Should I buy a horse trailer?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Should I buy a horse trailer? We will also help you choose the best horse trailer on the market and give you a few tips on towing one safely. 

Should I buy a horse trailer?

You should buy a horse trailer if you own one or more horses and you:

  • Want to participate in a tournament;
  • Need to regularly visit a vet clinic;
  • Want to go on vacation and need a way to transport your horse(s). 

In these cases, both for the owners of the equines and for the animals themselves, this experience is unusual and sometimes traumatic, which is why it warrants the implementation of various security measures that reduce the inconvenience, such as suitable vehicles and trailers, as well as legal and current documents that allow you to have a trip with a happy ending. 

For that to happen, it is important to assess some considerations.

Driving a horse trailer is a matter of practice

Hauling a horse trailer is a matter of practice. The more often a trailer is driven, the more skilled the driver will be. First of all, you have to get used to the behaviour of the vehicle when cornering. 

In addition, you always have to drive gently and cautiously, and above all, not go too fast. If the speed is too high, the trailer will start to wobble and the horse will surely get scared, affecting his physical and emotional condition.

One of the biggest difficulties in driving a horse trailer is parking properly. The main challenge here is to square the direction of the trailer according to the direction given to the vehicle since it must not be forgotten that the two parts move independently: if the vehicle is directed to the right, the trailer will move to the right. left, and vice versa.

You always have to rethink before making each decision. You need to take the time to park. There is no rush. However, after a little practice, getting to park correctly will be possible very soon.

What driving-license do I need to tow a horse trailer?

Since 1999, an additional driving license has been required in all countries to pull a horse trailer. Therefore, the trailer driving license must be obtained from the driving school. The traditional driving license is not enough, so you have to avoid inconveniences.

The prerequisite for obtaining this permit is:

-A class B driving license, which entitles you to drive a car.

-Be at least 18 years old, or 17 years old for accompanied driving.

A practical test is required for the BE category driving license: at least three hours of cross-country driving, one night and one motorway trip. The number of hours of actual practice is determined by the driving instructor. The BE driving license allows towing trailers with a maximum authorized mass of up to 7700 lbs (3,500 kg).

The weight of a horse trailer

The weight of a trailer varies by size and material. A 1.5 horse trailer (e.g. mare with foal) weighs approx. 1000 to 1480 lbs (470 to 670 kg). The horse trailer is considerably heavier with a curb weight of approximately 1430 t0 2645 lbs (650 to 1200 kg). When choosing a driving license, both the curb weight of the trailer and the number of horses to be transported must be taken into account.

Horse trailer insurance

The horse trailer is secured through the towing vehicle if the trailer is connected to the vehicle or is detached from the towing vehicle and is still moving.

Examples:

  • Another vehicle is damaged when the trailer is parked.
  • While driving, the coupling is released and the trailer rolls onto a parked vehicle.

However, in the event of damage, the injured party may contact the owner of the tractor vehicle or the owner of the horse trailer, in accordance with article 7 of the Road Traffic Law, and register their claims for compensation there. Therefore, it is advisable to take out liability insurance for the horse trailer, especially since the insurance premium is quite reasonable.

The right car for driving a horse trailer

In any case, you have to check if the vehicle has permission to pull the trailer. The towing capacity is indicated in the respective vehicle registration document. If you are not sure, it is advisable to ask the manufacturer or the sales agency of your choice. 

A four-wheel-drive car is also an advantage, as you sometimes have to drive over meadows or other uneven surfaces. It is just common sense to understand that a vehicle towing a trailer must be strong enough to safely move the extra weight.

And with regard to safety, it is an essential requirement that the trailer has the rear signs that allow, both day and night, to give notice to other vehicles. In addition, the tire pressure must be checked and it must be known that the safety distance to the brake must be increased.

The horse should not be forgotten and, if long journeys are made, it would be advisable to keep fresh hay and clean water within reach of the animal. Likewise, it is recommended to be careful when going up and down hills and, above all, to drive thinking that you are carrying a fragile and delicate load.

These tips, among others, provided by horses are essential so that the trip with the horse trailer does not end up being a bitter experience.

Some things to consider before buying a horse trailer

Before buying a horse trailer, keep in mind that it must be maintained and stored properly. Any horse trailer must be serviced at least twice a year, more often if you are using it almost on a daily basis or if you are transporting more than one horse!

To guarantee optimum durability and increase the safety of the trailer, it is best to check a few important points and perform the right actions. When the trailer is immobilized for a long time, it is advisable to position it on chocks or jack stands in order to relieve the tires.

This solution is also to be adopted to carry out all maintenance work on the trailer:

  • bearings: regularly lubricate the parts by removing the hub caps,
  • wheels: check the tightness of the bolts,
  • spare wheel: check its condition regularly,
  • tires: regular inflation of the tires to ensure the safety of the coupling,
  • brakes: replace them if they are defective,
  • coupling: the drawbar must be in perfect working order and must not show any point of wear,
  • trailer light: ensure the correct functioning of the lighting components without forgetting the condition of the connectors and wiring, remember to clean the cabochons periodically, even more often when the trailer is used for agricultural work. 
  • registration plate: it must be correctly fixed and the registration must be perfectly legible.

Note: Regular inspection of the trailer’s parts and accessories does not dispense with checking by a professional.

The overhaul and maintenance of your trailer will give it maximum longevity and ensure good safety in use. By applying all the advice given in this section, your faithful working tool will perform its functions for many years!

Conclusions

Maintaining a trailer is not easy and time-consuming, of course. But, this vehicle allows you to live pleasant moments in the company of those who are dear to you, whether in your hometown or abroad. It is reasonable for you to take care of it!

A  trailer can last up to 10 years, on average. However, the lifespan of a vehicle can vary considerably taking into account some essential aspects such as: how often you drive it if you live full-time in the trailer or not, if you do regular annual maintenance, if you take precautions when parking it long-term and in time what are you on the road.

If you have any questions or comments about the content, please let us know.

FAQ on Should I buy a horse trailer?

How to maintain a horse trailer?

It is important to maintain and keep your horse trailer as clean and safe as possible, which can be achieved by fixing any problems you are having right away and regularly checking the trailer for any new faults.

How to customize a horse trailer?

A trailer can be customized for trail riding or horse shows with a few different pieces. There is no limit to what can be done to make towing a better experience for both horse and rider, it all depends on your needs.

Where do you store a horse trailer?

You can store a horse trailer at your home if you have a shed or garage, or you could look for either outdoor or indoor storage centres. 

What are the top 5 trailer brands for horses?

The top 5 trailer brands for horses are:

  • Sundowner;
  • Featherlite;
  • Trials West;
  • Exiss;
  • Titan. 

What travel equipment do I need to transport a horse?

As for travel equipment, the horse must wear the halter for the duration of the trip. Most experts suggest a leather halter (not nylon or rope). In an emergency, the leather is easy to cut. Depending on the weather during your trip, you may or may not need a blanket. Bumpers and leg guards can be very important. 

How many horses can fit in a trailer?

Up to six horses can fit in a trailer, depending on the size and model of the trailer. When transporting more than one horse, the minimum height inside the compartments must exceed the height at the withers of the tallest animal by at least 30 inches (almost 75 cm).

References