With the change of seasons, USRider–the national provider of roadside emergency assistance for equestrians–reminds those who travel with horses to be careful when traveling and invest time doing routine preventive trailer maintenance to enhance their travel safety.

It is imperative to make sure your vehicle is ready for winter driving. Be sure to maintain your vehicle according to the manufacturer’s service schedule. It’s also important to take your vehicle to a trusted mechanic.

"When it comes to vehicle maintenance, especially heavy-duty vehicles towing precious cargo, it is better to be proactive than reactive," said Bill Riss, general manager of USRider. "If you have not already done so, establish a relationship with a trusted ASE (the National Institute for Automobile Safety Excellence, www.ase.com) mechanic. It is essential that you do this before your vehicle breaks down on the side of the highway while towing your horse trailer."

USRider recommends that you check tire pressure before each trip. This is especially important with temperature changes. If you are traveling from a warm climate to a cold climate, air pressure in your tires will drop. On the other hand, when traveling from a cold climate into a warm climate, the air pressure will rise.

A weak battery will usually reveal itself during cold weather. If your battery is more than a couple of years old, be sure to check it prior to cold weather setting in. Otherwise, you will most likely be inconvenienced on some cold morning when the battery fails to start your vehicle.

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