Towing Safety and Horse Trailer Maintenance

Our equine emergency safety blogger offers tips to ensure your horse trailer is fit for the road.

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Towing Safety and Horse Trailer Maintenance
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

As we come into the Spring season in the Northern Hemisphere, in the large animal rescue and response world we brace ourselves for the onslaught of trailer wrecks that seem to come with the grass and flowers as people load up for their first shows and trail rides of the year.

This year I am thrilled to team up with Dr. Robin Mills Ridgway, PhD, PE (an engineer), and Purdue University Extension to talk about “Trailer and Tow Vehicle Safety and Maintenance Considerations.” Consider putting on a training event at your Pony Club, saddle club, 4-H meeting, etc., to educate people about their truck and trailers: what makes them work, and how to prevent horrific tragedies. Links to some great Purdue Extension resources are listed at the bottom of this post.

As horse transporters (whether it is 5 miles or 500 miles or just around the corner to a friend’s house), we want to provide a safe transport to our beloved horses and animals that trust us enough to go into a trailer at our bidding. Some of the most horrific things can happen to our horses in incidents where maintenance of the trailer floor, hitch, coupler, or other structural components fail. We want to avoid situations like these and that begins with understanding the anatomy of our rig

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Written by:

Rebecca Gimenez Husted, BS, PhD, is the primary instructor and president of Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue. Her first book, Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue, was published in 2008. She is an internationally sought instructor in technical rescue techniques, procedures, and methodologies, and she has published numerous critiques, articles and journal submissions on horse safety, technical large animal rescue and horse handling issues.

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