Trailering across country or even just up the road, can be a pleasent time. Or it can be a bad hair day right from the start. There are some rules to follow if you want a safe and enjoyable trip. Just hooking up to the trailer does not always get it. There are a few things that are a must if you want a safe and comfortable trip. Your trailer should be level, once your hooked up. No horse should be made to ride uphill for any amount of time, ( try standing on your roof for a while and you will know what I mean) Make sure all the lights work and the safety equipment is in place and working. For those of you with bumper pull trailers. Cross the safety chains, Do you know why we cross the chains? So that if the trailer comes off the ball, the tounge will not drop to the ground and dig in) it would be like pole vaulting if you did not cross them chains.. Make sure there is nothing in the horse area that your can horse can get into, or can fall into his area. some folks tie and some dont. If they will ride well, loose is best, if they go down they wont break a neck or strangle.
There is now a new safety method to tie your horse with We use it and I believe this product will soon be in everyones trailer and barn..
There is something to be said about both bumper pull and gooseneck trailers.
The bumper pull will be much cheaper. You will not get the features that a gooseneck can offer, but there are many people who have done some home work and finished off their bumper pulls to suit their camping needs.
The gooseneck are usually much larger and have more room. They are easyer to tow and move around, The added size can make it more difficult to get into some places.
The. gooseneck hitch we have found that give us the use of our pickup when not using the hitch, and was the simplest to install, and leaves your trailerbed ready for any use, is the B&W turnover Ball system.
For the camper the goose has become more popular for the simple reason you can get them with finished sleeping and living areas.. They range in size from a small kit/eating area to pull out living rooms, full baths and just about everything but a butler..
What ever you haul in, your horse should be kept warm but not sweaty, dry and comfortable, if you hang a hay bag, make sure it is up and secure, remember horses need to get their head down to clear their nose,(air ways) and that is where they breath.. hay up heads down. Some of the older straight load trailers have a area in front of the horse for a manger, If you put your horse in one of these, think about this. He is breathing what ever air is around in front of him, if his head is in a pile of hay, he is breathing hay dust.. He soon will filll up his air ways with dust and not be able to clear them as he needs to..
A horse that is loose in a big trailer can go flying in hard stops, I feel a horse in a good secure stall can use the butt bar and chest bar to great advantage while stopping and turning and starting, it gives them something to brace againist, lots to be said for a straight load. Some like a slant load, some like to haul backwards, what ever is best for you, once again beware of the dangers that can ruin a trip for you and your horse. Nothing worst than hearing a horse scrambleing around in a trailer.
The horse in a trailer is working just as hard while it is standing in that thing, as if he was out being worked. Every muscle in his body is being used just to stand up staright. every bump and bend he is using his muscles to keep his balance, .Hey! You thought he was having fun back there.. Try standing on a moving object without hanging on, and then when you do hang on think of the horse in a closed area with some thing to lean on, in comparison to a large slant load stall.
Just one of the reasons we take our horse out of the trailer, when we stop for gas, when we haul more that 5 hours. They need the stop and streach as much as you do..They have the same needs as you and I , nature calls them too, and a drink and fresh food go along way in making him comfortable..
No, we dont take them out at the pumps but we do use large truck stop areas, way out in back..Our method is simply. Drive to the rear. We unload the horses and Kathy will let them strech etc. on the lead line, while I go gas up. When I come back she takes a break while I hold the horses, By this time we have had 20-30 minutes of relaxed time, and so have they... Now take in mind that if you cant trust your horse on a lead line in a strange area. or one that don't load. you may just want to let them stay on the trailer. But I can say they are much better off if you can get them out for a time.. To tell the truth if you have a horse that dont behave on a lead line or load, I would not take him anywhere..