How/when did you learn to pull a trailer? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 17 Old 07-29-2010, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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How/when did you learn to pull a trailer?

There is a show in August that's pretty close (~40 minutes) to my barn that I would LOVE to take my yearling filly to. It's a future event horse class and the last one that's close enough for her to go to before championships.

Well, I thought it was on August 15. Went to enter it yesterday and saw it's the 14. My parents already have plans that afternoon and I emailed the organizer who said the FEH class will take place in the afternoon after the YEH tests.

So, I want to trailer her out and take a friend from the barn I used to board at to help me. But the only thing I've done is backed the trailer up into it's parking spot.

I'm 20 years old, I've been driving for 4 years and haven't had any issues what-so-ever, so here's hoping my dad will let me haul around the empty trailer then practice with one of my horses in it, then let me go to a show without him!

Ok, my novel's finished
Let's hear your learning-to-drive-a-trailer stories :)

-Melanie
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post #2 of 17 Old 07-29-2010, 03:19 PM
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I did not learn to drive a trailer until I was an adult (over 30) and bought a trailer. It was a learn as I went thing.

I knew the basics, slow around corners and slow down and speed up slowly.


If you get stuck at a show (backing up or on a tight corner) there is always someone willing to help.
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post #3 of 17 Old 07-29-2010, 03:21 PM
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I learned how to pull a bumper pull trailer with my learners permit. I was on a drill team and the guy that hauled me to all of my shows, practices, and parades let me drive on a pretty straight stretch of road. He taught me to turn and back. I was 15 and fearless though. When I bought my 4 horse slant load it took a while for me to let my husband to teach me to drive it. I was white-knuckled and terrified! It's 34 feet... quite a bit bigger than my old 2 horse!

The biggest thing is, remember you need more time to stop and wider turns....

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post #4 of 17 Old 07-29-2010, 03:23 PM
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The day I turned 15, I got my driver's permit. When I got home that morning with that little slip of paper, my Dad had our horses loaded in the trailer (which was a 20 foot stock trailer) and said we needed to go check cattle and I was driving. I have never been so terrified in my life LOL. But, I have now been driving trailers for about 11 years and never had an accident of any kind *knock on wood*. The most important things you have to remember is to give yourself extra room to slow down, stay way back off the bumper of the person in front of you, and take turns pretty wide to keep from dragging the trailer over a curb or whatever is on the corner. It isn't so hard once you get into the habit of always checking your mirrors, going slow, and turning wide. Backing up is actually the hardest part .

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #5 of 17 Old 07-29-2010, 04:15 PM
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I was pulling trailers with my learners permit- Like mentioned before your distance needed to stop is much greated then without pulling and turning is a bit different. I still struggle with backing but try not to get myself in a situation where I can't get out (basically get places super early).


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post #6 of 17 Old 07-29-2010, 04:45 PM
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Another term for a bumper pull trailer is a "tag along". It's given that name because it will actually follow the rear bumper of your tow vehicle without any extra wide turns as you would in a GN.

The things to remember are to give yourself plenty of room for stopping, expect emergency stops, slow down around corners so your horse doesn't flop around, slow down slowly, watch pot holes, and drive slower then you normally would.

A bumper pull is much easier to drive then a GN (but more difficult to back up).

Have your dad give you a lesson!

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post #7 of 17 Old 07-29-2010, 06:19 PM
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I don't know what kind of float we have in your terms - It's one that has an A-frame that attaches on to the tow ball.

On my L's I drove the float empty to PC and back - About 5 minutes. I then drove to PC and back with horses on, and a few smaller trips. Since then I really only two when dad can't take me places - I've towed up to a couple hours.

I have to tow myself to a lesson this morning, and it's wet, and the place is up a dirt road and very boggy. I'm hoping I don't get bogged, lol.

Everyone had good advice about driving slow, extra time to stop, turning wide. I might also add if the car is manual change at lower revs and try to do it smoothly - Jerking between gears is no fun for the horse.

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post #8 of 17 Old 07-29-2010, 08:46 PM
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I learned how to back up around my yard first. The most important thing I have to tell you is to take it easy and slow backing up and if you have to stop for a minute and actually THINK about what you're doing, don't be afraid to do it. I have a bumper pull though and it's pretty straightforward.

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post #9 of 17 Old 07-29-2010, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tips everyone. Our trailer is a 2H Bumper Pull w/dressing room, so nothing too crazy. And we pull with a 2005 Suburban (automatic).
I missed my dad tonight - he's got to be at work early so he was already in bed when I got in. But tomorrow, I'll see if he'll teach me :)

-Melanie
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post #10 of 17 Old 07-29-2010, 10:12 PM
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I only drove twice with a little two horse (empty, for practice) but it was pretty easy for me. I'm assuming heavily that anything bigger is going to be harder. I'll deal with that as it comes
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