Tips for looking after your horse trailer
Even if you only roll your trailer out of its garage occasionally, the last thing you need on the day of a show or veterinary visit is a flat. Horse trailers are pretty robust, in general (and of course, they have to be!), but they’re still susceptible to the same sort of wear and tear as any other form of transport. So, we’ve put together here a handy guide on how to maintain your trusty horse trailer, to ensure it’s always ready to hit the road when you need it.
Before a journey
It goes without saying that everything needs to be connected properly to your primary vehicle. Electrical cords need to be properly hooked up, and the breakaway tether secured. And just like you would (or we’re supposed to, anyway) with a car, check your tyre pressure around the trailer and make sure each one is right.
Also ask someone to check that your lights are all working too, and be sure that all doors and ramps are going to be secure in transit. By getting this simple process into your regular routine, prior to taking your horse trailer out on the road, it will help to cut down on the risk of any problems occurring as you drive.
When you return
You’ll probably already be well up to speed on this, but keeping your horse trailer clean is key to keeping it roadworthy. Any build up of moisture inside the trailer can lead to mould, which in turn leads to an unsafe environment for your horse. Similarly, your trailer needs to be stored in a dry, clean place, that’s not exposed to the elements.
It may also be worth keeping some sort of log of the distance your trailer has travelled, which will help you to establish when tyres will need replacing. This is most likely only going to be every three to six years, but this can differ depending on where you drive, and how often you take your trailer out on the road.
If you are close to a trailer dealer, it’s worth having your trailer serviced from time to time as good practice. But there are simple things you can do yourself, too, which will help to cut down on servicing costs later. Checking your brakes and brake lights are working is easily done, and you should also pay attention to the lubrication of the hitch ball, and the integrity of the wheel nuts that hold your trailer to your axle.
It’s also well worth looking into specific trailer insurance, whether or not your regular vehicle insurance takes your trailer into account. This isn’t a legal requirement, but given that your horse trailer is an absolute essential, both for you and your horse, at least you’ll have a little extra peace of mind if something does go wrong with it.
Finally, if you make these simple tips into a routine, taking care of both pre and post trailer use, and ongoing TLC, you and your horse will hopefully get many great years out of your trailer before having to replace it!