Time to Tune up Your Horse Trailer

We had a request to find some information about getting your horse trailer ready for the upcoming season.  The article below has some good general ideas on what to check.  I have highlighted in red, items I  find particularly important.  Tire pressure is something I personally check almost every time I take our trailer on a long trip.  I used to struggle with that, so I bought an air compressor which has paid for itself by making correct tire pressure an easy thing to do.

I also bought a tire pressure gauge that attaches to the air compressor hose.  Another check I do in the Spring is to check ALL the mechanisms, doors, hinges, chains, bars, closing devices, etc.  It seems there is always one that needs lubricating or some kind of tightening.  A quick walk around to check lights is also valuable.  One thing not mentioned in the article is insurance.  Does yours include your trailer?  Is it up to date?  We like USRider.  They are specifically geared towards helping with the needs of those of us who are hauling horses.  If you have living quarters be sure to check your propane and battery.  Check all appliances.  Do you have all the additives needed for your septic system?  We also stock emergency food.  A few cans of Chile, maybe some spaghetti and jarred sauce, and a box of power bars just in case.  If anyone has any other ideas please chime in.

Time to Tune Up Your Horse Trailer
Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute

MaryAnn Myer
s, Yahoo! Contributor Network

Your trailer has been parked for the winter. Show season is a week away, and you haven’t given that trailer a thought. Just because it was fine when you drove it last, doesn’t mean all is well now. Even sitting,

problems happen or can develop. It’s best to check it out now and not the day before that first show. Go over the trailer top to bottom, examine it as if you were looking to buy it.

Brakes – How much snow did you get? How long did that trailer sit buried under two or three feet of that snow? Spring rains can affect the performance of the brakes as well, particularly if your trailer has some age on it. Take it for a ride, empty.

Lights – Check your brake lights, blinkers, and running lights. Check the lights inside the trailer, inside the tack compartment.

Floor – Check your floor boards, check for rotting, check for unevenness, check for moisture and softness, which could indicate a problem and potential disaster. Make sure the mats lay flat and are sturdy.

Stall Partitions and Stall Bars – Check for smoothness, nothing protruding in the construction. Check for strength. Check for loose bolts and fix. Lubricate.

Snaps, tie-downs, rear bars, check each and every mechanism. Make sure to have quick release snaps that work.

Windows and Air Vents – make sure they open with ease, and latch securely.

Loading Ramp & Mats – Check for strength and wear.

Tires – All the tires should have at least a ¼” of tread and correct air pressure. Make sure you have a good spare and electric or manual jack in working order. Have a wheel chock; a block of wood to prevent the trailer from rolling when you unhitch it.

Hitch – Grease if needed. Check to make sure it locks when closed.

Critters – Check for mice.

Give the trailer a good scrubbing. Do it right there at the farm with soap and hose and a long brush, or take it to a self-serve car wash. Vacuum or sweep out the tack compartment. Get rid of those cobwebs.

Look for rust, touch up paint where needed.


One response to “Time to Tune up Your Horse Trailer

  1. One friend mentioned that she thought it was good to check your wheel bearings. As I understand it, some are serviceable and can be repacked and some are sealed. Checking either of them involves lifting the wheel off the ground and flexing the wheel to see if there is any play. If you suspect a loose wheel bearing have it checked soon. A failed wheel bearing can leave you stranded on the side of the road. Never fun.

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