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Horse Trailer Safety

General Horse Articles - Trailer Check Up
Is your trailer ready for the road?

Always sweep out the trailer after
a trip.
If your horse or pony travels in a trailer, it’s your responsibility to check it from top to bottom on a regular basis to make sure it’s in good condition. A trailer needs regular maintenance to keep it safely on the road. Some of the maintenance has to be done by a mechanic but some you can do yourself. Don’t worry—it’s not hard. Here are some things you must do before you load your horse in a trailer.

Check the trailer’s floor regularly. Wooden floors get wet and rot, and your horse could fall through. Remove all mats and give the floor the once over.
Check that boards are in good condition and that there are no big cracks or splinters. Hop on the floor to see if it feels solid.

Always remove manure and get rid of wet spots on the floor after you trailer your horse. Horse urine can soak through the mats and ruin a trailer floor.
Let a wet floor dry out before putting back the mats.

Oil all of the door hinges and latches with a spray lubricant like WD-40.

Use automotive sandpaper to remove rust from a steel trailer. Then spray the area with metal primer to prevent more rust appearing on the trailer.

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Check the tire pressure regularly.

Check the lug nuts (the bolts that attach the wheels to the trailer) with a lug wrench. You should have a lug wrench in the trailer at all times in case your mom or dad has to change a flat tire. The lug nuts should be tight—you shouldn’t be able to wiggle them around at all.

Buy a special jack ramp just for trailers and keep it in the trailer. It will come in handy if you have to change a flat tire.

Always carry a spare halter and lead rope in the trailer. Horses break their halters all of the time. A spare halter may come in handy.

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Keep a fire extinguisher in the trailer.

Cover the trailer ball with automotive grease to lubricate it. This prevents friction and makes it easier to hitch and unhitch the trailer. Buy the grease at an automotive supply store. Ask mom or dad to check the trailer’s tire pressure on a regular basis. You might have to go to a gas station and add air.

Ask mom or dad to take the trailer into a trailer repair center at least once a year to have it checked out professionally. A mechanic tests the brakes, lubricates the wheel bearings and checks the suspension. He may rotate the trailer’s tires, too.

 

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