Tack n' Talk

Online Equestrian Resource

Trailer Safety

By:  Larissa Cox

Ahh, the warm weather is here and we are all hauling our horses here and there, but how many of us actually check our trailer on a regular basis?   Below are some trailer safety tips which you may find helpful.

It is most important that your trailer and tow vehicle are in good working order.


  • Breaks, break lights, running lights, all lights around the trailer
  • Tires, check pressure and lug nuts
  • Look for loose bolts, hairline cracks and other signs of wear on your hitch.  Check for proper hookup
  • Make sure safety chains are crossed and hooked to the two vehicle frame not the bumper.  You may think that this is common sense, but I have seen several tow vehicles at shows minus bumpers!
  • Check your breakaway cable length as it should be shorter than your safety chains, but not so short that it’ll break free when you make a tight turn.  Weave the cable through a line of one chain, so it won’t snag and pull free.
  • Gates – are they secure and not broken
  • Check for broken metal pieces, making sure that nothing is there that can hurt the horse
  • Keep your trailer clean and disinfected at all times
  • Always keep an emergency first aid kid, one for people, the other for horses
  • Check fluid levels of your tow vehicle.
  • Have a cell phone available and fully charged with you
  • Pack water and keep it in the trailer in case of emergencies – for drinking or for cleaning wounds
  • Make frequent stops to allow your horse to rest

Don’t leave home without:

  • An extra halter and lead rope for each horse
  • Emergency flares and/or reflector triangles
  • Flashlight (how many people do you see using their cell phones??)
  • Jumper cables and spare fuses
  • Spare tires for both the tow vehicle and trailer, jack, blocks, wrench and WD-40.
  • Took-kit (crowbar, hammer, screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers)
  • Duct tape

When traveling and if you are fortunate to have a trailer with drop-down windows, put the windows down each time you stop at a restaurant or rest stop so that your horse’s can put their heads out and relax a little.  Remember that horses use their muscles to keep themselves balanced as you are transporting them, so stopping allowing them to rest and poke their heads out the window is a welcomed treat.

Happy riding – Larissa.


1 Comment»

  themeganandersenn wrote @

Great tip about checking the trailer for broken metal pieces! -especially if the trailer hasn’t been used for a while 🙂

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