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Horse Trailers: What to Know Before You Buy

horse trailer, horses, traveling with horses

It’s that time of year again! The weather is warm, the sun is shining, and it’s the perfect time to break out the saddle. Whether you compete in horse shows, own a farm, or just enjoy traveling with your horse, you’ll need to make sure you and your horse always arrive safely to your destination. It can be overwhelming when it comes to choosing the perfect horse trailer but, with a few tips and tricks, you will be able to find the perfect trailer in no time. Here’s what you need to know before you buy a horse trailer.

Quality Matters

Your animals are extremely important to you; therefore, their safety is important to you. You would never put your child in a carseat that you didn’t think would protect them – and the same goes for your horses. When purchasing your horse trailer, there are some safety features your trailer should include. Most importantly, your trailer should be made with sound structural material. Traditionally, the sturdiest trailers are made of steel and zinc alloy. Steel is heavy and durable but can also be prone to rusting. Zinc alloy is the best option because it is durable yet lightweight and isn’t prone to rusting.

The material that makes up the inside of your trailer is equally as important as the material that makes up the outside. Common materials used to make the outside of trailers are zinc, aluminum, and steel, but they are not necessarily the best options. When it comes to the safest option, a painted, bonded skin is proven to be the best barrier. While you may be budget conscious, you also want to ensure that your horse is protected and comfortable in their portable environment. The only thing separating your horse and the road you’re traveling on is the material that keeps your trailer together. Make sure you purchase the best!

You Get What You Pay For

Horse trailers are not cheap by any means due to the quality material needed to ensure the safety of your horse. When it comes to quality, you get what you pay for. You wouldn’t want to spend a couple thousand dollars on a trailer that might leave your horse stranded on the highway. The cost of a basic two-horse, straight loading trailer can be anywhere from $5,000 to $17,000. When you pick out a new or used trailer, keep your budget in mind. While you may not want to pinch pennies on this purchase and skimp on quality, you don’t want to spend your life savings on an over-priced trailer either.

horse, horse shows, competitive horse riding

If you regularly compete in horse shows, you’ll want to look for a trailer that benefits both you and your horse. You have the option to purchase a trailer with living quarters or a trailer with a simple dressing room. You’ll find that trailers with these added features can cost anywhere between $35,000 to $100,000. Depending on how much you travel, it may be well worth the added cost. Before purchasing a trailer, make sure to check the quality of the trailer brand, the safety rating, and the specific features to ensure it has everything that you and your horse will need.

Comfort is Key

Before purchasing a trailer, put yourself in your horse’s shoes. Ask yourself: Is the space big enough to comfortably fit one or more horses? Does the trailer get good airflow? Is the flooring made with the right materials? When it comes to the right sized trailer, the BLM states, “…the horse must have adequate space to turn around.” There must not be any feature of the trailer or any other object that the animal could attempt to jump over or get caught in. For example, such objects could be mangers, lengthwise dividers, bars, hay nets, etc. You want an open and empty box-stall type area.

As for airflow, trailers get hot very quickly. If you live in Florida, you understand how extreme the heat index can get. Does the trailer you’re looking at have slits in the walls or windows on the sides? You would never want to put your horse at risk to become overheated or even die from the heat exposure. The flooring of your trailer is also extremely important when it comes to managing temperature due to the heat radiating around your horse’s hooves. Look for trailers that have pressure-treated wood or rubber flooring. You want the peace of mind that comes with knowing your horse is well-protected and comfortable.

There are many aspects to consider when it comes to purchasing the right horse trailer for you and your horse(s). Check around for the best pricing available for the type of trailer you are interested in. Whether the living quarters are for your horse or for you as well, you will want something that both of you will enjoy. Most importantly, always consider the comfort and protection of your horse.