Trailering in tack - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 06-21-2019, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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Trailering in tack

So sometime in August I’m taking the boys to a hunter pace. At the park where they do them I’ve heard it tends to be hectic with hounds running around, lots of horses, and people all around. I feel as though my horses would be a lot more comfortable being tacked up somewhere familiar. Especially with Bee considering he pulls back and I feel as though he would be a mess getting tacked up while tied to the trailer. At the barn he no longer pulls back but if we change the location he may not be as good. It also seems dangerous for him to pull back while on a trailer, next to my other horse.

I would much rather put on the saddles at the barn and then when we get there we just have to bridle them. But I’m not sure if that’s safe? Is it acceptable to trailer horses with tack on? I could even take the stirrups off of the saddles until we get there so that they don’t get caught on anything. I don’t know. What’s your opinions on this?
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post #2 of 31 Old 06-21-2019, 02:18 PM
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It might depend on your trailer setup and how long they will be in the trailer. I haul in a stock trailer, my horses get hauled saddled, hop out, throw a bridle on, tighten my cinches and away we go.

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post #3 of 31 Old 06-21-2019, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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It’ll be cleaned before we go. It’s about a 30 minute drive, both horses are easy to trailer. It’s a 4 horse slant load.
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post #4 of 31 Old 06-21-2019, 02:31 PM
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We always did it when we went hunting, you just donít want to be messing around tacking a horse up in a busy parking area or on the side of the road, especially if something happens enroute and you arrive late.
We always travel them tacked up when we go the trails.
They travel home untracked.
Be sure the girth is just tight enough that the saddle canít slide around and stirrups are run up and secure. If I think the stirrups might slide down I use a bit of tape or twine to fasten them to the dís on the saddle

Just winging it is not a plan
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post #5 of 31 Old 06-21-2019, 02:38 PM
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When I've hauled with tack or harness on it was either open stock or straight load with no divider down the middle. Those I have know hauling tacked with dividers have wound up with damage to their equipment.
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post #6 of 31 Old 06-21-2019, 02:57 PM
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I was behind someone once who was hauling a horse tacked up (in Western gear) in a two-horse bumper pull with the divider in. I actually wondered whether that was OK myself. Sure seemed a lot easier. I didn't follow him to see how it turned out. I'm looking forward to hauling my guys to trails in the future, and it really seems easier, especially in the rainy PNW, to tack them up in the barn at home and have them ready to go (I like the idea of having the girth not too tight) when we get there. Not very helpful, but just saying I've seen it done.
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post #7 of 31 Old 06-21-2019, 02:59 PM
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I'm with QtrBel...

No dividers used.
Your saddle runs the risk of catching a flap on those dividers or the horse standing next to yours also tacked up.
You also run the risk of catching your saddle passing a rear tack area if the trailer has very careful going in or out.
Make sure you put a strap over the saddle seat to the stirrups run up so they can not slip down.
No bridles, halters only on them trailering and prepare to bridle once off the trailer regardless of the atmosphere.
Trailer that is a 4 horse I would open up the slants and only lock the last divider closed so the horses can not leave without a human at their head handling them at the destination.
If your horses are shod, bell boots on those hooves of both horses just in case...
I tack my guys at home when we go ride as a family...western and my English saddle.
We secure stirrups out of the way on all saddles, use halters only trailering bridling at destinations...cinch/girth is snug enough my saddles do not move as the goal is not resetting tack but a final adjustment, bridle on and hit the trails.
My trailer I take with 3 horses is a wide open back door, no center dividers or anything to pass by...swing open and get off we do.

Enjoy your ride and have fun, lots of fun!!
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post #8 of 31 Old 06-21-2019, 03:04 PM
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I do it quite a bit, but my trailer is an open stock with no dividers, and I primarily ride western where the heavy leather isn't much prone to damage if it gets bumped or rubbed. Unload, tighten the cinch again, bridle, and go. Working cowboys do it daily-- saddle in the morning, load the horses to where the work is that day, unload, and go.

Interesting anecdote-- a few years ago, we were at a restaurant off of an interstate highway exit and a couple of horse trailers pull in, open up the windows, and four guys come in to eat. From their conversation it was clear they'd just come from a team roping event. While we were there, a truck hauling cattle exited off the interstate and rolled the truck over into the ditch. Loose cattle everywhere... at dusk, on a major road. Those guys got up, tossed money on the table for the meals they'd just started eating, ran out to the trailers, unloaded their horses and pulled the cinches tight, and off they went shaking out loops of rope to get those cattle driven somewhere off the road and away from traffic. Someone cut a fence into a neighboring field, and they pushed the cattle through, roping what wouldn't drive, then helped get the rest of the cattle safely off the damaged truck and into waiting trailers that had arrived by then with law enforcement. I hate to think of the chaos that would have ensued with all those cattle running around on a busy interstate highway in the dark had those four guys not been there with their good horses and cattle working skills. We've had to do the same thing coming across loose animals and/or accidents with livestock trailers coming home from a trail ride or having a truck drive off the road near our place, too. A couple guys I ride with sometimes rope, and they always haul their horses tacked and ready because they've needed them more than once in an emergency where taking the time to saddle wouldn't have been possible. If I had my rope horse on the trailer, I usually hauled him saddled and with a rope in the tack room 'just in case.' Not that you have to, but hauling saddled, particularly for western riders/ranch workers/ropers is pretty common. Some tie the stirrups up with a snap-clip dog collar, but I usually leave them down since my horses haul well and my trailer doesn't have dividers.

Last edited by SilverMaple; 06-21-2019 at 03:20 PM.
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post #9 of 31 Old 06-21-2019, 03:44 PM
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You know...
Take a test run with the boys...
Go to a active show ground with all the crazies happening and see how they do...plan to ride the grounds but not show.
Remember no dogs running loose, but a good pack should also not be running underfoot but will be making noise and milling near their kennel trailer.
Go to some of the active group there at ride start when everyone is greeting each other, commotion of preparing and getting underway and see how all behave...
At least you then will have some idea of what to expect and have some warning good, bad of the upcoming day.

Can I ask why you are taking 2 horses?
Who are you allowing to ride your horse on a pace and is this pace just flat or over fences?
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post #10 of 31 Old 06-21-2019, 03:54 PM
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I do most of the time. Before a trail, or before my lesson. I don't tighten the girth as tight as I do when I'm about to mount, but I tighten it enough so it won't slip/go anywhere.

I don't see why you can't. I untack my horse before going back to the barn though.
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