Trailers and Towing: The Driving Force

Whether you are an endurance rider, on the show circuit, or out for an adventure in the woods with friends, owning a trailer and having a vehicle to tow it offer unlimited possibilities to a great many horse owners where once equine travel was restricted to an elite few.

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Everyone seems to be on the move these days. Not only are we able to pick up and go without thinking twice, but we also are able to take our horses with us without it being the big deal it once was. In fact, it's so easy to throw some hay in the hay net, load the horse(s) and gear, and take off that often we forget to check on the one thing that gets us from point A to B until there's a problem. Your towing vehicle, or the backbone of the operation, needs to be in road-worthy condition at all times so that whenever you jump into the driver's seat, you and your precious cargo will get to where you're going safely and without incident.

Choosing the Right Vehicle

Choosing the right vehicle can be a sizable expenditure, worthy of considerable research in advance. Because your trailer has a significant effect on how your tow vehicle handles, it is essential that you choose wisely. You don't want your trailer shimmying or swaying at high speeds, making it difficult to steer and possibly flipping over. And you certainly don't want your trailer to become detached while cruising down the road! While these examples are extreme, if you don't have the right vehicle for the job, your risk of accident can significantly increase or the integrity of your vehicle can become seriously compromised.

Even though personal preference and finances often dictate what you choose, here are a few points that cross all boundaries when it comes to towing. Colette May, director of the New Horizons Equine Education Center in Livermore, Colo., and author of Tow Vehicles (lesson two of the Trailering and Transportation Course she created), states that you would do well to have a pre-determined idea of how much weight you plan to haul and whether you are expecting to travel locally, on long-distance excursions, or into mountainous terrain

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Written by:

Toby Raymond has been involved with horses throughout her life from showing hunter/jumpers, galloping racehorses, and grooming trotters to exercising polo ponies, as well as assisting veterinarians at tracks in New York and Florida. By combining her equine knowledge with her 20-year experience in the advertising industry, she has formed TLR & Associates, a creative resource for people in the horse business. When not working, she usually can be found at the barn, hangin’ with her horse Bean.

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