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The Best Way To Handle Horse-Boxes
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The Best Way To Handle Horse-Boxes

Naturally enough you will need to transport your horse from place to place on certain occasions by road, and when travelling a long distance you will need to use a horse-box/trailer.  When you are towing a trailer at the back of your vehicle it is often a tricky business, and doubly so when the trailer contains a living creature. Obviously you want to arrive at your destination with both your horse and yourself in one piece, and without causing distress to your horse, so you need to be extra careful with your driving, and journey-planning. Here are some tips for using your horse-box successfully, with the minimum of hassle for you, and for the comfort and safety of your horse:

1) When you start driving, pull away slowly, so that your horse can get his/her balance.

2) Allow double the braking distance that you would in a car. The trailer and load create extra weight and sudden braking may upset your horse.

3) Avoid any sudden braking by carefully reading the road in front of you. 

4) Give yourself plenty of time and space to manoeuvre at junctions.

5) Check the horse-box regularly in your mirrors.

6) Get your horse accustomed to the box before going on a long journey, by making some short trial trips.

7) Plan your journeys and check traffic information to avoid long delays.

8) Be careful on fast-moving roads, using mirrors and leaving room before pulling out. Slipstream may pull the horse-box so hold it steady and don't over-correct.

9) Take plenty of hay or feed and water, and a warm coat for the horse, in case you are delayed or break down. Also take your vet's phone number.

10) If you break down, keep your horse in the vehicle, making sure there is plenty of ventilation. Stay with it if possible.

I hope you found this advice helpful, and I appreciate your votes and comments.


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  1. Eve Sherrill York
    Eve Sherrill York
    Good info. Voted.
  2. MReynolds
    Great advice -- thanks! Voted!
  3. Vin Chauhun
  4. jst4horses
    This is a great article. ALSO please do not buy old horse trailers without having a GOOD trailer mechanic go over the flooring and undercarriage welding. If you trailer is more than five years old, have it gone over thoroughly by a professional. Here in Southern California we have had way too many freeway accidents where the horses just fell through the bottom of cheap, old trailers. horrifying to even think about. The best advice is to watch those mirrors................our friend saw her trailer rocking and pulled off. Somehow the mare she was hauling to a lay up farm for whatever reason, she has traveled many, many times safely before.......had CLIMBED UP into the hay rack area, and gotten stuck. The firedepartment and a vet arrived on the scene..........they had to tranquilize the horse, and use the jaws of life to cut the trailer off of her...........what a nightmare. The horse was tied to the inside ring. No idea how she managed to get herself up there or why. The humane society came and took her to the vet hospital where she spent a week healing enough to go home. The strangest thing.........she now trailers perfectly safely, goes in and out without a problem.........

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