We rely on our trailers to transport our horses safely and reliably. So it stands to reason that we should pay close attention to their maintenance and soundness. But in the busy life of the modern equestrian, trailer upkeep can easily be pushed down on the list of “things to do.” But remember—this is our horses’ safety on the line, and putting off trailer maintenance can be putting your horse at risk of serious injury. To make the chore more manageable, we’ll help you break it all down with tips on regular maintenance.

Preflight Checklist

Tom Scheve from EquiSpirit Trailer Company says it’s wise to make a laminated comprehensive trailer checklist and refer to it a week prior to leaving for a trip. Included should be a reminder to inspect:

Tire and spare tire for wear This is very important to do frequently, because once tires begin to show a wear pattern, it can be difficult to stop, even if you’ve fixed the cause. Examples of wear include baldness in the center of the tire, which is caused by overinflation; wear toward the edge of the tires, which is an indication of underin�flation; side wear, which can mean your axles are not in alignment or you’ve overloaded the trailer (do not overload in the future and have your tires realigned).

Flat spots are the results of skidding tires (adjust your brakes and avoid slamming on the brakes).

Tire and spare tire for pressure Scheve warns that you could have a flat tire on rubber torsion suspension (now standard on most horse trailers) that will not appear flat, so it needs to be checked.