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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok so i've been wanting to buy or rent a trailer so that I can take Shaggy with me when my family goes to Daytona FL. over spring in April, But I realized I know nothing about trailering a horse. I dont have a clue what to do! I want Shaggy to be comfortable as possible considering this will be a ten hour drive if I get to take him with me. I do know that he trailers well and has spent 3 almost 4 hours in a trailer when he was shipped to me from GA. So can any of you help me out on what the process is when loading and trailering is? What the steps I will need to take?? I'm freaking out now! lol
 

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First question is do you have a vehicle that can pull a trailer with a hitch? Do you have someone who knows how to safely pull a trailer? You dont want to toss your horse into a trailer with a novice driver behind the wheel.

You should watch some youtube videos about trailer loading and trailer safety.

My best advice is though... if you have no clue what is needed, then you shouldnt be pulling a horse 10 hrs. You should have a professional do it. There are so many things that can go wrong on the road - why put your horse and yourself at risk?
 
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I have been towing for years and STILL get nervous doing it. So much can go wrong, even with a seasoned traveller, in a great trailer, great towing vehicle and an experienced person behind the wheel.
Once I was driving back on my own from a very long dressage comp, I'd had a really bad day, been up since 3am, it was a 4 hour drive home. 10 minutes from home, going up a hill, my cars engine cut out and next thing I know I'm rolling backwards. I managed to back onto the side of the road, I had trucks flying past, people honking at me and my horse going ballistic. I was too scared to take my foot off the brake in case the hand brake failed as it was a very steep hill. My horse started to rear, broke his rope and hooked his head around the back of the stallion divider.


Things like this can happen so easily - avoid the stress, get him trucked over. 10 hours is a very long way for a horse to stand in a little box when he hasn't had much experience travelling, and with people that don't know what they're doing.
 

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I would HIGHLY recommend taking your vehicle into a trailer dealership - not a car dealership - and having their mechanics look at it. Your vehicle will need electric brakes and a hitch. You also want to take it on test drives to make sure your trailer doesn't sway. I wouldn't suggest hauling for 10 hours for your first trip. I had to all 6 hours my first time at night through the middle of nowhere - it was scary!!

Just be careful and talk to someone who has hauled before...once you get the hang of it it doesn't feel so strange, but in the beginning it will take some getting used to...

Good luck!:)
 

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oh i hope you get to take shaggy :) i am still new to trailering myself so this is just basics that my dad has me following...

1. get truck and trailer complete looked over before a huge journey... which i consider is this :) and by this he means bring the truck to shop and trailer to a different shop focused on trailers and heave everything inspected.
2. plan your route and stopping points... i have heard of different time frames to keep a horse in trailer but allowing them stopping periods to find there legs again... 4-5 hours like 30-45 minutes just parked horses stay in trailer but can stand still. 6-7 hours plan to have a place picked out and approved to let your horse out of trailer to move around... generally you find a boarding facility or small farm and ask if they would allow this.

3. figure out what you will need in the trailer and for your trip for your horse. feed, taack, hay, cleaning supplies, etc etc and plan to have a way to pack it... feed is pre-made and put in ziplock baggies. tack put in storage area to keep from being damages.. could be a bin or if lucky a tack area in trailer. make sure you have designated spots for everything and that they are all secure and wont move around... you will also need to bring your own water for your horse since some horses get picky and its easier to give them water when needed if you already have it

4. when actually trailering make sure your horse has plenty ventilation so they are not to hot or cold.

5. practice driving trailer and truck prior to going anywhere without horse and get a feel for it... you will want to practice around turns, braking, etc so that you are not to rough and slamming the horse around.. when you ready add the horse into the practice and see how he reacts to you driving.

6.. thats all i have :) i only travel 2 hours at most so the 10hr thing is new to me... so hopefully you get more help :) goodluck
 

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for 10 hour trip by car you probably ought to add at least 3 hours. For what is at least now a 12 hour trip I would break it into thirds, stop at a rest stop and eat, rest , feed horse some hay or beat pulp, or damp hay cubes, something with fiber he will eat and give water. Let him rest a hlaf hour or so, make sure he drinks then head back out.
 

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I dont own a horse trailer, but I trailer a boat...have you ever towed anything before? Not trying to be snarky, but its a whole new ball game. When towing, you must drive like you would if it were snowing and icy. Trucks react completely different with 2000 or more pounds behind it. Your ten hour trip is going to be a 15 hour trip towing anything behind you. Id pay someone to trailer your horse unless youve had a lot of towing experience.
 

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I dont own a horse trailer, but I trailer a boat...have you ever towed anything before? Not trying to be snarky, but its a whole new ball game. When towing, you must drive like you would if it were snowing and icy. Trucks react completely different with 2000 or more pounds behind it. Your ten hour trip is going to be a 15 hour trip towing anything behind you. Id pay someone to trailer your horse unless youve had a lot of towing experience.
Ditto that and further to it:

Hauling a boat or a race car is NOT the same as hauling live weight that can sway the trailer.

I hauled my horses from the East Coast to the West Coast, then back five years later.

Mr. WTW hauled one of the cars. He's a fantastic driver and race car driver -howeverrrr, never on this lush green earth will he pull my horses while I'm still alive. Not even 22 miles to the vet clinic. I cannot get it thru his head that he can't take tight curves anywhere near as fast with horses in a trailer as he can with his race car on his hauler.

Coming back to Tennessee in 2003, I blew the driver's side rear tire on my truck, on the OKLA City by-pass, at rush hour, in the fast lane, going 75 MPH:shock::shock: These tires only had 3,000 miles on them but they had sat in the California Desert sun for five years and weren't near as healthy as I thought they were:-(

I had three horses in an open stock bumper pull. The kids were in the two Ryder Trucks and Mr. WTW was in his dually.

ONLY by the Grace of a Higher Power's guidance on that steering wheel did I get that truck across all the lanes, onto the right berm, slowed down and limped off the off-ramp without flipping us over. I have an old Heavy 3/4 GMC, ex-logger truck (not a dually) my tires are size 33's, which are way over-sized and very flippable.

My horses are seasoned haulers and nobody panicked until we got stopped and the d**n traffic whizzed by us on the off ramp like we were having a picnic. We radioed for police to come and help but they never showed up either.

Having something like that happen is rare. But the driver of the tow vehicle needs to capable of NOT going into a panic and letting go of the steering wheel. Needs to be able to make a snap judgement in the midst of interstate/by-pass/city traffic hopefully, without getting themselves and the rest of the world around them killed.

A trip to Florida is not all 55 MPH county roads where nobody cares if you take your time. The time you spend on the interstate, you are expected to be a driver than can safely "go with the flow", even in the slow lane that "can't drive 55" either.

In conclusion: My thought is to hire someone to haul your horse down if you can't start practising with an appropriately matched tow vehicle and trailer this weekend:):)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
ok i should mentioned I'm NOT the one driving! My dad or my brother will be both have hauled boats and jet skies before so they know what there doing! I didn't say we wouldn't practice hauling first! and the trip is not this weekend its not til APRIL! so i've got plenty of time to plan it. As of right now i dont even know if its going happen and the only reason i wanted to it is so i don't have to sit on the ground while my cousin rides her horse all around. It's bad enough i have watch doing everything with her horse that i can't or won't get to do with my horse. Also i know a 10 hour drive is a long one and if were to take shaggy we would proabaly only go half way. one more thing I DONT have the money yo hire someone to drive shaggy down there.
 

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So you already have a trailer then? They should know how to pull it right?
 

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ok i should mentioned I'm NOT the one driving! My dad or my brother will be both have hauled boats and jet skies before so they know what there doing! I didn't say we wouldn't practice hauling first! and the trip is not this weekend its not til APRIL! so i've got plenty of time to plan it. As of right now i dont even know if its going happen and the only reason i wanted to it is so i don't have to sit on the ground while my cousin rides her horse all around. It's bad enough i have watch doing everything with her horse that i can't or won't get to do with my horse. Also i know a 10 hour drive is a long one and if were to take shaggy we would proabaly only go half way. one more thing I DONT have the money yo hire someone to drive shaggy down there.
So then what advice were you looking for? Your first three posts made it sound like you know nothing about trailering, need to buy one, and needed information asap...
 

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Shaggy-my DH , sons and entire family tows boats, jet skis, drive RV's towing vehicles.....but I would NEVER, EVER let them tow my horse. It is entirely different. and if you disagree you could very well get where you are going just fine, but have a horse traumatized by the trailer.

I have driven short distances for years-just brought myself to tow 6 -7 hours alone this year. Let me tell you-it is not easy. And-I have the luxury of not going unless the stars are totally aligned, so to speak. Weather has to be perfect. Shoot-a friend and I who have both towed a good amount are taking her horse to the trainer this week and have to go around the great Lakes-known for gusty winds. Our trip will be planned around the weather.

Do yourself a favor-don;t get too confident. listen to what people are telling you.
 

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Sorry, just re-read your original post, that's what I get for doing this at work! You wrote you needed to "buy" a trailer. Hate to break this to you, that's gonna cost oodles more than hiring a pro-hauler, much, much more. Needless to say, you don't have the coin for that, you don't have near enough for a trailer either.
 

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You also want to take note of what type of trailer you get. Dad's truck might haul boats and jet ski's great, but a steel horse trailer might be a different story. So find out how much weight the truck is rated for first. You might have to look for a lighter weight aluminium trailer rather then a steel one.

I own a big ol' truck and a big ol' goose neck trailer and have hauled it myself and it's terrifying. I almost always make either my trainer or my husband do it for me, depending on who's available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So then what advice were you looking for? Your first three posts made it sound like you know nothing about trailering, need to buy one, and needed information asap...
i meant i knew nothing about what to with the horse tying him what he needs in the trailer with him and food and stuff
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Sorry, just re-read your original post, that's what I get for doing this at work! You wrote you needed to "buy" a trailer. Hate to break this to you, that's gonna cost oodles more than hiring a pro-hauler, much, much more. Needless to say, you don't have the coin for that, you don't have near enough for a trailer either.
yeah i know it will but its something we've been talking about doing anyway since as of right there is no way to get the horses off the property if we needed to take them to vet or something and don't know yell at me for this. the trailer that was there was owned by the really nice in laws of my ex trainers and the ex trainer sold the trailer without telling them. but to be honest i don't think i would have wanted my horse in that old thing anyway lol
 

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Your dad or bro is gonna do the trailering so thats done, and your dad or bro has the truck set up for heavy hauls and your trailer of choice should be a 2 horse one with a normal hitch set up, unless you have or want a tack room on it then it should be a goose neck, not to sure on the trailering so i found this video.
 
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