Should I put bedding in my horse trailer?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Should I put bedding in my horse trailer? We will discuss the pros and cons of putting bedding in your horse trailer. We will also help you choose the best bedding for the trailer and explain how you can change the trailer floor step-by-step. 

Should I put bedding in my horse trailer?

You should put bedding in your horse trailer if you are worried about urine and manure destroying the trailer floor. Still, if you do not want to spend even more time cleaning the horse trailer, it may not be a good idea. Let’s discuss all the pros and cons of putting bedding in a horse trailer. 

Should I put bedding in my horse trailer?

Ensures the comfort of the horse during transport with a grip on the ground (less risk of slipping).Bedding in the horse trailer means more dust which can annoy both you and your horse. 
Reduces noise inside the trailer (less stressed horse).It is impossible to soak all the urine and manure, some of it will definitely get to the floor at some point. 
Makes the horse trailer floor waterproof (installation of joints).It will be hard to clean the horse trailer, as you will most likely have to take the bedding out then reinstall it. 
Protects the floors from urine infiltration.It represents a fire hazard. 
Many horse trailers come with a type of bedding installed. It is an additional cost. 

So, is putting bedding in a horse trailer worth it?

Our final verdict is, yes, putting bedding in a horse trailer is completely worth it. During trips, some horses have trouble holding on, moving a lot especially in turns, roundabouts … (horses that do not stand). We advise you to put in place a flexible mat, or even a mattress to improve their adhesions. We also recommend a chip base.

And if you think about it, the noise caused by the hooves will cause stress to your horse during its trip, the placement of rubber on the ground will make a dull sound, your horse will stress less and your transport will go smoothly.

Putting rubber mats on the horse trailer floor will make it waterproof, less urine or water infiltration will improve the longevity of the wood or metal floor. 

What type of bedding is the best for a horse trailer? 

The best bedding for a horse trailer would be non-slip mats that are custom-fitted. The winter period marks the end of competitions and the perfect time to refurbish your van or your truck.

The renovation of the floor is sometimes difficult and we are committed to making it last as long as possible. It is also the time to replace the floor mat of your van, tried by the irons of the hooves and the numerous journeys of your companions. 

Choosing the right upholstery is a real headache, as there are so many offers and models on offer on the Web and at Van’s merchants. Choosing is always complicated, so here are 5 tips for choosing a good rubber mat for horse trailers:

  1. The material: Prefer pure rubber rather than recycled rubber. It is important to choose a noble, durable and premium material, residue-free and strong for long life.
  1. The weft: Non-slip yes, but be careful to take an easy-to-clean weft – Streaks are to be avoided, you will never have an impeccable floor and residues slip into the gutters, odours and bacteria as a bonus. Use round, diamond, rice grain type designs, with extra thickness to ensure easy cleaning with a jet and a broom. 

Small asperities are easy to maintain and do not interfere with sweeping or cleaning sessions with plenty of water because the residue easily detaches.

  1. The thickness: For intensive use, the thickness of your carpet must have a thickness of at least 12 MM – If it is rubber with a textile weft inside the rubber, you can reduce the thickness a little, in going over 8 MM: You will thus have a tear-proof mat that is rigid enough not to be stuck … 

It does not deform or tear. The cutouts for adaptation to the van’s floor (wheel arches) will help keep it in its right place without the risk of slipping or “cornering” at the ends.

  1. Fixed or glued? The rubber mat has, by its nature, a weight of around 13 KG per M2, so there is no need to glue it, its rigidity and weight will keep it in place. It is advisable to fix the carpet to the bottom of the van using an aluminum rod screwed into the ground on one of the 4 sides (ideally at the “bottom of the van”) in order to be able to lift and thoroughly clean the floor. 

On a daily basis, spread sawdust or shavings on the edges to absorb urine and limit their passage under the edge of the carpet.

  1. What about the bridge? The slope of the deck of your van requires a thicker rubber sheet than that of the passenger compartment. The designs must have a more protruding frame in order to slow down the descent and secure the ascent. The choice of a herringbone mat or with cleats will allow you to secure the operation.

Good equipment will allow you to travel safely and in all weather, remember that a bad transport experience is forever etched in the horse’s head.

How to change a damaged floor of a horse trailer

If you haven’t used any horse trailer bedding by now, chances are after several trips your horse trailer floor may be soaked in urine and damaged. 

Wood flooring in horse trailers is common, but not perfect. Even with the rubber mat placed down on top of the boards, the trailer’s wooden floor wears out before other parts of the trailer. If you have purchased a used horse trailer, you must replace the plank wood flooring before transporting a horse.

Here’s how to do it, step-by-step:

  1. Use a pry bar or ruin bar and hammer to pry off all the old floorboards. Be sure to remove all traces of old screws and bolts from the angle iron joists than the wood planks.
  1. Use a disc grinder with a disc sanding attachment for all newly exposed metal completely sandblasted. It is true that the grind of all the old paint and any antioxidants that have formed. Remove 6-inch paint on the side, minimum.
  1. Measure the length and width of the trailer floor space. Remember the ancient carpenter’s adage of “Measure twice, cut once!” Don’t make the mistake of cutting the floor too small.
  1. Place the 1/4-inch thick steel blade on trestles or other raised surfaces to protect the shop floor or floor. Use a soapstone pencil welder and measure and mark the dimensions of the trailer floor space on sheet steel. Mark the reduced dimensions of the outer edge of the floor area for the mid joint for connections if the space is too large for a single piece of sheet steel to cover the entire area.
  1. Grind the flat surfaces along the edges of the sheet steel with the disc grinder. Remove all traces of rust, paint, and grease from the steel sheet to ensure a solid weld.
  1. Install the steel to the floor support beams of the trailer floor space. Make sure the fit is tight and correct. Use the copper wire feed welder to spot weld the corners and a spot in the centre of each side of the sheet.
  1. Underneath the trailer and weld a high-quality grain between the steel plate and each trailer floor support beam.
  1. Weld a solid, high-quality bead along each edge of the top of the sheet and inside the trailer as well. Weld to the joints between the individual sheets of steel also if you have used more than one piece to cover the surface of the floor area.
  1. Sand all welded joints with the disc grinder to ensure a flat surface on the floor and visually the quality and safety of each welded joint.
  1. Cut a 1/2-inch thick rubber mat in the same dimensions as the floor space area of ​​the trailer. Place it on the newly installed steel floor after the weld and surrounding metal have cooled. Make sure the fit is correct and snug.

Note: The weight of the 1/2 inch thick sheet steel is considerably greater than the weight of the dimensional hardwood flooring that comes with your trailer. This will alter the characteristics of your trailer when pulling. Exercise due care and drive slowly until you have discovered the new handling features.

Metalworking with torches and welders is dangerous. Please exercise all appropriate safety precautions. Seek competent professional instruction before using these tools.


In conclusion, placing bedding in your horse trailer may seem like a hustle, but in the end, you have to think that it will bring more comfort to your horse. Isn’t that argument enough, really?

What do you think? Please feel free to leave a comment with your questions or thoughts on the subject. 

FAQ on Should I put bedding in my horse trailer?

Does a horse trailer need mats?

A horse trailer needs mats if you want to protect the floor from urine and other debris. Mats are also great to ensure comfort, safety and traction for your horse.

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.

Other FAQs about Horse Trailers  that you may be interested in.

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