Transporting Your Horse

STATE TRANSPORTATION REQUIREMENTS


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 problems are obvious, but less obvious are design features in a horse trailer that make traveling stressful for your horse. Breaking halters, shipping fever, dehydration, and colic can be prevented with a stress free horse trailer environment.

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.

Your horse wants:

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. A light colored interior and lots of windows make the trailer much more inviting and less threatening.

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 quick release, but stable. Butt and chest bars should also be quick release.

Ramps should be low to the ground and not slippery. All brakes and lights should be in perfect working order and the emergency breakaway brake battery should be charged. Safety chains on tag-along horse trailers must be crossed underneath, and ball hitch gooseneck hitches should also have safety chains or cables.

Tires should be inflated to the recommended capacity, and rubber torsion suspension reduces road shock for your horse, and is an added safety feature if the event of a flat tire. Tag-along horse trailers should be hitched to a frame mounted Class III or Class IV hitch, and your horse trailer should always be towed in a level position.


More trailer information resources: 

Tips for choosing your next trailer (infohorse.com)

Safety on the road (About.com)

Slant vs Straight load trailer?

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