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Horse trailers come in all shapes and sizes, from single bumper pull trailers to giant fifth wheel trailers with livings quarters, to the ultimate tractor driven horse trailer. Your choice depends on your needs and your budget, but safety should be your first consideration when selecting a trailer.

Choosing the Right Horse Trailer

Finding the right horse trailer is made easier by the numerous horse trailer sales sites available on the internet. And selling a horse trailer on the internet can help guarantee a faster sale and a better price. As a horse owner your first interest is safe and stress free trailering of your horses. Choosing the right horse trailer takes a little research.
Because a horse trailer is small, dark, and shaky, entering a trailer goes against a horse’s nature. But because horses are also trainable, they learn to put their natural fears aside and do the things you ask them to do.

Horse Loading

Ramps

Ramps should be low to the ground and not slippery. Consider a ramp mat to improve traction for your horse and avoid slips on both entering and exiting the trailer.

Lighting

A light colored interior and lots of windows make the trailer much more inviting and less threatening to your horse. New LED lights inside the trailer will brighten things up considerably and your horse will load easier.

Horse Stress

Horse trailers can create stress. When a horse is exposed to stress, its nervous system reacts in order to physically prepare the horse to react to the stress. Your horse's heart rate elevates, adrenaline and epinephrine are secreted, and other bodily functions such as hormone levels, change to help the animal survive. A horse's natural instinct is to run away from the stress and seek a more suitable environment. If your horse cannot escape the object of stress (the trailer) over a long period of time, the health of the horse begins to suffer.

What Your Horse Wants in a Horse Trailer

Room and light: An average horse ( 15.1h - 16.3h) needs about 10 feet of usable length to be comfortable. A horse needs to be able to spread its legs for steadiness, and use its head and neck freely for balance.

Good ventilation is important for the horse's respiratory health and to control the temperature and environment of the horse trailer. Roof vents will remove contaminated and/or hot air from the trailer.

Safety in Design

Tie rings and latches should fold flat against the wall of the horse trailer and all edges should be rounded. Center posts and dividers should be quick release, but also stable. Butt and chest bars should also be quick release.

Trailer Tires

Trailer tires should be inflated to the recommended capacity. When trailers sit for long period of time the tires are subject to dry rot. Generally, because of dry rot, tires should be replaced every three years regardless of wear on the thread.

Rubber torsion suspension reduces road shock for your horse, and is an added safety feature if the event of a flat tire.

Trailer Hitches

Tag-along horse trailers should be hitched to a frame mounted Class III or Class IV hitch, and your horse trailer should always towed in a level position. Safety chains on tag-along horse trailers must be crossed underneath, and ball hitch gooseneck hitches should also have safety chains or cables.

Trailer Brakes

All brakes and lights should be in perfect working order and the emergency breakaway brake battery should be charged. Have someone stand behind the trailer while you test the brake lights from inside the truck. Adjust the trailer brake controller each time you use the trailer.

 

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