The Long and Short of Horse Trailering

In true summer riding season fashion, horse owners are heading down the road to trail rides and shows.
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In true summer riding season fashion, horse owners have begun heading down country roads and highways to tackle trail rides and competitions. If you haul your own horse, you’ll want to arrive at your destination not only safely but also with the least amount of stress on your horses and yourself. However long or short the journey, planning is key. Two trailering authorities, Neva Kittrell Scheve, author of "The Complete Guide to Buying, Maintaining, and Servicing a Horse Trailer"; and Mark Cole, founder of USRider, a roadside service for equestrians, share what it takes to get from point A to B without mishap.

Prepare the Vehicles

Having a broken-down rig by the side of the road certainly qualifies as a stressful situation. Preparing your tow vehicle and trailer prior to departure is tantamount, and Cole says horse people can avoid breakdowns and major accidents with smart planning steps. "USRider gets more calls regarding flat tires than any other (truck or trailer) issue," he says. "Preventing flat tires is a matter of simple maintenance. Check at the beginning of the (show or trail riding) season to make sure the tires on your trailer aren’t too old or dry-rotted (and replace tires every three to five years). Most importantly, purchase a tire gauge and know how to use it. Check the pressure before you leave every time, not just once a season. A great majority of tire issues can be solved by simply maintaining proper inflation."

You can find the correct tire pressure for a truck in the vehicle’s owner manual. The air pressure for trailers can be found stamped on the tire sidewall. Unlike vehicle tires, trailer tires should be inflated to the maximum pressure indicated on the tire

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Written by:

Sharon Biggs Waller is a freelance writer for equine ­science and human interest publications. Her work has appeared in several publications and on several websites, and she is a classical dressage instructor.

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