Horse Podcast Ep 123: Horse Trailer Disasters Waiting to Happen

Are you committing one of those horse trailer safety sins? Heather speaks with Mandy Abraham Equi Health Canada about trailer safety. We learn what to look for in weight distribution, tying in the trailer, should you feed in the trailer, and most importantly backing up the rig. Horse trailers come in all shapes and sizes, making sure your truck is compatible should be your #1 priority.  We work our way around the units checking everything before we think about loading our horse.  Join us to learn some great tips from Mandy who teaches a regular Horse trailer safety course. Please share with your friends so they won’t miss out.

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Horse Trailer Safety – Outside the rig

Before you head out on your horsey adventures you must ensure that your rig can do what you want it to do. Horse Trailer Safety goes both inside and outside of the rig. To start you will want to ensure that your Truck has the capability to not only pull your trailer but also stop it. Check the weight tags on your truck that are located by the VIN#. Here you will find what the weight restriction is for the vehicle. Pulling a horse trailer is a lot different than pulling a boat. Moving live cargo has a different dynamic to it, so you will want to practice pulling the trailer empty a few times to get the initial feel for things.

Next, you will want to do a full walk-around of your horse trailer making sure that the hitch is in good working condition, safety chains are attached and will do their job in the event of hitch failure, lights are all working both inside and outside, and that there are now visible things wrong. It’s always a good idea to look underneath the trailer to make sure nothing is hanging down or broken.

Horse trailer Safety – Inside the rig

Once you have checked the outside you will need to check in the inside. Lifting up the floor mats to check for any broken boards if the floor is wood, checks for crack, leaks… taking your hand and running along the sides to feel for any rough or poking screws or nails. You then want to check the vents and windows to make sure they open and close with ease. As a safety note windows on the trailer are only to be fully opened when the trailer is stopped and the horses are in a safe position to allow them to stick their heads out. Checking the tie rings as well as the snaps of the quick-release commercial-style ties is important, you want to ensure that these will open with ease in an emergency. A little WD40 always works well on these.

Horse Trailer Safety – Loading your horse

It is always a good idea to practice loading your horse even if you aren’t going anywhere. In an emergency situation you want the horse to load with ease and in some cases, quickly. Depending on the style of horse trailer will dictate where or how you tie. Tying loose enough so the horse can move their head and neck to balance but not so loose that they can get themselves in trouble. There are a few safety items you can use on your horse while trailering, such as poll protectors, leg wraps, and or shipping boots. Always a good idea to practice putting them on in advance so your horse is used to them before needing to load to go somewhere important.

Horse Trailer Safety – Driving your rig

pulling a horse trailer with or without a horse can be challenging for a beginner. It’s always a good idea to do a few practice drives pulling so you get the feel for how you accelerate, stop, turn, and most importantly back up. Backing up can be very stressful, so practice will help. A tip shared is to have someone pull your trailer while you ride in the back to get a feel for what your horse will feel during a trip. This is also a good time to listen for unusual sounds that may be heard in your rig. So practice practice practice.

Your Guest today:

Mandy Abraham (Canada)

email: ehcsafetytraining@gmail.com

Website : Equi Health Canada

Don’t forget to check out the resources section in this article!


  • Checking weight tags on Truck and Trailer
  • Your truck can pull it, But can it stop it?
  • Practice backing and loading

Thank you for tuning in and happy trails!

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Thanks for listening to our horse podcast: Horse Trailer Safety

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