senior at Rowan University majoring in journalism. She currently competes in the 3' hunters with her horse, General, and enjoys writing about equestrian supplies like halters.

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