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equiniphile 06-29-2013 10:37 AM

At what age did you start driving the trailer?
For the last few years, I've had to rely on paying friends gas money to go together to Pony Club rallies, horse trials, schooling days, etc. My mom works a lot (6 days a week, sometimes 12 hour days) and I can't bring myself to ask her to give up her day off to drive the trailer on Sundays.

However, I have my license now, and things are a bit different. I've maneuvered the trailer (both the BP horse trailer and the 20 ft long flatbed with 8 ft sides) on a weekly basis when I need to move things around, I guide my mom when we do trailer out, and I've driven the truck around enough to have a good feeling for where every inch of it is on the road. It would be hugely beneficial for me to learn to tow on the roads.

My mom is very open to the idea, as are my dad and stepmother, and I would like to start practicing sans horse later this summer with the goal of trailering solo next season to shows.

At what age did you start trailering your own horses? Do you think it's reasonable for a 16 year old to learn to drive the trailer and trailer alone by next year?

Freemare 06-29-2013 10:53 AM

Here is the thing. The younger you are the more you can get your self into trouble. I know in my state we are not allowed to trailer anything over a limited till you turn 18. There are a lot of things that can go wrong with trailring a horse. If you dont have the experience to deal with it. It could make problems for your family. Because you are under 18. Everything you do will end up on family's lap. If I were you I would wait till you are 18. You dont want to get into a world of hurts.

Wallaby 06-29-2013 11:01 AM

^agreed. You want to make sure with your state laws. I'm pretty sure that in Oregon, you have to be 21 before you can drive a "bigger" vehicle - trailer+truck, RV, etc.

You are an exceptionally mature human being so I'm less concerned about you getting yourself into trouble...but state laws n' all - might be important. :lol:
And of course, I got my license at 18 - took drivers ed, did TONS of driving hours prior to getting my license, etc, and though I haven't ever gotten myself into serious trouble or gotten into an accident (I'm almost 23 now), I have been involved in some stunts that I never saw coming. I would say that I'm a "good" driver, but, even now, my relative driving immaturity still gets me sometimes. I just drive a giant van (hahaha) but a truck and trailer? That would be something.

CLaPorte432 06-29-2013 11:05 AM

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i started driving the truck and trailer at 17. i got my license at 16-1/2. but i also drove for years before that on country roads.

i can back up a trailer...any style we a professional.

i feel i drive a horse trailer better then my mom who i feel goes too fast sometimes and doesnt give ample time to brake for stops.
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waresbear 06-29-2013 11:43 AM

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There are restrictions now where I live, it is a graduated liscensing, so no hauling anything for a while. However, back in the day before all that, I hauled a stock trailer when I was 18.

EquineObsessed 06-29-2013 12:31 PM

As long as it's legal in your state and you practice a lot without the horses in, go for it. My best friends had been driving the farm truck since they were 9 or younger, and were very illegally driving on the roads at about 13. They had experience driving with the trailer around the farm and to nearby places, so they started hauling animals around at 16. Obviously, I wouldn't advise their particular methods, but as long as you feel like you can handle the truck and trailer and you practice, I think 16 is fine. I would just have someone else drive if it was more than 45 minutes or an hour away.

smrobs 06-29-2013 03:43 PM

Like others have said, it all depends on the laws of your state and the states where you will be hauling.

That being said, since I grew up out in the boonies, it seems that I started most things younger than other folks.

I started driving around the farm when I was around 5 or 6 (had several minor accidents...running into fences, putting dents in the barn, etc) but I learned how to drive and drive well. I took driver's ed when I was 14 and got my learner's permit the day I turned 15. That same day, I started driving the pickup and the 20 foot gooseneck that we would use to haul horses and dogs to check cattle. Of course, only having a learner's permit, I had to have a licensed adult with me, but I started hauling by myself when I was 16 and got my real license. I've never had an accident with a truck and trailer, though I've come close several times due to the stupidity of other drivers.

GamingGrrl 06-29-2013 04:27 PM

I'm 18 and I haul my horses myself.
I've never even thought about the legal situation though, so I might be breaking the law.
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goneriding 06-29-2013 08:13 PM

Considering your previous experience, I say go for it. My daughter has been driving a truck and hay trailer since she was seven on a hay field. She knows how to back up and hook up trailers. I have put her through a ton of maneuvers on our property with trailers. She is sixteen now and yes, she will be hauling her horse in due time.

my2geldings 06-29-2013 08:36 PM

I drove owned and drove my first horse trailer, at the age of 18.

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