An Open Letter to Drivers Who aren’t Horse People

What do you wish other drivers on the road knew about hauling horses?
Share
Favorite
Close

No account yet? Register

ADVERTISEMENT

An Open Letter to Drivers Who Aren
It's always amazed me that so many horses happily hop into trailers. Most days, after sharing the road with non-horse people, I'm relieved when we make it to our destination in one piece. | Photo: Photos.com

A note from the author: We are so thankful for the positive response this post has received! Please note that it is copyrighted and not meant to be copied and pasted or reused/edited in any form. We encourage you to support equine journalism by sharing the link this this page instead. Thank you! ~Michelle

Dear Drivers,

My most valued possession is inside the trailer behind my pickup. He stepped into that rolling steel box because I asked him to and he trusts me. He’s a living, breathing creature, and all 1,200 pounds of him are precariously balanced on four tiny hooves as my truck and trailer wind down the road

Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.

TheHorse.com is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into TheHorse.com.

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.

Share
Favorite
Close

No account yet? Register

Written by:

Michelle Anderson is the former digital managing editor at The Horse. A lifelong horse owner, Anderson competes in dressage and enjoys trail riding. She’s a Washington State University graduate and holds a bachelor’s degree in communications with a minor in business administration and extensive coursework in animal sciences. She has worked in equine publishing since 1998. She currently lives with her husband on a small horse property in Central Oregon.

33 Responses

  1. I agree our horses are our family. And people don’t understand how much damadge it causes us and pain and suffering we deal with already on day to day basis

  2. re: An Open Letter to Drivers Who aren’t Horse People

    When I’m in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the 101 Freeway going through the greater Los Angeles area and you swerve into the space I’ve created between my rig and the car in front of me, you remove any chance I have of NOT suddenly hitting my breaks hard

  3. re: An Open Letter to Drivers Who aren’t Horse People

    I have not had that much experience hauling but I have done it.  I am always amazed that drivers who cut in front of you (I always leave a lot of space in front of me) don’t realize that the driver of tow vehicle probably knows those horses pretty

  4. re: An Open Letter to Drivers Who aren’t Horse People

    Folks might try to "create" an article that includes this info and work to get it into newspapers, on TV, and any websites that reach the non horse people.

    Some folks in New Jersey managed to get a traffic rule and signs made up and er

  5. re: An Open Letter to Drivers Who aren’t Horse People

    Unfortunately, the very people who NEED to read this letter won’t because they are NOT horse people and are unlikely to visit this site.  Wish you could forward your letter to every high school driver education program and Division of Motor Vehicl

  6. re: An Open Letter to Drivers Who aren’t Horse People

    Thanks for your very kindly worded and informative open letter.  Speaking as a motorist and genuine driving enthusiast I appreciated gaining insight into the needs of folks like yourself when trailering your equine companions.  

    REAL d

  7. re: An Open Letter to Drivers Who aren’t Horse People

    This is a terrific (and much needed) article! Unfortunately, it is "preaching to the choir," which is all of us who already know about the problems in hauling. Is there some means of reprinting this important article in non-horse publications

  8. re: An Open Letter to Drivers Who aren’t Horse People

    From Dawn to Don – just saw your response – it is my pleasure give you permission to read this to a class!  

  9. re: An Open Letter to Drivers Who aren’t Horse People

    Some of you may remember the recent accident involving Bruce Jenner (now Caitlyn) pulling a trailer and unable to stop in time.  Per Internet reports, he was not speeding or tailgaiting, just could not stop fast due to the weight of the trailer. &

  10. re: An Open Letter to Drivers Who aren’t Horse People

    well said … permission to read this to a class.

  11. re: An Open Letter to Drivers Who aren’t Horse People

    I sure wish I would have seen this when it was originally published – somehow I missed it!  

    Although I now live in Arizona I learned to drive, and then to haul on So California freeways – I have likewise had some very hairy experiences in

  12. re: An Open Letter to Drivers Who aren’t Horse People

    I have always been told horses have the " right of way " on the road. But if you want to keep you and your horse safe, its best to assume total responsibility for your self.  Be very safe!!!

  13. re: An Open Letter to Drivers Who aren’t Horse People

    I have always been told horses have the " right of way " on the road. But if you want to keep you and your horse safe, its best to assume total responsibility for your self.  Be very safe!!!

  14. re: An Open Letter to Drivers Who aren’t Horse People

    Yesterday, a friend of ours was involved in a wreck that took the lives of three great team roping horses.  We haul approximately 20,000 miles a year, so the accident really made me pause and think of the close calls we’ve had.   Twice within

  15. re: An Open Letter to Drivers Who aren’t Horse People

    Years ago I will never forget I was hauling my horse to a horse show about a hour away.  I was on the expressway and it was a little foggy that am. I was in the right lane doing 55, that was the speed limit then, saw 2 tractor trailers one behind

  16. re: An Open Letter to Drivers Who aren’t Horse People

    My worst experience was a minivan cutting me off to fit into the (so-called) space between me and the red light. I drive a 10,000 pound steel trailer with draft horses in it. The speed limit was 60mph and I had timed my stop way, way back. As I slammed

  17. re: An Open Letter to Drivers Who aren’t Horse People

    Bad merging is a real problem around here.  We’re in the slow lane and a vehicle will be beside us on the on-ramp, but going much slower. Rather than speeding up to merge in front of us, or slowing down to merge behind us, they just keep on going

  18. re: An Open Letter to Drivers Who aren’t Horse People

    I know this has happened to anybody that pulls a trailer. I do not care if you want to commit car suicide but I do care that you want to involve me and my family…WAKE UP AND HAVE RESPECT!!!!!!

    My equine are my family.

  19. re: An Open Letter to Drivers Who aren’t Horse People

    I haul down two lane highways often and always seem to get so frustrated with the drivers that just can not wait to get around me. I wish the general public understood what it is like to haul.

  20. re: An Open Letter to Drivers Who aren’t Horse People

    We were coming back from 4H States one year. It was Oct and rainy. As we were approaching a light, there was a car coming out of a parking lot. Both my friend and I said "Don’t do it, don’t do it…" but he pulled out in front of us anyway, a

  21. re: An Open Letter to Drivers Who aren’t Horse People

    It is not only an issue of trailers and horse lorries but general road use.   I live in the UK, around very narrow and bendy country lanes with high hedges. Not helped by fact that drivers now thru SatNav use these as short cuts (rat runs) between

  22. re: An Open Letter to Drivers Who aren’t Horse People

    Stacy, I would love to have it required that people take a ride in a horse trailer with their hands tied behind their backs or down on their hands and knees with no holding on allowed.

  23. re: An Open Letter to Drivers Who aren’t Horse People

    I would like to make a bumper sticker stating- "My horses do not have seatbelts, handholds or hands for that matter to hold on if I suddenly have to stop hard or swerve"

  24. re: An Open Letter to Drivers Who aren’t Horse People

    As a person heavily involved in the horse industry, but also a CDL ("big rig") license holder and driver, I have long believed that a part of all driver education should be a trip for a few miles as a passenger in a tractor-trailer. All of th

  25. re: An Open Letter to Drivers Who aren’t Horse People

    I agree with previous posters who stated that they felt better facing traffic. I have ‘road-ridden’ for 29 years. And have NEVER felt comfortable on the same side as traffic. Now with people texting and or playing with their electronics while driving,

  26. re: An Open Letter to Drivers Who aren’t Horse People

    Our laws require us to ride with traffic, but I far prefer to ride or lead my horse against traffic.  Cars DON’T very often move to the other lane when passing and scare the horse by coming up behind so fast and close.  I wish the local newsp

  27. re: An Open Letter to Drivers Who aren’t Horse People

    I haul both horses and cattle and could write a book about what I see. I have had a few close calls but the two worst were 1)a driver cut me off and slammed on the brakes, forcing me to slam on my brakes to avoid taking out his car. My horse lost his b

  28. re: An Open Letter to Drivers Who aren’t Horse People

    The law may state that I should walk or ride with traffic but logic dictates otherwise.  When I have my back to oncoming traffic it is harder to be aware of what they are up to and be able to be a defensive rider/walker.  My mother always had

  29. re: An Open Letter to Drivers Who aren’t Horse People

    Actually in most states a bicycle is considered a vehicle and should travel in the same direction as traffic where a pedestrian should walk against traffic.  Where I live in Florida horses, are allowed on all roads except the interstate. Of course

  30. re: An Open Letter to Drivers Who aren’t Horse People

    I wish there was some way of conveying to them the knowledge that we can’t stop quickly when we are cut off, and that if I have to choose between hitting my brakes and potentially killing a horse, or hitting you – you’re toast.  I drive in Los Ang

  31. re: An Open Letter to Drivers Who aren’t Horse People

    Check with your state drivers liecne place but most states consider people on horse back as pedestrians. Which means cars have to slow down and move or stop if there is on coming traffic. just like for bicycles and everyone else.

  32. re: An Open Letter to Drivers Who aren’t Horse People

    Hi, Kimberly, that’s an excellent and important question! I’ll plan on addressing it in a future post–I have to ride on about 0.25 miles of quiet country road to get to public lands. In the meantime, I’d recommend checking your state’s driver handbook

  33. re: An Open Letter to Drivers Who aren’t Horse People

    With this being said .I would also like to know what the rules are for people like me who sometimes ride the roadside with my horse . I would like to know what side I should be on and my rights that I have . Also what the drivers of the cars rights are

Leave a Reply

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

What lameness issues has your horse experienced? Select all that apply.
268 votes · 536 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with TheHorse.com!