Unless you have ready access to trails from your property you most likely haul to trailheads near and far. Before you haul your horses anywhere take a few minutes to pre check your truck and trailer. It could save you hours on the side of the road.
Before you leave on a trip, take the time to check over both your truck and trailer.
Check the tow vehicle.
Check and replenish engine fluid levels and wiper fluid. Towing puts extra stress on the radiator, brakes, and transmission so make sure everything if in top working order.
Make sure the ball on the tow vehicle is the correct size for the trailer.
Check tire pressure in the tires of the tow vehicle and the trailer. Improper tire pressure is one of the most common reasons for trailer sway.
Check lug nuts on the wheels.
Check the inside of the trailer for bees and wasp nests.
Check over your hitch, coupler, breakaway brake battery, and safety chains.
Make sure all lights and the brakes are working properly before you load the horses.
When the horses are loaded make sure all doors are latched properly.
Drive down the driveway and before you drive onto the road, get out and check your hitch assembly again. Take a look at the horses too, to make sure they're ready for the trip.
If you happen to stop somewhere and the rig has been left unattended, check everything all over again. Someone may have been tampering with the trailer or the horses.
Towing a horse trailer requires special precautions. The extra weight will make stopping and starting distances longer and you will not be able to accelerate as quickly as if you did not have the trailer. Drive a few miles per hour under the speed limit and stay a good distance from the vehicle in front of you. Change lanes gradually and always use your turn signals.
Use a lower gear when traveling up or down steep grades. On long grades, downshift the transmission and slow to 45 mph or less to reduce the possibility of overheating.
Think about the horses in the trailer. Give them time to prepare for stops. Don't accelerate quickly, and make sure the trailer has cleared the turn, straightened out, and the horses have regained their balance before you return to normal speed. Travel over bumpy roads carefully.
If you hear or feel anything that isn't normal, stop and check it out.
Carry a car emergency kit in your truck, and a human first aid kit plus a first aid kit for the horses in the trailer.
Carry a cell phone or CB.
Remember that if you have an accident and you become incapacitated for one reason or another, the emergency personnel and police will most likely not have a clue how to handle your horses. In a visible place in your tow vehicle and/or trailer, put a list of emergency numbers for them to call - your veterinarian, friends, or family members who would be able to help make decisions about your horses.
Put ICE on your cell phone.
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