Trailering for the first time. HELP!! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 12-18-2014, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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Trailering for the first time. HELP!!

I have to trailer a single horse in a single horse trailer with a pickup tomorrow for a 2.5 hour drive. I've never done it before! Ack!

My husband is going to drive and he's towed other things plenty of times. I would like your tips on how to make it as comfy as possible for us and the horse.

I've done some research. Some sites say to blanket the horse, put boots that go from knee down, tail guard, breakable halter, hay in a net, lead rope attached with bailing twine, poll guard stuffed under bridle, overreach boots ... how much of this would you do? Is there anything I've missed?

The weather where we are leaving from is quite cold (maybe close to freezing) and the weather where we will arrive is about 15 degrees celcius, so much warmer.

“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ” ~ William Shakespeare
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post #2 of 17 Old 12-18-2014, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by ecasey View Post
I have to trailer a single horse in a single horse trailer with a pickup tomorrow for a 2.5 hour drive. I've never done it before! Ack!

My husband is going to drive and he's towed other things plenty of times. I would like your tips on how to make it as comfy as possible for us and the horse.

I've done some research. Some sites say to blanket the horse, put boots that go from knee down, tail guard, breakable halter, hay in a net, lead rope attached with bailing twine, poll guard stuffed under bridle, overreach boots ... how much of this would you do? Is there anything I've missed?

The weather where we are leaving from is quite cold (maybe close to freezing) and the weather where we will arrive is about 15 degrees celcius, so much warmer.
Good blanket because of the wind is a must have. We have hauled our horses when cold, never any problems as long as they have a good blanket.
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post #3 of 17 Old 12-18-2014, 07:17 PM
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Has the horse been trailered before or not? Exactly what kind of trailer are you talking about. By your description, I'm picturing something that only a single horse will fit in like this


To me, a lot of the stuff you listed seems like overkill for no longer a trip than it is. Unless the weather is really cold, I wouldn't blanket.

A lot of that other stuff, whether I would use it or not, depends on whether the horse trailers well or not. On a horse that hauls well, I have them in a halter and they have a hay net and that's it. No shipping boots, no poll bumper, no nothing.

If the horse is fine with trailering and it's just you that you're worried about, remember, most places there is no law against driving too slow . When I am hauling, I always drive much slower. I leave a lot more space between me and the car in front of me, and remember that you may have to take your corners wide, depending on the trailer.

ETA: Remember to take your time speeding up and slowing down, also go slow when turning and give yourself plenty of time and space to do it gently. No really abrupt movements if you can avoid it.
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post #4 of 17 Old 12-18-2014, 07:30 PM
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[QUOTE=smrobs;6741705]To me, a lot of the stuff you listed seems like overkill for no longer a trip than it is. Unless the weather is really cold, I wouldn't blanket./QUOTE]

x2, especially on the blanket. Bring it, but I wouldn't put it on - you'll be amazed at how warm it will get inside the trailer unless it has a lot of cracks and crevices where the heat easily escapes. The last thing you want is an overheated horse, especially important to keep in mind considering you're expecting a 15 degree rise in temp over a few hours drive - your horse will be sweating buckets with a blanket on in a trailer at +15 IMHO.

I secure their head using a breakaway crosstie so that there's zero chance they can turn their head around - you don't want them to be able to bend their head back as if they get stuck they'll often panic...and bad things can happen. A lead tied up with binder twine used as a makeshift panic breakaway will also do the job.

I also do haybags (not nets) for any trip over a half hour or so...it gives them something to do and keeps their mind quiet.

Shipping boots or standing wraps are never a bad idea in my personal opinion for longer hauls...especially if your husband isn't an experienced hauler and there's a chance there's going to be some jostling going on. Make sure they fit and are secured properly - again, you want to minimize the chance of them panicking on the trailer and something loose flapping around their feet

Most importantly, stop after the first 30 minutes or so and check on them, then at least once an hour beyond that.

Don't overthink things and don't strap on a bunch of unnecessary stuff that's just going to cause additional "what the heck is that?" stress for your horse.

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post #5 of 17 Old 12-18-2014, 10:37 PM
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Open stock trailer, I would put a light blanket on then check to see if it needs taken off when you hit the warmer weather.

Enclosed trailer = no blanket.

Hay bag or net and make sure it is tied high & tight so that it can't slip down and allow the horse to get a foot tangled in it.

The only time I don't tie a horse in the trailer is if I'm using the stock trailer and I don't know if the horse ties well. In an enclosed trailer it's going to hit the door/butt bar (straight load) or the wall (slant load) before it can really set back enough to break anything.
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post #6 of 17 Old 12-19-2014, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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The horse trailers well as far as I know. He's done a year of competitions, so he had to be trailered to those shows. And yes, it's a trailer like the one in the picture, so maybe it'll be warm enough without a blanket.

Thanks for all the advice, everyone! I knew I could count on you guys. :)
smrobs and dlady like this.

“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ” ~ William Shakespeare
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post #7 of 17 Old 12-19-2014, 01:12 AM
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Remind your husband that the cargo he's hauling is living, so to be a little gentler than he would be with a trailer full of lumber

Other than that, your horse will likely be fine without a bunch of extras. I go pretty minimal when I haul- here's what I do.

I put on a sheet or blanket when I'm hauling in cold weather, but my trailer is not enclosed so he gets a lot of air flow. If you do have an enclosed trailer, you can leave the blanket off, but make sure vents are opened up so there's some air flow.

I also hang a hay net up for my horse and put a fly mask on him to keep any flying hay or other debris out of his eyes.

There's plenty of debate on whether or not to tie and what to tie with. I generally don't tie, but when I do I use a breakaway tie. The only thing I would recommend avoiding is the bungee ties- just imagining what would happen if one of those broke under tension makes me nervous.

I don't wrap legs and haven't had a problem yet. I've considered getting some bell boots to protect the coronet band, since that area has a relatively high probability of injury and can be serious if it does. Not super high on my list of concerns, though.

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post #8 of 17 Old 12-19-2014, 02:42 PM
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That trailer looks top heavy to me, so definitely make sure that you make your turns gentle, slow, and wide. The extras for the horse... in all honesty I've never met anyone who uses them. Even at the H/J barn with the super expensive horses, they just put a normal halter on, loaded up and went on their way. I might consider shipping boots or padded halter or whatever if I had a horse that was really fidgety in the trailer, but most horses after the first few times trailer quietly especially if they have hay to munch on.

Funny thing about difference between bumper pull and GN... everybody always goes on and on about how wonderful it is that a GN turns tighter than bumper pull, but for me learning to drive the trailer it was a total PITA! Turning tighter meant that any time there was a curb or something in the way, I had to turn much wider than someone would with a bumper pull so that the trailer wouldn't hit the curb. Love our trailer but I don't see why everyone makes a big deal about the GN... I do like that it is easier on the truck and the extra storage space is great, but as I said everything has to be just right when you turn (ever watched a semi driver make a right turn?)

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post #9 of 17 Old 12-19-2014, 02:50 PM
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Gooseneck/5th wheel trailers DO turn in a tighter radius (it's geometry in the end), they just turn differently, that's all, and that's where some people feel they're different.

And there's lots of other advantages to GN/5'th wheel trailers as well. They ARE far better.
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post #10 of 17 Old 12-19-2014, 03:06 PM
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Be careful going around corners... it can be hard on the animal to keep balance going around some corners.

I don't blanket in an enclosed trailer.

I feed in the trailer to keep the animal busy.

I also use a good halter, one of the horses I have broke his lead rope jumped out of the trailer and went home. Thankfully the guy bringing him to me was going very slow so no damage other than the lead. I make sure to tie him very securely now. Havent had an problems since.
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