Securing Serenity: Essential Safety Checks for Your Horse Trailer

safety checks for your horse trailer
Horse Trailer Safety

As a devoted horse owner, you understand the importance of ensuring your equine companion’s safety and comfort. One crucial aspect of this responsibility lies in the proper maintenance and care of your horse trailer. After all, you wouldn’t want to put your horse at risk by transporting them in a faulty or unsafe trailer.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the safety checks for your horse trailer you’ll need to perform to guarantee a smooth, stress-free journey for both you and your horse.

Don’t worry if you’re not a seasoned horse trailer expert – we’ve got your back. With the help of our knowledgeable, detail-oriented advice, you’ll be able to confidently assess the condition of your trailer and address any potential issues before they escalate into major problems.

We’ll cover everything from inspecting the tires and wheels to evaluating the hitch and coupling integrity, as well as checking the brakes, lighting system, and interior. With these vital safety checks under your belt, you can ensure that your horse trailer is always in tip-top shape, providing your equine companion with the secure and serene transport they deserve.

Inspect the Tires and Wheels

Don’t let the wheels fall off the wagon when it comes to inspecting the tires and wheels of your trusty steed’s mobile home. Regularly checking the tire pressure, looking for any signs of wear and tear, and ensuring the lug nuts are properly tightened can make all the difference in keeping your horse safe and secure during transport.

Make sure to examine the spare tire, ensuring it’s in good shape and properly inflated. Additionally, take the time to inspect the wheel bearings for any signs of rust or damage. Greasing the bearings regularly will help prevent premature wear and keep your trailer rolling smoothly.

When it comes to the wheels, don’t forget to give the axles and suspension system a thorough once-over. Look for signs of wear, damage, or rust that could compromise the integrity of your trailer’s suspension. Remember, a smooth and stable ride helps ensure your horse’s comfort and safety.

After you’ve covered all these bases, you’re ready to move on to the next critical safety check: examining the brakes and lighting system to ensure a safe and visible journey for both you and your equine companion.

Check the Brakes and Lighting System

Before hitting the road, check the brakes and lighting system on your horse trailer.

Always test the brake functionality to ensure a safe and smooth ride for your equine friends.

Also make sure your brake lights and signals are operational, as these features are important for maintaining visibility and communication with other drivers on the road.

White Horse Trailer

Test Brake Functionality

Make sure your trailer’s brakes are working properly for a smooth and safe ride for your horse. A well-functioning brake system is essential to maintain control over your vehicle and trailer, especially when driving on steep or uneven terrain, making sudden stops, or maneuvering in traffic.

To test the brake functionality of your horse trailer, follow these steps:

  1. Connect your towing vehicle and horse trailer, ensuring all electrical connections are secure.
  2. With the engine running, press the brake pedal in the towing vehicle and observe if the trailer brakes are engaging.
  3. Drive your towing vehicle and trailer at a slow speed in a safe area, applying the brakes to check they are working effectively and stopping both the vehicle and trailer smoothly.

If your trailer’s brakes are not functioning properly, it’s essential to address the issue before hitting the road. This could involve adjusting the brake controller, replacing worn brake pads, or consulting with a professional mechanic.

With fully operational brakes, you can have peace of mind knowing that your horse trailer is safe and secure for your journey.

As you continue to evaluate the safety of your horse trailer, don’t forget to inspect the lighting system. In the next section, we’ll discuss how to ensure your brake lights and signals are working correctly to maintain clear communication with surrounding drivers.

Ensure Brake Lights and Signals are Operational

So, you’ve checked your brakes and they’re working like a charm, but what about those pesky brake lights and signals? Ensuring that these are operational is crucial for the safety of you, your horse, and other drivers on the road.

Start by connecting your trailer to your towing vehicle, then turn on your vehicle’s headlights, and hazard lights, and test both the left and right turn signals. While doing this, have a friend or family member walk around the trailer to verify that all lights are functioning properly.

If any lights are dim or not working, you may need to replace the bulbs or check for wiring issues.  Pay attention to the connection between your trailer and towing vehicle. A loose or corroded connection can cause intermittent or non-functional lights.

To maintain a solid connection, clean both the trailer and vehicle plugs with a wire brush, and apply a thin layer of dielectric grease to protect against corrosion.

After ensuring your brake lights and signals are operational, you can move on to another essential aspect of your trailer’s safety: evaluating the hitch and coupling integrity.

Horse Trailering

Evaluate Hitch and Coupling Integrity

Don’t underestimate the importance of thoroughly assessing your hitch and coupling’s integrity for a worry-free journey with your horse. A secure and well-maintained hitch and coupling system allows for the safe transportation of your horse.

Start by inspecting the hitch for any signs of wear, rust, or damage, and ensure it’s compatible with your towing vehicle. Check that the ball and socket are properly aligned and free from debris, and lubricate as necessary for smooth operation. Examine the safety chains and breakaway cable, making sure they’re in good condition and securely fastened to the towing vehicle.

Next, test the coupling by connecting and disconnecting it a few times to ensure it’s functioning correctly. Listen for the distinctive ‘click’ sound when the ball and socket engage, and apply weight to the hitch to confirm it’s securely locked in place.

If you notice any problems or have concerns about your hitch and coupling system, consult with a professional before hitting the road. With the confidence that your horse trailer is safely hitched, you can turn your attention to other critical areas, such as examining the trailer’s floorboards and interior for any potential hazards or damage.

Examine the Trailer’s Floorboards and Interior

Now that the hitch and coupling are in top shape, let’s move on to inspecting the floorboards and interior of the trailer, ensuring a comfortable and hazard-free ride for your equine buddy.

Begin by examining the floorboards for any signs of rot, rust, or damage. Pay special attention to the areas where the floor meets the walls, as this is a common place for moisture to accumulate and cause issues. If you have a wooden floor, press firmly with a screwdriver to check for any soft spots that may indicate rot. For aluminum or steel floors, look for signs of corrosion or rust. If you find any areas of concern, it’s best to consult with a professional to determine if repairs or replacements are necessary.

Next, take a look around the interior of the trailer and check for any sharp edges, protruding screws, or damaged areas that can pose a risk to your horse. Inspect the walls, dividers, and ceiling for any signs of wear or damage. Make sure all latches, hinges, and other hardware are in good working order and properly secured. Don’t forget to assess the padding and mats for any tears or excessive wear that could compromise your horse’s comfort and safety during transport.

Once you’ve completed these examinations, you’re ready to move on to the next aspect of horse trailer safety: performing regular maintenance and cleaning to keep everything in optimal condition.

Perform Regular Maintenance and Cleaning

It’s important to keep up with regular maintenance and cleaning for a smooth, stress-free ride for both you and your horse. Regular maintenance ensures the longevity of your horse trailer and prevents potential breakdowns or accidents, while a clean trailer keeps your horse healthy and comfortable.

To maintain your trailer, check the brakes, tires, and wheel bearings routinely, and replace them as needed. Lubricate all moving parts, including hinges and locks, to prevent rust and corrosion. Inspect the electrical system and lighting for any potential issues, and address them promptly.

Cleaning your horse trailer is just as important as maintaining its mechanical components. Remove all bedding, hay, and manure after each use, and power wash the interior to remove dirt and grime. Disinfect the trailer regularly to prevent the spread of bacteria and disease, and allow it to air dry before adding fresh bedding. Clean and inspect the ventilation system to ensure proper airflow for your horse.

Lastly, don’t forget to clean the exterior of your trailer, as this not only maintains its appearance but also allows you to spot any potential damage or issues that may need attention.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best practices for safely loading and unloading my horse into the trailer?

 To ensure you’re safely loading and unloading your horse into the trailer, follow these best practices:

  • First, make sure your horse is comfortable and familiar with the trailer by practicing loading and unloading without actually going anywhere.
  • Always use a lead rope, and keep a calm, confident demeanor so your horse trusts you.
  • Make sure the trailer is well-lit, clean, and free of any hazards.
  • When loading, approach the trailer at a slight angle and encourage your horse to step in with gentle pressure on the lead rope.
  • Once in the trailer, secure your horse with appropriate safety restraints, making sure they’re neither too tight nor too loose.
  • When unloading, always do so in a controlled, unhurried manner, allowing your horse to back out slowly and steadily.

By following these steps, you’ll minimize risks and ensure a safe and stress-free experience for both you and your horse.

Towing Horse Trailer

How can I properly secure my horse within the trailer to ensure its safety during transit?

To properly secure your horse within the trailer and ensure their safety during transit, start by selecting the appropriate halter and lead rope combination for your horse. Make sure the halter fits snugly, but not too tight, and attach the lead rope securely to the halter.

When tying your horse inside the trailer, use a quick-release knot or a safety-release clip, allowing for an easy release in case of emergencies. Adjust the length of the lead rope to provide your horse with enough room to move its head comfortably, but not so much that it can get tangled or caught.

Additionally, consider using padded dividers or chest and rump bars to help keep your horse in place during the trip. Don’t forget to check all latches, doors, and windows for proper function and security, ensuring your horse remains safe and comfortable throughout the journey.

Are there any additional safety features or accessories that can be added to my horse trailer for increased security and stability?

Oh, you think your horse trailer is secure enough? Think again! There are several additional safety features and accessories you can add to ensure increased security and stability during transit.

For instance, consider installing a trailer camera system to monitor your horse’s movements and behavior, a weight distribution hitch to improve ride stability, or an electronic brake controller for enhanced braking performance. You might also want to look into anti-sway bars or air-ride suspension systems to minimize trailer sway and provide a smoother ride.

Remember, the more secure and stable your trailer is, the more serenity you and your horse can enjoy during your journeys together.

What are some emergency procedures to follow in case of an accident or breakdown while transporting my horse in the trailer?

In the event of an accident or breakdown while transporting your horse, try to remain calm and follow emergency procedures to ensure the safety of both you and your equine friend.

First, activate your hazard lights and pull off the road as safely and quickly as possible. Contact emergency services or roadside assistance if necessary.

While waiting for help, make sure to keep a safe distance from the road and avoid standing directly behind the trailer. Check on your horse, speaking to them calmly and reassuringly, and assess the situation.

If your horse is injured or panicking, don’t attempt to unload them without professional help. In case of minor incidents, it’s wise to carry an emergency kit with first aid supplies, a spare tire, and tools for minor repairs.

Remember, your horse’s well-being relies on your ability to think clearly and act decisively during an emergency situation.

How can I ensure proper ventilation and temperature control within the horse trailer to keep my horse comfortable during travel?

Ah, the joys of horse travel – nothing quite beats trying to keep your 1,200-pound friend comfortable in a tiny metal box on wheels. But don’t worry, ensuring proper ventilation and temperature control within the horse trailer is easier than you might think.

Start by ensuring all vents and windows are clean and functioning properly; you don’t want any clogged vents or stuck windows hindering airflow. Make sure the trailer has proper insulation to help regulate temperature, and consider installing a thermometer to monitor and maintain a comfortable climate.

On hot days, park in the shade whenever possible, and keep your horse hydrated. In colder weather, use breathable blankets or sheets to keep your horse warm without causing overheating. And remember, always check on your horse regularly during travel to make sure they’re comfortable and content.


Don’t neglect the importance of safety checks for your horse trailer. A study found that 68% of trailer accidents were caused by improper maintenance and equipment failure. Taking the time to inspect and maintain your trailer can significantly reduce the risk of an accident.

Stay proactive and ensure your horse’s safety by performing these essential checks regularly. By doing so, you’ll be well on your way to securing serenity for both you and your equine companion.

Trailblazing: How Long Can A Horse Safely Travel in a Trailer?

How Long Can A Horse Safely Travel in a Trailer

As a horse owner, you know that transporting to events or even just to new pastures can be a stressful and potentially unsafe experience for your horse. Discover how long can a horse safely travel in a trailer while learning the factors affecting travel duration, preparation tips, legal considerations, and more.

Trailering Horses

Key Takeaways:

  • The length of time a horse can safely stay in a trailer depends on factors such as age, health, temperament, fitness level, and overall trailer conditions. Generally, horses should not be transported for more than 8-10 hours without rest.
  • Proper preparation is important before loading a horse into a trailer, including gradually introducing them to the trailer environment and practicing loading multiple times. Positive reinforcement and working with a trainer can help ease the process.
  • Proper ventilation, temperature control, and access to water are crucial for the comfort and safety of horses during transportation. Owners should take steps to ensure these factors are addressed.
  • The type of trailer used for transporting horses, such as straight load, slant load, or stock trailer, can impact travel time and comfort. Each type has its pros and cons, and the choice should be based on the horse’s comfort level and personal preference.
  • Transporting horses is not only a matter of safety but also a legal issue. State laws regulate rest breaks and space requirements for horses during transportation, while federal regulations apply to commercial haulers. It’s important to be aware of and comply with these regulations to ensure the welfare of the animals and avoid legal penalties.

The Basics: how long can a horse safely travel in a trailer?

Transporting a horse can be a stressful experience for both the animal and the owner. One of the most important things to consider when transporting a horse is how long they can safely remain in a trailer. The recommended maximum duration for transporting horses is 12 hours, but this varies based on several factors.

One of the most significant factors that determine how long a horse can stay in a trailer without causing harm is the age and health of the animal. Younger horses with developing bones and immune systems are much more susceptible to stress than adult horses.

Similarly, older horses with preexisting health conditions may not tolerate prolonged periods of transportation as well as younger, healthier animals. It’s important to consult with your veterinarian before undertaking any long-distance trips with your horse to ensure that they are healthy enough to handle it.

Another factor that influences how long a horse can safely stay in a trailer is their temperament. Horses who are particularly nervous or high-strung may not tolerate travel as well as more laid-back animals.

Monitor your horse’s body language and behavior during transportation to ensure that they are comfortable and calm throughout the journey. Proper ventilation, temperature control, and access to water also play important roles in keeping horses safe and comfortable during transportation.

Preparing your Horse for Travel

Horse Riding In A Trailer

Tips on how to prepare your horse mentally and physically before loading them into a trailer

Transporting horses can be stressful for them, especially if they are not used to it. It’s important to take some time and prepare your horse both mentally and physically before loading them into the trailer.

One way you can do this is by gradually introducing your horse to the trailer environment. This includes allowing them to sniff around the interior and become familiar with it.

Give them time to get comfortable in there before you close it up. Another tip is to practice loading your horse onto the trailer several times before traveling long distances.

This will help desensitize your horse to the process of getting on the trailer, making things easier when it comes time for travel day. You can use treats or rewards as positive reinforcement when they get in or work with a trainer who specializes in teaching horses how to load.

The importance of proper ventilation, temperature control, and hydration during transportation

When transporting horses long distances it’s important that they have access to appropriate ventilation. A poorly ventilated trailer can cause respiratory problems including coughing, nasal discharge, or even pneumonia in extreme cases. Controlling temperature is also important when transporting horses.

During hot summer months keep windows open and fans running while avoiding transporting during peak heat times (usually midday). During colder months provide blankets for horses while also making sure they don’t overheat from excess layers.

Horses should also have access to water throughout transportation which requires regular stops or a water source available within trailers if available. Properly preparing a horse for travel ensures their safety preventing unnecessary stress injuries such as slips on wet floors or falls caused by unstable footing or sudden movements which would prevent further harm.

Horses Drinking Horse Trailer

Types of Trailers and Their Impact on Travel Time

When you’re transporting a horse, one of the most important factors to consider is the type of trailer you’ll be using. Not all trailers are created equal, and some are better suited for long-distance travel than others. Before making your choice, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of each type.

Straight Load Trailers

A straight load trailer is designed so that horses face forward during transport. They enter through a rear ramp or side ramp and stand in stalls that run parallel to the length of the trailer. Straight load trailers are often preferred by owners because they provide more headroom for the horse, allowing them to move around easily.

However, these trailers can be heavy and difficult to maneuver due to their size. Also, some horses may feel trapped if they are not comfortable in confined spaces.

Slant Load Trailers

Slant-load trailers position horses at a slight angle while traveling. This design allows more horses to be transported at once as there is generally less space taken up with aisles between stalls. Slant-load trailers have smaller turning radiuses which makes them easier to maneuver in tight spaces. The downside is that these types of trailers tend to be narrower than straight-load ones resulting in less headroom for tall horses. Slant-load trailers also have fewer windows which can make them feel dark inside which might upset some horses.

Stock Trailers

A stock trailer is an open-sided trailer without stalls or dividers where horses can move around freely during transport. This design allows for ample ventilation thanks to its open sides but lacks security features such as dividers and walls which can make your horse feel unsafe or insecure during transport. Some owners prefer stock trailers when transporting larger breeds or pregnant mares as it allows them to move around more freely while in transit. The type of trailer you choose will largely depend on your horse’s comfort level as well as your personal preference and what you have available.

Take time to carefully consider each option and keep in mind the distances you’ll be traveling and the number of horses that need transportation. By choosing a trailer that meets all your needs, you can ensure a smooth and stress-free journey for both you and your horse.

Fifth Wheel Trailer

Legal Considerations When Transporting Horses

Traveling with horses can be an incredibly thrilling experience! However, it’s important to be aware of the regulations and requirements associated with horse travel. When you’re traveling with your horse within state boundaries, you’ll only need one document, which is the “proof of ownership” certificate. But if you’re planning to transport your horse across state lines, there are additional regulatory laws that you need to consider.

To ensure the safety and well-being of the livestock population and prevent theft, the state from which you’re departing governs the brand inspections. As part of these regulations, you’ll need a health certificate from your veterinarian. This official document states that your horse is healthy and fit to travel from your starting point to your destination.

It’s important to note that almost all U.S. states require horse owners or professional shippers to carry proper documentation when moving horses within and across state lines. This documentation includes proof that each animal has tested negative for equine infectious anemia and has been examined by a veterinarian within a specific timeframe prior to travel.

Remember, these regulations are in place to ensure the safety and well-being of your horse as well as the overall equine community. By following these guidelines, you’ll have a smoother and more enjoyable travel experience with your four-legged companion!

Signs that Your Horse Needs to Take a Break

Transporting a horse for long distances can be a stressful experience for both the animal and the handler. Horses are sensitive creatures, and it’s essential to monitor them during transportation to ensure they’re comfortable and safe.

But how do you know when your horse needs to take a break while traveling in a trailer? One of the most common signs is restlessness.

If your horse is continually moving around or trying to shift their weight while in the trailer, it may be time for a break. Other symptoms may include sweating, panting, or rapid breathing rate, all of which are indications that your horse is experiencing discomfort or stress.

Indicators that Your Horse is Experiencing Discomfort or Stress During Transportation

There are several indicators that your horse might be experiencing discomfort or stress during transportation in a trailer. In addition to restlessness and rapid breathing rate as mentioned earlier, another sign is reluctance to enter the trailer after stopping at rest areas. If your horse appears hesitant or overly anxious about getting back into the trailer, this could indicate some underlying discomfort.

Other signs include pawing at the ground repeatedly (as if trying to warn you something isn’t right), excessive sweating even when temperatures aren’t high enough for such behavior, and foaming at the mouth which could indicate nervousness due to anxiety-inducing situations such as sudden stops or turns of roads. If you notice any of these signs while transporting your horse, it’s important to take prompt action.

White Horse In Horse Trailer

Steps You Should Take if You Notice Any Concerning Signs

If you notice any concerning signs that your horse may need an immediate break from travel inside the trailer during transportation like those listed above, stop immediately when safe! Find an area where there’s enough space for both you and your animal friend out of sight from oncoming traffic, and give them a chance to stretch their legs. It’s important to provide your horse with enough water during these breaks as well, especially if the weather is hot or humid.

After giving your horse a break, it’s crucial to assess its condition before getting back in the trailer. Check for any signs of injury or unnecessary sweating that might indicate an underlying problem.

If everything appears normal and your horse is willing to continue the journey, then you can proceed with caution. Monitoring your horse’s behavior during transportation in a trailer is important for their safety and well-being.

Always be aware of any concerning signs and take prompt action if necessary. With the right preparation and attention to detail, you can ensure that your horse stays healthy and happy during long-distance transportation.

The importance of safe and comfortable transportation for horses

Transporting a horse can be a stressful experience for the animal. As owners, it’s our responsibility to ensure their safety and comfort during the journey. After reading this article, you should have a better understanding of how long a horse can be in a trailer without causing harm and what steps you can take to make the journey as smooth as possible.

Remember that every horse is different, so it’s important to take their individual needs into consideration. Taking steps such as preparing your horse mentally and physically before travel, ensuring proper ventilation and temperature control within the trailer, and recognizing signs that your horse needs a break are all important aspects of responsible transportation.

By following best practices for safe transportation, you can rest easy knowing that your horse is happy and healthy throughout the journey. So don’t let fear or uncertainty hold you back from exploring new horizons with your four-legged friend – with some preparation and care, anything is possible!

How to Clean a Horse Trailer to Perfection!

How to clean a horse trailer

In this post, we will provide a step-by-step tutorial on how to clean a horse trailer effectively. Whether it’s the interior or exterior surfaces, we will cover all aspects of the cleaning process. By following our comprehensive guide, which includes the use of easily accessible products, equipment, and practical techniques, you will be able to maintain a clean and hygienic horse trailer. So let’s dive in and learn how to clean a horse trailer properly.

Key Takeaways

  • Remove bedding and debris, disconnect the electricity, and water supply, and placemats and protective gear before cleaning your horse trailer.
  • Use natural or commercial cleaners to wash surfaces thoroughly, disinfect the trailer, and address any rust or corrosion for proper maintenance.
  • Choose non-toxic products specifically designed for equine transport that are safe for animals during the cleaning process.
  • Regularly clean and maintain your horse trailer to prevent harmful bacteria buildup, prolong its lifespan, and provide a comfortable ride for your horses.

Preparing Your Horse Trailer For Cleaning

Before cleaning your horse trailer, make sure to remove all bedding and debris, disconnect the electricity and water supply, and place mats and protective gear on the floor to prevent damage during cleaning.

Remove Bedding And Debris

Before starting the cleaning process, it’s crucial to remove all bedding and debris from your horse trailer. This will help ensure a thorough and efficient deep cleaning. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Take out any hay or shavings that may be used as bedding for your horses.
  2. Clear away any manure, dirt, or leftover feed that may be present in the trailer.
  3. Check the storage compartments and tack areas for stray items that need removal or organizing.
  4. Remove any blankets or equipment stored inside the trailer during transportation.
  5. Don’t forget to inspect and clear hidden corners, under mats, and other hard-to-reach places where dirt tends to accumulate.

By removing all bedding and debris from your horse trailer, you’ll create a clean environment for both you and your horses, ensuring a healthier space during travel.

Disconnect Electricity And Water Supply

Before starting the cleaning process, it is important to disconnect any electricity and water supply connected to your horse trailer. This step ensures the safety of both you and your trailer while cleaning. Follow these steps:

  1. Turn off any electrical devices or appliances inside the trailer.
  2. Unplug the trailer from its power source, if applicable.
  3. Disconnect and remove any extension cords or wiring that may be present.
  4. Turn off and disconnect water hoses or faucets that are connected to the trailer.
  5. Empty out any water tanks or containers used for holding water within the trailer.
  6. Ensure that all sources of power and water are disconnected and secured before proceeding with the cleaning process.

Remember to keep these supplies for horse trailer cleaning handy during this process: bleach, Clorox Wipes, automobile soap, microfiber towels, and baking soda. These items will be useful for effectively cleaning your horse trailer without causing damage or harm to its surfaces or components.

Place Mats And Protective Gear On The Floor

Placing mats and protective gear on the floor of your horse trailer is an important step in preparing for a thorough cleaning. This not only safeguards the trailer surfaces from potential damage but also provides additional traction while working. Here are some tips to follow:

  1. Choose appropriate floor mats: Opt for rubber or foam mats designed specifically for horse trailers, as they provide cushioning and grip while being easy to clean.
  2. Select suitable protective gear: Use items like knee pads, gloves, and eye protection to ensure your safety during the cleaning process.
  3. Clean the mats before placing them: Give your rubber mats a quick rinse with water and soap to remove any dirt or debris before laying them on the aluminum floors.
  4. Lay the mats evenly across the trailer bed: This will help distribute weight evenly and prevent slips as you work.
  5. Cover vulnerable areas with a tarp or trailer cover: Protect wood floors, metal trailer frames, and other sensitive surfaces from water, soap, and debris by using a tarp or specialized cover.
  6. Secure loose items with Bungee Cords or straps: Prevent loose equipment from shifting during cleaning by securing them in place.

By following these steps, you’ll create a safer workspace that protects both you and your horse trailer as you embark on your deep cleaning journey.

Steps To Clean A Horse Trailer

To clean a horse trailer, start by sweeping out all debris and dirt before washing the surfaces with natural or commercial cleaners; then disinfect the trailer and allow it to dry completely, followed by addressing any rust or corrosion.

Clean Inside Of Horse Trailer

Sweep Out The Trailer

Keeping your horse trailer clean is important to ensure the health and safety of your horses during transportation. Here are the steps for sweeping out the trailer:

  1. Before sweeping, remove any loose debris such as hay, manure, or bedding materials from the trailer floor.
  2. Use a broom or brush to sweep out the interior of the trailer thoroughly. Pay attention to corners and crevices where dust and debris can accumulate.
  3. For hard-to-reach areas, use a handheld vacuum to remove any remaining dirt or debris.
  4. Sweep out ramps, doors, and vents with a small brush or whisk broom.
  5. After sweeping, dispose of all debris properly.

Regularly sweeping out your horse trailer is an essential step in maintaining its cleanliness and preventing harmful bacteria buildup.

Wash Surfaces With Natural Or Commercial Cleaners

To get your horse trailer truly clean, it’s important to wash the surfaces with either natural or commercial cleaners. Here are some options for cleaning products to consider:

  • Natural cleaners such as vinegar and baking soda can work wonders on tough stains. Mix a quarter cup of baking soda with a few tablespoons of water to form a paste, then apply it to the affected area and scrub with a brush or sponge.
  • Commercial horse trailer cleaners are specially formulated to tackle grime, dirt, and other stubborn messes. Look for products specifically designed for use in horse trailers, like those made by Manna Pro or Absorbine.
  • Disinfectants that are safe for animals can help kill harmful bacteria and prevent the spread of disease. Some good options include bleach mixed with water (one part bleach to ten parts water), Lysol disinfectant spray, or products like F10SC Veterinary Disinfectant.
  • It’s also important to lubricate hinges and moving parts using appropriate lubricants like WD-40.

When cleaning the surfaces of your horse trailer, make sure you take care not to damage any delicate materials like rubber mats or aluminum floors. Use gentle pressure when scrubbing and avoid using harsh chemicals that could cause discoloration or corrosion over time. With regular cleaning and maintenance, your horse trailer will stay looking great and performing well for years to come!

Disinfect The Trailer And Allow It To Dry Completely

To ensure that your horse trailer is thoroughly cleaned, it is important to disinfect it and allow it to dry completely. Follow these steps:

  1. Choose a disinfectant that is safe for animals, such as a solution of bleach and water (one part bleach to ten parts water).
  2. Spray the disinfectant onto all surfaces of the trailer, including walls and floors.
  3. Use a scrub brush or cloth to work the disinfectant into any soiled areas.
  4. Allow the disinfectant to sit for at least ten minutes before rinsing with clean water.
  5. Make sure that all surfaces are thoroughly rinsed and free of any remaining disinfectant.
  6. Allow the trailer to dry completely before placing bedding or horses back inside.

Regularly disinfecting your horse trailer can help prevent the spread of harmful bacteria and parasites that could potentially harm your horses. Additionally, allowing the trailer to dry completely after cleaning can help prevent the growth of mold or mildew, which can be harmful to both your horses and the durability of your trailer.

Proper cleaning techniques for your horse trailer

Address Any Rust Or Corrosion

Rust and corrosion can cause serious damage to your horse trailer if left untreated. Here are some steps to address any rust or corrosion:

  1. Inspect the trailer thoroughly for any rusty or corroded areas, paying close attention to the hitch, frame, and undercarriage.
  2. Use a wire brush or sandpaper to remove loose rust and corrosion from affected areas.
  3. Apply a rust converter or metal primer to the affected area using a paintbrush or spray can.
  4. Allow the converter or primer to dry completely before applying paint.
  5. Paint over the converted area with high-quality enamel paint that is specifically formulated for trailers.

Remember, addressing rust and corrosion in your horse trailer as soon as possible can prevent further damage and prolong the life of your investment. Keep in mind that regular cleaning and maintenance can also help prevent rust and corrosion from forming in the first place.

Products And Equipment For Cleaning A Horse Trailer

To effectively clean your horse trailer, it’s important to have the right supplies and equipment on hand, such as natural cleaners like vinegar and baking soda, disinfectants safe for animals, lubricants for hinges and moving parts, and cleaning tools like brushes, sponges, and hoses.

Natural Cleaners Such As Vinegar And Baking Soda

If you prefer to use natural cleaners, vinegar and baking soda are excellent options for cleaning your horse trailer. Vinegar is a powerful disinfectant that can help eliminate bacteria and odors in the trailer.

Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle, then shake well before using it on surfaces such as walls, floors, and mats. Baking soda is also an effective deodorizer that can be used to neutralize unpleasant smells in your horse trailer.

Simply sprinkle baking soda on the floor or other areas with strong odors, let it sit for 30 minutes, then vacuum it up.

Additionally, if you don’t have any commercial supplies or want something more eco-friendly or wallet-friendly than most cleaning agents sold commercially out there today; baking soda (1/4 cup per gallon of warm water) mixed with dish soap (2-3 tablespoons) works wonders on tough dirt stains like manure spills while being gentle enough not to damage aluminum trailers either!

Disinfectants That Are Safe For Animals

When it comes to disinfecting your horse trailer, it’s important to use products that are safe for your animals. Harsh chemicals can be harmful or even toxic if ingested by horses.

A great option is a natural disinfectant like vinegar, which is effective at killing bacteria and viruses without any harmful side effects.

Another option is using commercial horse trailer cleaners that are specifically formulated for equine transport. These cleaners will have ingredients that are gentle on your horse while still being effective at cleaning and deodorizing the trailer interior.

Regularly disinfecting your horse trailer not only keeps it clean but also helps prevent the spread of infectious diseases among horses, making it an essential part of caring for these majestic animals on the go.

Easy and efficient ways to clean your horse trailer

Lubricants For Hinges And Moving Parts

It is important to keep hinges and other moving parts of your horse trailer well-lubricated for smooth operation. Using a lubricant like WD-40 or silicone spray can prevent rust and wear from developing on these components.

Be sure to apply the lubricant sparingly and wipe away any excess to avoid buildup, which can attract dirt and grime over time. Neglecting proper maintenance of these parts could lead to safety hazards while transporting horses.

FACT: Regular cleaning followed by applying a small amount of petroleum jelly or mineral oil on door hinges, ramp hinges/locks/latches after washing them helps in preventing corrosion.

Cleaning Tools Such As Brushes, Sponges, And Hoses

When it comes to cleaning a horse trailer, having the right tools is essential. A soft-bristled brush can be used on the interior walls and mats to remove grime and dirt, while a sponge or cloth is perfect for wiping down padded areas.

For tougher cleaning tasks like removing rust or corrosion, grain sandpaper or steel wool can be used. Meanwhile, dental floss can effectively clean hard-to-reach corners.

Using appropriate cleaning supplies along with these tools will make sure that your horse trailer stays hygienic and safe for your equine companion.

Safety Precautions And Tips For Maintaining A Clean Horse Trailer

It’s important to take proper safety precautions when cleaning your horse trailer, such as wearing appropriate protective gear and ensuring proper ventilation. Regular maintenance of your trailer can also prevent potential safety hazards.

Step-by-step guide on how to clean a horse trailer

Wear Appropriate Protective Gear

To ensure your safety while cleaning a horse trailer, it is important to wear the appropriate protective gear. Here are some items you should consider using:

  1. Gloves – protect your hands from harsh chemicals and sharp edges.
  2. Eye protection – prevent debris or cleaning solutions from getting into your eyes.
  3. Dust mask or respirator – avoid breathing in dust and fumes from cleaners.
  4. Closed-toe shoes with non-slip soles – reduce the risk of slipping and falling while cleaning.
  5. Long pants and sleeves – protect your skin from irritants and sharp edges.

By wearing these items, you can minimize potential hazards and protect yourself while cleaning your horse trailer. Remember to follow all safety precautions when working with cleaning solutions and equipment to ensure a safe environment for both you and your horse.

Ensure Proper Ventilation

Proper ventilation is essential when cleaning a horse trailer to prevent the buildup of harmful fumes and dust. Here are some tips for ensuring proper ventilation:

  1. Open all windows and roof vents to allow fresh air to circulate throughout the trailer.
  2. Use a fan or blower to increase air circulation.
  3. If possible, clean the horse trailer outdoors in an open area.
  4. Wear a dust mask or respirator to protect yourself from inhaling any harmful particles.
  5. Avoid using harsh chemicals that can release toxic fumes into the air.

Regularly maintaining proper ventilation when cleaning a horse trailer can promote a healthy environment for your horses and ensure a safe and comfortable travel experience for them.

Avoid Using Harsh Chemicals Or Power Washers

It is important to be cautious when using cleaning products and equipment on your horse trailer. Here are some tips to avoid damaging your trailer:

  • Harsh chemicals can damage the surfaces of your trailer and be harmful to animals. Instead, opt for natural cleaners or commercial cleaners specifically designed for horse trailers.
  • Power washers can strip paint and decals off your trailer, as well as damage seals and electrical components. Use a gentle hose or pressure washer with a low setting instead.
  • Avoid using abrasive tools such as steel wool or grain sandpaper unless cleaning rusted areas, as these can scratch and damage the flooring and walls of your trailer.
  • Always wear eye protection and appropriate clothing when cleaning to avoid injury from cleaning materials or debris.
  • Regular maintenance and cleaning of your horse trailer will help prevent the need for harsher cleaning methods in the future.

Remember, taking care of your horse trailer is crucial for both the safety of your animals and the longevity of the trailer itself.

Regularly Sweep And Hose Down The Interior

Maintaining a clean horse trailer requires regular sweeping and hosing down of the interior. This helps to remove any debris, dirt, or cobwebs that may have accumulated. Here are some tips on how to do it:

  1. Start by removing all the loose items from the trailer, such as buckets, hay nets, and feeders.
  2. Use a broom or stiff brush to sweep out all the corners and hard-to-reach areas of the trailer.
  3. Once you’ve swept everything out, use a hose with a high-pressure nozzle to thoroughly spray down the walls and floor of the trailer.
  4. If there are any stubborn stains or grime on the floors or walls, use a scrub brush with mild soap to clean them.
  5. After you’ve scrubbed the areas that need extra attention, rinse everything down once again with your hose.
  6. Finally, let the interior of your trailer air dry completely before placing bedding back inside.

By regularly sweeping and hosing down your horse trailer’s interior, you can prevent harmful bacteria from accumulating and ensure your horse’s safety during transport. Remember to always wear appropriate protective gear when cleaning and avoid using harsh chemicals or power washers which could cause damage to your trailer’s surfaces.

Essential steps for a thorough horse trailer cleaning routine

Replace Any Damaged Or Worn Parts

Regular inspection of your horse trailer is crucial to ensure that it remains safe and comfortable for your horse. When you notice any damaged or worn parts, it’s important to replace them immediately before they cause bigger problems. Here are some parts that may need replacing and how to go about it:

  1. Tires – Check the tire pressure and the tread regularly. If you notice signs of wear, such as cracks or bulges, have them replaced.
  2. Floor – If the floor of your horse trailer is made of wood, check for warping or rotting. It’s important to address this immediately as it can compromise the stability of your trailer.
  3. Electrical components – Check all lights and wiring to ensure that they are functioning properly. Replace any broken bulbs or frayed wires.
  4. Trailer brakes – Inspect the brake system regularly to ensure that it’s working properly. Faulty brakes could cause accidents and put your horse at risk.
  5. Latches and hinges – Ensure that all latches and hinges are secure and functioning properly. Replace any worn-out ones as soon as possible.

Remember that regular maintenance can prevent costly repairs down the line while ensuring optimal safety during transportation for both you and your equine partner!

The End Of The Line

In conclusion, cleaning your horse trailer is an important task that should not be overlooked. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your trailer is clean and safe for your horses.

Whether you choose to use natural or commercial cleaners, be sure to take appropriate safety precautions and regularly maintain your trailer to prevent damage and prolong its lifespan.

5 Horse Trailer Flooring Options – Pros And Cons

Five Horse Trailer Flooring Options

In a past article, I showed you five handy steps to help you find the right trailer. For this post we’re going to dig a little deeper into five horse trailer flooring options. Now, you might be thinking that the type of flooring you have in your trailer isn’t all that important, but what you choose can make a big difference to your trailer, your horse, and your pocketbook.

I’ll talk about five options to consider: Wood, Aluminum, Rumber, Polylast and WERM. Each choice is different and has its own advantages and disadvantages. Differences range from cost and maintenance, to leg support for your horse. I’m going to take you through each options pros and cons, then you can decide for yourself which is best. We’ll cover these five main factors when considering trailer flooring:

  • Durability
  • Heat Transfer
  • Noise/Vibration Transfer
  • Maintenane
  • Cost

Key Takeaways:

  • Wood flooring is a classic, cost-effective option that provides good insulation and shock absorption, but requires proper treatment and maintenance to ensure durability.
  • Aluminum flooring is a popular choice but has drawbacks such as poor insulation, noise and vibration transfer, and potential corrosion if not cleaned and maintained regularly.
  • Rumber, a modern option made of recycled rubber and plastic, offers excellent durability, insulation, and shock absorption, but comes with a higher price tag compared to wood and aluminum.
  • Polylast, an eco-friendly flooring made of recycled rubber, provides great insulation, noise and vibration reduction, and is easy to maintain, but it is relatively expensive and can be difficult to repair if damaged.
  • WERM flooring shares many benefits with Polylast, such as insulation and shock absorption, but can be prone to damage from restless horses and may also be expensive to repair if damaged.

Wood Horse Trailer Flooring

When it comes to trailer flooring wood is a classic choice. Wood has been used for years and is still used today despite some more modern choices available and for good reason.

Durability: As long as the wood is installed properly with ¼” spacing and treated to protect against rot you’ll find that it lasts much longer than other types of flooring. The spacing helps with proper ventilation which allows for better drainage and keeps the wood from rotting prematurely.

Noise/Vibration Transfer: Because wood gives and bends slightly, it causes less vibrations and absorbs the shock of the road much better than materials like aluminum. This gives horses a much smoother, quieter ride while protecting their joints at the same time.

Heat Transfer: Unlike other options, wood won’t conduct heat from the road on those long summer hauls, and in the winter it won’t retain the cold. This means that you’ve got a comfortable ride for your horses year-round.

Maintenance: Wood floors are pretty low maintenance, but many people prefer to use rubber mats over them to provide extra cushion for their horse. If you do use rubber mats then you’ll have to take them out and hose them down about three times a year.

Cost: Wood is one of the most cost effective options for trailer flooring as long as it’s treated and properly maintained. If you ever have to replace or repair the floor the lumber is readily accessible, cheap, and it doesn’t require an expert to install. The typical range is from $600-900 depending on the size of your trailer and if you have a dressing room.

Aluminum Horse Trailer Flooring

Aluminum Horse Trailer Flooring

Heavily promoted by trailer companies, aluminum has been a very popular choice for trailer floors over the last few years. While it has its own merits, you might find that the drawbacks exceed the benefits.

Durability: Aluminum weighs less than other flooring options, but because it’s lighter, it’s also weaker. You have the option of planked aluminum floors- interlocked pieces that are stronger than the standard option, but even those require a lot more support than other types of flooring.

Noise/Vibration transfer: Unlike wood, aluminum does not absorb shock well and therefore creates a lot of noise and vibrations. Neither of these is going to help give your horse soundness of mind…or hoof for that matter.

Heat transfer: This just in! Aluminum is a highly conductive material! Surprised? I didn’t think so. This means the floors of your trailer are going to be burning in the summer and absolutely frigid in the winter.

Maintenance: While relatively easy to maintain, you have to be very careful to consistently clean your aluminum floors. This means taking out the rubber mats, rinsing them and the trailer, and letting everything fully dry before you replace them. You’ll want to do this at least 5 times a year. You’ll also want to have an acid bath done twice a year to help prevent oxidation and rust.

Cost: Being one of the most standard flooring options, aluminum isn’t as pricey compared to other options. However, if you end up having to replace it due to corrosion, the repairs run up to around $1000.

Rumbar Trailer Flooring

Rumber Horse Trailer Flooring

A more modern option, Rumber is a synthetic material made of 60% recycled rubber and 40% recycled plastic. It is made into tongue and groove boards that are fitted together to form a solid surface without the need for rubber mats on top.

Durability: Rumber is an extremely tough material that lasts for a long time. Because of its textured material it provides good, solid footing for the barefoot or shod horse even when wet.

Noise/vibration transfer: The mix of rubber and plastic effectively reduce noise and vibrations which means your horse’s ride is a lot more pleasant.

Heat Transfer: Of the five options, Rumber transfers the least amount of heat making it a great choice for those down South.

Maintenance: Cleaning Rumber couldn’t be any easier. You simply hose it out and let it dry. You don’t have to worry about drainage either; it easily drains out the back.

Cost: Perhaps the only drawback of Rumber is that it’s a little pricier than the first two flooring options. It runs upwards of $2000 generally, but if you factor in the cost to replace other types of flooring you might end up saving in the long run.

Polylast Horse Trailer Flooring

Polylast Horse Trailer Flooring

Another eco-friendly option, Polylast is made of 100% recycled rubber mixed with an adhesive. It is mixed and poured to ½” to ¾” thickness and leveled off using a trowel.

Durability: Similarly to Rumber, Polylast is very strong and lasts long time. Because it is bonded to the trailer floor, it will also protect the trailer bed from exposure to moisture and acid.

Noise/Vibrations: Being 100% rubber, naturally Polylast absorbs road noise and vibrations better than the other flooring choices. It provides lots of cushion and is slip resistant making it an ideal option for long hauls.

Heat Transfer: Polylast is a great insulator against heat and cold, your trailer will stay temperate and comfortable.

Maintenance: Cleaning Polylast is very easy. You just rinse it out and let it dry. Since it’s a porous material, moisture is able to drain through and the supporting floor with 5/16” holes drilled every 12” on center completes the drainage. This helps protect the integrity of your trailer bed. If the flooring is damaged however, it is very difficult to repair.

Cost: The main drawback is how expensive Polylast is. I’ve since quotes ranging from $10-16/ square foot and if it is damaged at any point it is very costly to fix.

WERM Horse Trailer Flooring

WERM Horse Trailer Flooring

This product is very similar to Polylast in that it is also made of 100% recycled rubber, mixed with adhesive and applied to the trailer floor in the same way.

Durability: WERM floors are quite durable and since they completely seal off the trailer floor the trailer bed is well protected. However they are prone to being damaged by horses that paw in the trailer, so if your horse gets restless on hauls this might not be an ideal choice.

Noise/Vibrations: Noise/Vibration reduction is top notch and the cushion, non-slip flooring provides excellent support for your horse.

Heat Transfer: Because WERM is made from 100% rubber it will not transfer heat and protects against the cold.

Maintenance: Just like Polylast, you simply have to rinse out your trailer with a hose to clean it. The only concern is that if, for some reason, moisture does find its way under the WERM flooring it will corrode your trailer bed and make it unstable. Also keep in mind that if the flooring is damaged, it is very costly to have repairs done.

Cost: The starting cost is around $10/square foot, but the size and make of your trailer can affect the end cost.

Everyone has their own ideas when it comes to trailer flooring. Some people swear that their WERM floors are the best thing they ever did for their trailer, others love the value of Rumber. I’m a no frills kinda guy myself so I prefer wood flooring above all. Whatever you choose, just be sure to take good care of it and you’ll have a trailer floor that won’t let you down.

Can Horses Vomit? How Does This Affect Horse Care?

Can Horses Vomit
Can Horses Vomit

Can horses vomit you ask? It’s extremely important for you to know how your horse’s digestive system works. What it can and can’t do and why. Here we are going to go through why horses can’t vomit and what to do when they have consumed too much or even the wrong type of food.

Horses can’t vomit, they have a one-way entry path into their stomach. They have a cut-off valve and an angled stomach track to ensure they don’t vomit. A horse’s stomach is positioned deep within the rib cage, so abdominal muscles can’t easily squeeze it. A horse doesn’t naturally need to vomit.

Horses normally have no natural need to vomit because they are very picky about what they eat. Normally toxic vegetation is not very palatable for them and even when they do eat a few toxic plants they will manage to digest them without it turning fatal.

However, it’s still important to make sure that the chance of eating toxic plants is limited. You can learn more about toxic plants in this article.

Other reasons why horses are designed not to vomit is because the head and neck of horses are low down to the ground when they are grazing compared to the height of their stomachs. So they need to fight against gravity to make sure they retain their food.

One more big reason why horses can’t vomit is that when they are running their stomachs are pushed and pressured in a way that would normally cause a mammal to vomit but because the horse naturally needs to run to survive in the wild, it doesn’t vomit.

In rare cases, the stomach of the horse may be under so much pressure with food and gas that it breaks the seal of the cut-off valve and allows some of the food to go back up through the throat and mouth BUT in most cases, this will mean that the stomach was under so much pressure that it has most certainly ruptured and after a short moment of relief for the horse it normally dies.

White Horse Eating

Reasons Why Horses Don’t Vomit

  1. Their heads and necks are always lower than their stomachs while grazing and they need to fight gravity to keep their food inside.
  2. They need to retain their food while fleeing from danger. Galloping puts a lot of pressure on the stomach that would normally cause other mammals to vomit but horses always need to be able to flee from danger at any moment and vomiting would impede this survival skill.
  3. Naturally, they don’t need to vomit. Horses are quite particular about what they eat, they don’t like the taste of most toxic plants and even when they do eat a small amount of toxic plants they can usually handle it.
  4. Access to huge quantities of concentrated feed is not natural. Horses, like all lifeforms, are designed for the natural world and so when humans create unnatural circumstances like stockpiling concentrated feed, it conflicts with nature. Horses in nature mostly graze on low energy forage like grass and even though they can graze like this for 16 hours per day, it’s normally never too much to handle.

If Your Horse APPEARS to be Vomiting

If your horse appears to be vomiting or foaming/drooling at the mouth, it may be choking on its feed. A horse choking won’t look the same as a person choking, and it’s important that if you see these signs of choking, that you remove any feed and call your vet.

While your vet is on their way, you can feel the horse’s neck gently to see if there is any swelling to inform the vet upon their arrival.

The vet will assess the situation and try to get rid of any obstruction in the throat of the horse. If they feel they need to. Sometimes they will decide that it may just be a small obstruction that can clear up by itself. I would rather be on the safe side and call the vet to evaluate before waiting to see if it passes. At least ask the vet telephonically what they think.

If you can, video call your vet so that they can see and hear the horse to assess them. If you can’t video call, they can at least listen to this type of problem over a voice call to help them assess the situation.

Never Try to Induce Vomiting In a Horse

Because of how the horse’s body is designed not to vomit, you should NEVER try to induce vomiting in a horse. You will only cause major stomach spasms which could lead to death. Rather call your vet immediately if your horse has eaten too much or if it’s eaten anything toxic.

How Not Vomiting Affects Your Horse

The most obvious cause for concern here is that if your horse consumes too much feed like grain and other concentrated feeds, it may cause the stomach to rupture and result in death.

Another cause for concern is that if you see that your horse has eaten something toxic, even an excessive amount of toxic plants, there is no way of expelling those toxins straight back out of the mouth. To learn more about toxic plants, have a look at this article.

Horse Eating Hay

Procedure To Follow If Your Horse Ate Too Much Feed

  1. Separate your horse from any food if there is any left around.
  2. Call a veterinarian immediately and let them know that your horse ate too much feed.
  3. While your vet is on their way to you and the horse, check how much and what type of feed they ate as best you can. Make a note of it.
  4. Have fresh water available for your horse to drink.
  5. Check around the ground to see if they have recently discharged any feces and how much.
  6. Make sure that the horse’s hooves are cooled down to prevent inflammation. You can use cold water on rags with ice inside or if there is anybody of water available for the horse to stand in that can work as well. You can use buckets with ice and water as well. There are even hoof boots that are made for holding ice. Just avoid direct contact of the ice on the horse’s body to avoid frostbite.

What Will The Veterinarian Do For The Horse?

Once the vet arrives, they will assess the horse themselves and ask you if you know what the horse consumed and how much. After assessing the horse, they might do one or more of the following:

  • Gastric lavage to flush the horse’s digestive system
  • Activated charcoal to help absorb toxins in your horse’s digestive system
  • Dosing with mineral oil or laxatives to help pass the extra feed
  • They may administer anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Administration of medical fluids

Up to 10% of horses may need surgical treatment but in most cases, the horse can be treated medicinally as per the above medical procedures.

Horse Veterinarian

Monitoring Your Horse After Treatment

Your vet may recommend that you keep the hooves and lower limbs of the horse cooled for 24 to 48 hours. One of the easier ways to do this will be with the use of hoof boots that are made for holding ice like the Tough 1 Ice Boot. Make sure to avoid direct contact between the ice and the horse’s body to avoid frostbite.

Monitor the digital pulse and temperature of your horse’s hooves. If the pulse or temperature increases, call your vet and give them the figures. You can also check for signs of laminitis such as lameness, soreness, and standing in an unusual way. If your horse is developing or experiencing laminitis, it may stand with the front feet stretched out in front to take the pressure off the toes and the hind feet positioned under them to support the weight that their front feet can’t.

Symptoms of Eating Too Much Feed

  • Spasmodic Colic – A build-up of gas in the colon and is very painful for the horse.
  • Impaction Colic – Similar to constipation is caused by dehydration, consuming too much sand and dirt, or rich, dense food
  • Diarrhea – Defined as loose stools, or excessive and overly frequent defecation.
  • Laminitis – This is an inflammation of the laminae of the foot.

Can Horses Live on Grass Alone? Healthy Eating Guide for Horses

Can Horses Live On Grass Alone
Can Horses Live on Grass Alone

Surely if there are wild horses out there living off pastures of grass, domestic horses can live on grass alone as well?

So can horses live on grass alone? In short, yes, all horses can live on grass alone. Healthy grass for grazing needs to be rich in nutrients to keep a horse healthy. Optimal levels of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K) need to be present in the grass. Some areas don’t have enough protein available.

If you’re planning to feed your horse off grass/pasture alone, we HIGHLY recommend you read further down to know if the pasture is suitable for sustaining a healthy horse.

If you’re going out riding, jumping, and doing other fun equestrian activities, you should be feeding your horse more than just pasture grass.

These extra activities require a lot more energy than simply walking around all day grazing the open pastures and so you will need to assist your horse in receiving extra energy with concentrates listed further in this article.

How to Know if Your Grass/Pasture is Big and Healthy Enough for Your Horse to Live off

Check Size:

Generally, if you have a pasture between 2 and 4 acres large it will suffice for 1 horse grazing daily. If it’s less than 2 acres, you will have to maintain the pasture through extra watering, fertilizing, etc. (You can measure your pasture size with Google Earth, just follow the link to measure your pasture size.

Soil Test:

All the forage including the grass is feeding off the soil underneath it. Soil can be very different from one farm to the next and we advise having your soil tested by a local analytical laboratory.

They will test the nutrient levels of your soil and also give you a pH figure which are the two most important aspects of “healthy soil” After they provide the results they should also give you recommendations on which types of fertilizers to use or how much Agricultural lime you should apply if your soil is too acidic.

Check The pH level:

Similar to checking the pH of a pool. The optimal pH number is 7, anything higher than 7 is considered basic, and a pH lower than 7 is considered acidic. For your horse to live off this grass alone it needs to be around 6 to 7 pH. If the soil is too acidic like 5 or below, it will stunt or even stop the growth of healthy grass.

Acidic soils don’t contain enough nutrients. Agricultural lime also called “aglime” is basic in nature. You will need to add the appropriate amount of lime to the soil to balance off the pH to around 7. You will get these figures from your soil testing facility.

4. Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K)

These are the three main nutrients, which at the right level, make for healthy grass for grazing. Your grass needs just the right amount of each one of these nutrients to be able to grow and reproduce.

Here we provide a more detailed description of each of these three main nutrients and the optimal target of nine different nutrients in your pasture.

4.1 Nitrogen (N)

If there is sufficient Nitrogen (N) in your grass it will be dark green, full and bushy. If the grass is pale/light green or maybe even yellow and growing slowly, then it’s usually due to a lack of Nitrogen (N)

Adding too much Nitrogen (N) to your grass in one dose can be bad. It’s best to apply the total recommended amount over two or three applications. Ask your supplier for detailed instructions for the application of their product and how to spread it out.

4.2 Phosphorus (P)

Phosphorus (P) needs to be at the right level to assist with great root development. If the grass and other forage don’t have well-rooted systems, they will not get enough nutrients from the soil.

4.3 Potassium (K)

Potassium (K) is related to the hardiness of the grass and other forage. If your grass lacks potassium, it might not survive the winter conditions. It also might die off due to a lack of disease resistance. Slow growth is another sign of potassium deficiency.

What Are the Optimum Nutrient Targets For Pastures?

Common Plants in Grass That Are Toxic to Your Horse (With Pictures)

There are also toxic weeds and plants within some pastures. Here are the most common toxic weeds and plants found in pastures amongst the grass:



Ragwort has a bitter taste while it’s growing and horses will rarely eat it BUT once it’s dried out a bit, the bitterness decreases, and horses may eat it when the rest of the grass is lacking.

Ragwort contains toxins that will result in liver failure or even death. Consumption of only a few pounds over the horse’s lifetime can result in death.

Use herbicides or manual control in order to uproot, remove, and burn. Spray there when they are at the rosette stage, don’t wait for the stem to appear. Mowing and cutting ragwort will make it grow back more quickly.



Horses normally won’t eat Foxglove, but if it’s dried up in grass, it can be eaten without hesitation. Just 100g of this stuff dried up in hay could prove fatal.

Symptoms of foxglove poisoning include contracted pupils, convulsions, breathing difficulties, and death after only a few hours.

Deadly Nightshade

Deadly Nightshade

Contrary to the name, Deadly Nightshade is not normally deadly but may cause unconsciousness, dilation of the pupils, and convulsions. Also known as Atropa belladonna, commonly known as Belladonna.



Buttercups or Ranunculus are poisonous to horses if they are eaten fresh and in large amounts. Unlike the before-mentioned weeds, buttercups are harmless after drying in the hay.



Acorns are loved by many horses but can cause colic, a build-up of gas in the gut) Acorns drop in the Autumn and you should collect them off the ground or maybe even prohibit grazing around those trees until they have all dropped and been collected after Autumn has passed.



Yew is common in most pastures. The leaves and berries are just as poisonous as the plant itself, so make sure that none of these make it to your grazing area.
Just 500g of this can cause your horse to go into a coma-like sleep state and die.



Box privet is the most dangerous for your horse. Keep your pasture clean and clear of this.



Consumption of a small amount of Rhododendron can cause death by failure of the respiratory system.

Sycamore, maple, and other acers

Maple Seeds

Helicopter seeds in Autumn and saplings in Spring contain hypoglycin-A which causes atypical myopathy in horses. Symptoms include muscular stiffness, reluctance to walk, muscle tremors, sweating, depression, high heart rate, and dark urine (reddish in color). Your horse may appear weak and may have difficulty standing, and breathing difficulties, but may still want to eat. If this happens, call your vet immediately.

Basic Guidelines for Feeding Your Horse

Roughage usually grass should be the bulk of the horses’ diet

For most non-competitive horses, roughage from the pasture or hay will be sufficient. Even if you do supplement your horses’ diet with concentrate, it should not be anywhere near the volume of grass feed. A horse should eat around 1 to 2% of its own body weight in roughage every day.

Horses normally walk around the pasture slowly nibbling away on the grass while slowly digesting it. Horses that spend a lot of their time in the stable should have access to hay for most of the day to replicate natural grazing.

This roughage constantly moving through their systems will be best for their natural digestive systems.

Grain and Other Concentrates Should be Fed in Small Amounts

If you need to feed your horse extra concentrates like grain, make sure to spread out the total dose over 2 or 3 meals during the day. This will ensure the proper absorption of the grain. It’s much better for the digestive system because it’s a more natural way to consume food.

  • The amount of food your horse needs depends on the size of your horse and on how much energy your horse needs to exert on an average day.
  • If your horse does get to graze on pasture, how healthy is that pasture? If your pasture is lacking in the ways mentioned earlier in this article, you will need to supplement the diet with additional hay.
  • The health of the pasture is very dependent on the season you are in. In winter you may need to supplement more, and in summer you might not need to supplement the diet at all.
  • With all supplements and concentrates, always start off with small measurements and increase if required.
  • As your horse ages and does different things, you should adjust the diet of the horse accordingly. It doesn’t remain the same throughout its whole life.

Any Change in the Amount or Type of Feed Must be Changed Gradually

A sudden increase or decrease in the amount or type of food you feed your horse can have very bad implications like colic or founder.

If you increase or decrease the amount of food or change the type of food, you can change 20 to 25% of the food with the new amount or type every day. Over six to seven days you will have a 100% food change in size or type.

Measure Your Concentrates Accurately and Regularly

A mature horse generally consumes 2-2.5% of its body weight in feed each day (on a dry matter, DM, basis). eg, a 1,000-pound (454-kg) horse-fed hay plus grain concentrate (feeds that are about 90% DM) should consume about 20-25 pounds (9.1-11.3 kg) of feed daily.

For gastrointestinal health, horses need to eat about 1% of their body weight in hay or pasture grasses and legumes daily (10 pounds, or 4.5 kg, of DM intake for a 1,000-pound, or 454-kg, horse).

Depending on the type of feed you are using, it can have massive weight differences. Weigh your feed with a kitchen or postal scale if you don’t have a feed scale yet. Make sure it’s the right amount for your horses.

Follow a Regular Feeding Schedule

Horses thrive on routine. They have internal clocks that are very accurate. A drastic change in feeding times or intervals can trigger a colic episode in some cases. It’s better not to take the chance and change schedules slowly if necessary.

Don’t Feed Your Horse Shortly Before or After Exercise

It’s best to have at least one hour pass before riding your horse and even two to three hours if you’ll be running and jumping

After a strenuous workout, make sure your horse has cooled down and slowed breathing before feeding, around 30 to 60 minutes afterward.

How To Find Repossessed Horse Trailers – Don’t Get Ripped Off!

Respossessed Horse Trailers Featured

Repossessed horse trailers are excellent options for buyers with strict budget limitations. They’re sold through bank-organized auctions. Prices range from $200 to $43 000. NADA guides are excellent tools to assist with understanding the market price.

Finding A Repossessed Horse Trailer

Buying a horse trailer is a big decision and an exciting adventure for horse owners! One option for budget-conscious buyers to consider is repossessed horse trailers. These are trailers that have been repossessed from the original owner for non-payment. They are offered for sale to the public by the bank. These horse trailers can be picked up at jaw-droppingly low prices!

Before you joyfully dive into the deep end of repossessed horse trailers, it is essential to ask yourself a few questions:

  1. Where can you find repossessed horse trailers?
  2. What are the prices for repossessed horse trailers?
  3. How to find a repossessed horse trailer that is safe and a good deal?

Where To Find Repossessed Horse Trailers

The easiest method to find listed repossessed horse trailers is through an online search or by contacting your bank. The bank will be able to put you in contact with the department handling auctions of repossessed vehicles.

Suppose you live in a non-horsey area, or you are looking for an exceptional bargain. In that case, you may need to travel to another state where horse trailer ownership is more common and where they hold larger auctions featuring horse trailers. You are more likely to find repossessed horse trailers listed in farming community auctions than at auctions held in cities.

Repossessed Horse Trailer Prices

The repossessed horse trailer’s price will vary according to its specifications, age, model, and condition. The final price will be determined by the bank’s minimum holding price and the number of bids received for the horse trailer. It is possible to buy repossessed horse trailers for as little as $200 and as high as $45,000.

When determining the maximum bid to place on a repossessed horse trailer, it is worthwhile knowing what that trailer’s actual retail price would be if sold through alternative channels. It means that you can neatly avoid paying more than the trailer is worth. After all, the point is to find a bargain!

The National Automobile Dealers Association offers NADA guides and Kelley Blue Books detailing the realistic market price for used automobiles compared to their original wholesale price. Unfortunately, they do not provide this service for all horse trailers.

The guide lists all horse trailer makes and models featuring living quarters from 1995 to the present. To access the manual, you will need to pay a subscription fee. This fee is nominal and worth paying if you’re looking for a repossessed horse trailer with living quarters.

Recently, an Exiss four-berth, gooseneck repossessed horse trailer was sold on auction for $27 995.00, which is a fraction of its regular retail price of $41 153.23. This trailer was in excellent condition, which an independent horse trailer expert verified. This trailer is classified as an outstanding bargain!!!

Line Of Used Horse Trailers

I have included the actual results from recent auctions held in the past 60 days and listed three winning bids each for bumper hitches and gooseneck hitches.

Recent Trailer Auctions Results

ModelLocation Of AuctionConditionPrice
1962 Two Berth Straight Load Bumper Hitch Stidham Horse TrailerBrandt, South DakotaVery Bad$200
2007 Four Berth Straight Load Bumper Hitch Rawhide Horse TrailerHelena, MontanaFair$3045
2004 Three Berth Slant Load Bumper Hitch
Adams Horse Trailer
North Vernon, IndianaExcellent$8500
1990 Three Berth Gooseneck tandem axle
Triggs Horse trailer
New Sharon, IowaVery Bad$975
2005 Three Berth Gooseneck tandem axle
C & C Horse Trailer with extensive customization and wood paneling
Jasper, TxExcellent$43900
1988 Three berth Gooseneck
Chaparral Horse Trailer
Washington, IowaFair$1400

Is A Repossessed Horse Trailer A Good Deal?

Good deals can be found amongst the available repossessed horse trailers available for sale IF you know what to look for. A horse trailer need not be terribly expensive to be functional and safe. Still, a cheap, unsafe horse trailer, new, used, or repossessed, will never be worth the price of your horse’s safety.

The banks sell the most repossessed horse trailers at auction. Different auctions will have different rules regulating tryouts and pre-auction viewings. The most common approach is to allow prospective buyers a few hours to view the available horse trailers. The horse trailer may not be taken off the property or hitched up for a test drive.

An experienced buyer will often pick up outstanding, repossessed horse trailers for a fraction of their worth, especially if the bank imposes no minimum holding price.

What To Look For In A Repossessed Horse Trailer

It is vital to examine repossessed horse trailers carefully before committing to a buy. These horse trailers should have all relevant documentation. However, there are often details that are not written down on paper and can only be answered by the previous owner, who is not there!

Not all the repossessed trailers offered for sale are worth the price tag attached, even if it seems like a bargain. Many unwary buyers have ended up with a white elephant on their hands as they struggle to salvage the price they paid for this hazardous piece of equipment.

Repossessed Horse Trailers

When attending an auction it’s essential:

  • That you have a clear idea of what you need in a horse trailer and what you are willing to pay. A good auctioneer will know how to work with the crowd to drive up the price. The exciting auction atmosphere can result in buying something that is not perfect for you or paying more than you ever intended to spend.
  • Pay attention to details! When inspecting the repossessed horse trailer, it is essential to look at the small details. These details will provide you with a clearer insight into how the horse trailer was used and maintained by the previous owner. Remember, when viewing a repossessed horse trailer, the previous owner will not be available to answer your questions!
  • Take someone experienced with you: When buying a horse trailer, it would be best to take someone experienced with you. Ideally, it would be someone who is mechanically minded and experienced with repairing horse trailers.

We’ve compiled a quick checklist for inspecting a Repossessed horse trailer

  • Horse Trailer Title: Is the title clean? You don’t want to pay for someone else’s fines!
  • General Appearance:
    1. Check the general appearance of the trailer – look for damage (dents and scrapes). Suppose the appearance shows neglect and lack of care. In that case, there will probably be hidden problems that will affect the unit’s integrity.
    2. Check if the trailer is the correct size for the horses you intend to transport. A six-foot-wide trailer will work for most average horses. It would be best if you went wider for draughts and bigger horses. Make sure there’s enough headroom also
    3. Look underneath for signs of wood rot or metal fatigue in the floor and ramp, especially the ramp top near the hinges.
  • Suspension
    1. Assess how the trailer sits when placed on level ground. Does it appear to be leaning to one side? An unlevel trailer may indicate an issue with the suspension system.
  • Tires And Wheels
    1. Inspect the condition of the tires and the amount of tread remaining.
    2. Assess the tire sidewalls; if it’s cracked or damaged, they will need to be replaced.
    3. Inspect the wheel rims. They should be round with no dents.
  • Brakes
    1. Try the handbrake and check the condition of the brakes.
    2. The discs or hubs should not be worn and are within allowable limits.
    3. Check if the braking system is appropriate for the tow vehicle and the size of horses to be transported.
  • Ramp
    1. Ensure the ramp is structurally sound enough to bear the horse’s weight and is easy to open and close.
  • Dividers And Partitions
    1. Ensure that all dividers are seated correctly and are secure.
    2. Check that any adjustment mechanism works and moves freely and correctly.
  • Condition And Wooden Structures
    1. Ask an expert to check the moisture content using a moisture meter.
    2. Look for moisture and rot in the walls.
    3. Check the floor for structural integrity, especially along the joints at the sides. If a horse falls through the floor while being transported, the results will be catastrophic!
    4. Inspect the roof for damp spots and signs of leaks.
    5. Ensure the door fits correctly in the door frame.
    6. The windows shouldn’t leak and should be intact.
  • Look For Rust Damage
    1. Check the integrity of the chassis, wheel hubs, and braking structure.
    2. Inspect the tow bar for rust and also ensure the alignment is straight and not bent. The tow hitch must operate freely and not stick.
  • Electrical System
    1. The wiring must be intact and in good condition.
    2. Open light covers and inspect the condition of contacts for rust or wear.
    3. Check brake, indicator, rear lights, and interior lights function correctly.


Prospective buyers must factor in several considerations when purchasing a repossessed horse trailer based on their needs, budget, and evaluation of current listings for repossessed horse trailers.

These trailers are typically offered to the public by bank-organized auctions. There is a considerable variation in price based on the make, model, year, and condition of the repossessed horse trailer. The winning bids can range between $200 to $43,000.

It is important to inspect a horse trailer before buying it. It is always best to walk away from an unsafe trailer, even if it’s offered at a bargain price. There are many excellent repossessed horse trailers offered for sale. A knowledgeable buyer will be able to find a safe, functional horse trailer at a fraction of its wholesale price if they know what to look for!

Need To Rent A Horse Trailer – What’s It Going To Cost You?

Rent A Horse Trailer Featured
Renting A Horse Trailer

Purchasing a trailer and towing-vehicle is expensive; no one will dispute that! Is renting a horse trailer cheaper, or is it a costly short-term Band-aid? What are the costs involved? How do you find a reputable dealer to rent a horse trailer and ensure it’s the best trailer to safely transport your horse?

Horse trailer rentals range between $59 per day for a two-berth bumper hitch trailer to $120 per day for a three-berth gooseneck hitch trailer with tack storage space. The price of rental typically includes a refundable cleaning fee. Companies offer discounted rates for longer duration rentals.

Renting a horse trailer is a headache that most horse owners prefer to avoid. The process of renting a trailer can be hazardous and the cost fairly steep. When considering the economy of rental, it is essential to look at all factors that will affect your decision. These factors will relate not just to the monetary cost of the rental but also to how you rate the importance of limitations imposed on you by the rental company.

Truck Pulling Horse Trailer

How Is a Horse Transported or Moved? 

Moving horses always carries an element of risk. Whether the horse is ridden or led in-hand to its new location or transported in a horse trailer, there is still a chance that something could go wrong. Horses are true masters at living up to Murphy’s law; if it can go wrong, it will go wrong!

Accidents involving your horse are costly and emotionally devastating. Thus, it’s essential when renting a trailer; you consider both the monetary cost of using the trailer and your horse’s safety. In the long run, it may be cheaper to pay a higher rent for a better trailer and ensure your horse’s safety and comfort.

The Advantages Of Renting Before Buying – Rent to Test 

Renting a trailer has the added advantage of allowing you to “test out” different models and choose your favorite if you plan to buy a trailer in the future. Suppose you plan to buy a trailer and towing vehicle in the future but can’t afford the initial investment. In that case, you could spread the pain of making such an expensive purchase and first get a towing vehicle. It will be easier on your purse if you initially use your truck to pull a rented trailer giving you time to save up for a trailer.

Cheapest Rental Option = Borrowing A Horse Trailer

Borrowing a trailer from a friendly neighbor may be the cheapest option, it comes with potential hazards. Usually, the trailer owner will require you to pay the fuel cost. While both buying and renting horse trailers are covered by strict contracts outlining each party’s responsibilities and payments, borrowing a trailer from a friend or family member does not come with this luxury. Who is responsible for paying for repairs if your horse damages the horse trailer?

Most horse trailer owners are highly protective of their vehicles. They will not allow another person to tow their horse trailer. Allowing another person to haul your horse can create issues. Few non-professionals will drive with the same care for your horse as you would do. It is all too easy for these situations to lead to hard feelings on both sides when using someone else’s box, especially if you have a close personal relationship with that someone!

Finding And Investigating A Horse Trailer Rental

The easiest ways to find horse trailer rental companies are through online searches. Talking to local horse owners, stable yards, and feed and tack stores are invaluable resources for guiding you to reputable companies or private owners offering horse trailer rental services. Yellow Pages, Craigslist, and Gumtree may also prove useful in your quest for finding a possible rental.

It is essential when phoning rental companies to ensure they have valid business licenses. The companies should be willing to offer you the names and numbers of previous clients to contact and confirm the company’s reputation.

Trailer-rental insurance is considered specialty insurance and differs significantly from car-rental insurance. Ensure the company has comprehensive insurance coverage for collisions. Read the fine print! You can be made to pay for any damage your horse does to the horse trailer.

Horse Trailer On Highway

Factors Affecting Horse Trailer Rental Prices

Horse trailer rental prices will be affected by the following:

  • The type and model of the horse trailer you want
  • The location of trailer rental service, e.g., just like homes or vacations can be more or less expensive depending on the area, the cost of horse trailer rentals can also vary by location.
  • The specific day, i.e., different days, are charged differently depending on how the demand for the horse trailer. Quiet weekdays will often be cheaper than the weekends when many shows transport their horses to competitions.
  • The length of the rental period will also affect the price. Some companies will offer discounted rates if you commit to a more extended rental period.

In this article, we look at three rental companies to provide an example of horse trailer rentals and the associated prices.

Hitchin Post – Newberg, Oregon

The Hitchin Post offers a single type of trailer for rental, a three-berth trailer with a front tack room, and a 3000-pound weight limit. They do not provide tow vehicle rental. The daily rental ranges from $119/day to $129/day, depending on the day(s) on which the trailer is used.

This rental price includes a $40 refundable cleaning deposit, which will be returned to you if the trailer is in the same condition you received it in. The fee also includes a $20 adjustable ball hitch. If the ball hitch is unneeded, the ball hitch’s price will be deducted from the rental price.

Leonard Truck & Trailer – North Jackson, Ohio

Leonard Truck and Trailer offer two main types of horse trailers for rental, larger gooseneck trailers and smaller bumper hitch trailers. The larger gooseneck trailers are approximately $20 more expensive per day and $100 more expensive per month than the smaller two-berth bumper hitch trailers. The gooseneck trailers have the added advantage of storage room for your horse’s tack and equipment.

The longer you rent the trailer for the more economical it is. The larger trailer’s daily rental is $109.95 but is charged at a rate of $42,91 per day for the entire month’s rental. That more than 60% lower per day! Sharing a month’s rental is an excellent option for friends who want to have a grand road adventure with their horses.

Coast to Coast Trailers – Ocala, Florida

Unlike the other two trailer rental companies featured, Coast to Coast Trailers does not change the price based on the day or length of time you rent the horse trailer. They charge a basic daily rate with applicable taxes that do not change whether you rent the box on a Monday (quiet day) or Sunday (busy competition day).

Nor does the price change based on which model of trailer you decide to rent. Coast to Coast Trailers has three types of trailers available for rent; two models of two-berth bumper hitch trailers with different loading options and one three-berth gooseneck trailer.

Comparison of Horse Trailer Rental Prices For The Three Featured Companies 

CompanyTrailer TypeDailyWeekendWeeklyMonthly
Hitchin Post3-berth Straight Load Bumper-hitch$59$69$149 – $159By Special Arrangement
Leonard Trailers2020 Sundowner 3-berth Slant Gooseneck$109.95$219.90$455.78$1287.34
Leonard Trailers2020 Valley Trailer, 2-berth Bumper-hitch$89.95$179.90$395.78$1187.34
Coast To Coast Trailers2015 Sundowner Charter 2-berth Straight Load Bumper-hitch$119.00$238.00$595.00$3570.00
Coast To Coast Trailers2016 Sundowner Stock 2-berth Straight Load with double rear doors Bumper-hitch$119.00$238.00$595.00$3570.00
Coast To Coast Trailers2008 Sundowner 3-berth Slant Load Gooseneck $119.00$238.00$595.00$3570.00


Horse trailer rental prices will vary based on the size, model, and year of the rental, the location of the rental services, the day(s), and the duration of the rental. Smaller horse trailers rented on a quiet weekday will be cheaper than larger horse trailers rented on busy weekends. Horse trailer rental varies between $59 to $120 per day but may fall as low as $40 per day if you rent the horse trailer for an entire month.

It’s crucial to phone around when looking for a horse trailer rental. Ensure that the rental company is reputable with excellent safety standards. Even if the company is the more expensive option, it will be worth it to ensure your horse’s safety.

Best Western Riding Chaps – Our 6 Pack For 2023

Best Western Riding Chaps

Are you a great fan of horse riding? Then you are aware of how stressful it gets trying to find the best western riding chaps to put on. To avoid this, we have put together a list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to selecting cowboy chaps.

Ranging from how to select them, there are various advantages and disadvantages of each design. The end game of western chaps is to protect your legs and body from hazards when riding. You also want to look good in the process.

If you are in a hurry here is our quick list of the chaps we will be reviewing. Our reviews of each will be under the table here:

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Have questions about cowboy chaps?

  • What type of chaps fits your riding style? Depending on your riding style, you can determine the chaps that will be most comfortable, for example, racers wear thin chaps that do not restrict movement and ranchers wear chaps that are made from strong leather or cowhide that will not tear easily.
  • How to measure western chaps? To measure western chaps, you first lay them on a flat surface on the same position they would be in while you are wearing them. Your waist size will be the length from the tongue of the buckle to the hole that you use when wearing. Your thigh size will be twice the length from the inside of the leather at the seam to the crotch. Your knee size will be double the length of the leg portion where your knee bends.
  • How to fit western riding chaps? Custom made as the tailor will take your measurements. But if you are on a budget, you can buy off the rack, just be sure to make sure you try them on to see if they fit. If you are buying online, make sure you get both your hip size and leg length right.
  • How long should western chaps be? The length of Western riding chaps depends on the style of chaps. Some stop just above your boot while others reach below. Chinks stop two to three inches below your knee.
  • How do you wear chaps when riding? Half chaps are worn on the lower leg while the other full chaps and chinks are either worn as your normal pants or have a zipper on either leg.
  • How to clean riding chaps? The method you use to clean your cowboy chap depends on the fabric. If they are made of suede, you can softly brush them to remove any dirt in the fabric. If they are made of leather, You can place hot water and detergent in your washer, add the chaps and let them agitate for a few minutes to ensure they are as clean as possible. Rinse them with cold water.

Factors to consider when buying chaps

There are several things that you should consider when buying a cowboy chap to ensure you get chaps that are strong and durable. They include;

  • The type of fabric used to design the chap. Fabrics that are made from strong leather are durable during adverse weather conditions. Split leather in my own opinion lasts longer.
  • The design on the fabric. This is important if you want to look stylish and keep up with fashion trends.
  • Size of the chap. You should consider the size of the cowboy chap that you intend to buy and ensure that it fits you well.
  • You should always ensure that you buy from a reputable dealer.
  • Quality of the chap. A good chap should last for a very long time.
  • The price of the product should be proportional to the quality, thus you should be prepared to spend time on research before spending money to buy. They might be a bit costly, but I assure you they are worth every penny.
  • The craftsmanship of your chap should be splendid to enhance visual flare.

Custom made chaps are also manufactured but this will cost a bit more compared to the regular ones. You should always choose the most comfortable pair of chaps. Adding embellishments to your chap makes it unique and stylish.

Why wear Cowboy chaps at All?

  1. It protects you from rope burns that might occur from handling different types of livestock if you are a rancher.
  2. protects you from cuts and bruises around the legs that occur from riding through dense vegetation such as scrub, cactus or thickets.
  3. Putting on chaps when riding your horse makes you look great. They create a smooth, sleek, uninterrupted silhouette.

Chaps are manufactured from leather. Their make is such that they do not have a crotch or a seat. They are buckled with their inbuilt belt along the rider’s wast around the hips below the belt. Most chaps are made from cowhide that has been dyed and tanned to give them a sticky effect on your horse’s saddle. There are certain types of chaps that are made of wool. You’ll need to decide what material is the best for you.

Styles of western chaps

  • Short gun They are by far the simplest design with straight and narrow legs. Modern chaps are unique in the fact that they have full-length zippers that run along the outside of each leg.
  • Chinks – They are generally short and stop just a few inches below the knee and are fringed along the outside edge thus making them appear longer and more appealing. Each leg has just two fasteners around the thigh region.
  • Batwing – This type of chaps are generally made from leather, cut wide with a bottom flare that kind of resembles a bat’s wing.
  • Zammoros – Like the batwing chaps, the zammoros have a bottom flare. The differentiating factor is that these chaps have a triangular shape and run below your boot.
  • Woollies – They are made from cowhide, at times angora and lined with canvas on the inside. This is the warmest type of chaps and is best worn in the northern plains and mountains.
  • Farrier’s apron – The distinguishing factor about this chaps is that they lack a fringe.
  • Armitas – They have short legs that are completely closed. You have to put them on like your usual everyday pants. They stop just above your boot.

Having used a variety of chaps over the years, we will try to provide you our unbiased list that we feel will fit many styles of riding and offer you great feel at an affordable price.

Our 6-pack of best western chaps

Weaver Leather Pull-Up Fashion Chinks with Floral Yoke

This is a classy chap design with heavy-duty performance. It contains that broken-in look and a few designs added to facilitate freedom of movement. It has an aesthetic look.


  • Made from high-quality leather that will not bruise easily.
  • They are gorgeous and have a creative design


  • They are a bit expensive, but worth it, I would say.
  • The front leather tie string is too small and may easily break if caught strongly.
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Weaver Leather Chinks with Basketweave Yoke Set

These chinks have a vintage design, that allows you to wear them and take them off easily. They have ties on both chinks with stainless steel conchos. Due to their resilience, they are worn for everyday ranch work.


  • They offer complete freedom within your legs.
  • These chinks offer enough protection without adding a great amount of weight that makes you uncomfortable.
  • The look stunning
  • They are not costly
  • They are no heavy and can be used comfortably during Summer


  • They are very thin and would tear easily if exposed to ranch work.
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Weaver Leather Brown Shotgun Full Grain Leather Work Riding Chaps

These types of chaps are small, brown leather chaps, with full zippers on both legs. They are reinforced with a buckle at the back and a front tie to keep the chap in place.


  • The Brown tanned leather is of high quality
  • They have a distinct manly look


  • Might tear easily if subjected to hard ranch work
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Weaver Leather Pull-Up Leather Work Chinks

They are designed with chrome tanned leather. They are fitted with stainless steel conchos, on the upper left for attachment of ropes( get down ropes). They use heavy-duty leather with a waxed finish.


  • They can withstand the heaviest brush as they are made from strong leather.


  • These chaps are heavy and might prove uncomfortable during summer.
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Tough 1 Premium Smooth Leather Chinks with Basketweave Filigree

This champ design has smooth leather with a cowhide yoke that has a star-shaped filigree. Star-shaped conchos make enhance the make the chaps stunning. They are fitted with three buckle closure attachments on each leg.


  • Great quality which makes for a durable chap
  • The leather is soft and comfortable


  • The only bad thing about these chaps is their color, according to me 🙂
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Tough-1 Suede Leather Chinks with Basket Stamp Yoke

This champ has an adjustable tie at the back and buckles at the front. It has thee buckle straps on each thigh and three conchos.


  • Great quality and durability
  • Very affordable on a budget


  • Budget model
  • Doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles of the other cowboy chaps
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Summing it all up

The decision on what type and design of chaps you want rest entirely on you. From my experience, I would recommend the Weaver Leather Brown Shotgun Full-grain leather work riding chaps as they fit all my needs as a rider. They are my personal favorite, I dare say my signature chaps

What Is The Best Horse Riding Style For You?

Best Horse Riding Style
Best Horse Riding Style

Are you thinking about horse riding for the first time and are a bit nervous about it? It’s natural to be nervous when riding a large animal for the first time. Most people interested in horse riding often inquire about the best horse riding style.  Horseback riding is often split between Western and English riding as the most common types of riding styles.

These two styles are influenced by their origin and are differentiated by the characteristics and equipment. In all of these styles, the rider is supposed to sit straight without leaning forward or backward.

However, the two styles differ in the sense that the saddle in Western-style is larger than that of an English saddle, which helps the rider when engaging in the jumping events. The larger saddle is crucial in horse riding to balance the rider’s weight and make it ideal and comfortable for longer trails. Western Riding Style


Western Riding Style

Western riding has evolved from day to day work on ranches into a group of competitive exercises. The riding style shows athleticism, diligence, and connection between the horse and a rider. Most of the riding types are easier for cow-herding horses and are characterized by a wider saddle and neck reins. There are several events and activities associated with the western riding that differentiates it from the English riding. The activities include barrel racing, western pleasure, reining, roping, and cutting, among others.

Western pleasure

Western Pleasure Riding

Western pleasure is an event in the Western riding style where horses compete in a group by performing several activities and awarded points by the judge. This means the horses compete against each other while judged for their appearances, movement, and style. Western pleasure finds its name from a requirement that a horseman finds pleasure riding the horse. This means the horse should be quiet, soft, and responsive to the rider’s cues during the activity. A smooth, cadenced, and balanced ride is given preference over speed.


Reining Horse Riding Style

In western riding, reining is equal to dressage of the English riding style. This event is described by a rider controlling and guiding a horse through several movements and patterns involving turns, spins, and circles. This event is different from western pleasure as it involves the crowd applauding every good move by the horse instead of being quiet. The judges determine the winner based on how well the horse submits to the rider and its accuracy in the spins.

Cutting and penning

Caddle Cutting

Cutting is an event that highlights the cow sense where a rider and his horse are supposed to prevent a single cow from rejoining its herd. The event starts by isolating a cow from a herd and steering it away from the group. The horse then has to prevent it from moving back for a certain period by anticipating where it will go and moving in that direction. As such, the horse will have to move quickly left and right to block the escape. It takes a particular horse to participate in cutting events, which means not all horses can compete.

Roping events

Calf Roping

This is a western riding style event described by a rider trying to tie a rope around a steer’s horn while riding the horse. It requires a rider to throw the lasso at a steer while riding at high speed and bring it to immediate stop without following over. The horseman then dismounts and ties three legs together in the shortest time possible. The winner of this event is the rider who stops his steer and ties its legs with a rope in the shortest amount of time than the other contestants

Barrel racing

Barrel Racing

This is another western riding style event that involves a rider and his horse entering an arena at high speed and completing a cloverleaf type pattern around 3 barrels placed along the route. The event is characterized by the horse, making tight and swiftly turns around barrels without knocking them over or cutting in too close. Penalties are awarded whenever the horse knocks a barrel, and the rider will lose points. In essence, barrel racing is judged based on the horse speed and its accuracy in avoiding the barrels.

ranch riding

Ranch riding is an event in horse riding where the horse performs optional and required maneuvers willingly and smoothly while responding to cues from the rider. The horse needs to show it can perform while outside the confines of a ring. The judges will look for the smooth execution when the horse transits between gaits to ensure it maintains the correct pace between maneuvers. The required movements are walking, jogging, and lopping in both directions. The optional maneuvers can include walking, jogging, or loping over poles.  Change of lead, side pass, or other maneuvers that a horse might perform in a working environment.

Trail riding

Trail riding is another Western event that involves horses having to separately work through obstacles and judged based on their ability to ride the trails without penalties; For example, the horses will be working through gates and several pole patterns, with the win based on their success to reverse the trail. The idea of trail riding is for the horses to successfully go through the obstacles as found on the trail. The judgment criteria for this event are based on how well the horse obeys commands and whether it is willing to complete the tasks.

Larger sanctioned shows often have strict guidelines on the types of obstacles used, the time given to complete each obstacle, and the gates used while riding.  Local shows tend to have less strict rules governing the obstacles, but can be far more imaginative in the types of obstacles required during the event.

Endurance riding

Endurance is a component of Western riding style where horses are supposed to compete with each other over a distance of 50 to 100 miles in a day. Before each ride, the horse is checked over by a veterinarian to make sure they are ready to go on the ride. The trails are marked for halts and natural obstacles found along the trail.

Each ride is divided into sections where the animal is checked over to make sure they are in good shape to continue the ride. The horse is then watered and fed before resting up to 60 minutes. After this time has elapsed they are allowed to continue.

Riders really need to know their horses’ limitations and stamina during these rides. At any time the rider can walk with the horse to lessen the burden if the horse is fatiguing. There is no penalty to do this.

The first horse that crosses the finish line and is checked over and found healthy is declared the winner of the event.


This is an event that requires a horse with agility, speed, and showing obedience to the rider. The horses are not judged on their appearance and quality, which means any horse can be trained to participate in the gymkhana. In the United States, gymkhana includes several events such as pole bending, barrel racing, and lag races.

English Riding Style

English riding style is more structured compared to the Western-style and adds more pomp to the events. The significant characteristics of English riding are jumping techniques and high stepping styles. However, the method also involves switching up arenas, obstacles, and expectations. There are several activities for the English rider that includes eventing, dressage, showjumping, polo, English pleasure Hunt Seat, and saddle seat.


English Eventing

Eventing is a competition that resembles an equine triathlon combining show jumping, cross-country jumping, and dressage. It is called combined training, where the horse is judged based on its stamina, agility, and how well it obeys the rider’s instruction. The event is often held over three days and has origins in the Olympics.  In this event, any horse can participate and is the only Olympic sport where men and women can compete against each other.

Any breed of horse can compete, but at the higher levels, Thoroughbreds are most often used at the higher level events due to their supreme stamina and athletic ability.

The horse and rider need to really be in sync with each other and the horse needs to be quiet and confident in its abilities.  Serious injuries have occurred during these events when horses became spooked or didn’t handle certain obstacles well causing the rider to be thrown, or the horse to fall and be injured.

English Pleasure

English Pleasure

English pleasure is an event where the horses perform as a group and judge on their performance, quality, and an impression of being a pleasure to ride. Horses that take part in this even should exhibit obedience, impeccable manners, and suitability to a pleasure riding. The horse should also transit from one gait to another in a smooth, quick, and effortless way. The judges also look for horses that obey a rider’s cues and one that can stand quietly and back readily in the line-up.



Dressage refers to the art of horse riding, including the theories of horse obedience and precision of movement. In English riding style, the dressage event involves horses going through shifts, circles, and lines while changing pace and direction until they win with the most points. On some occasions, the horses will be required to extend their gait or perform lateral movements in order to win. Judges will award points based on the accuracy of horses during shifts and how well they submit to the help from riders. At the same time, the horses are judged based on their straightness and correctness when going through the patterns. The audience is often required to hold their applause until the end to avoid spooking the horses.

Saddle seat

Saddle Seat

This is a style of horse riding that involves showing off the high action of horses. The goal of this event is to show off the extravagant gaits of a horse, such as a trot. Riders are expected to sit well back in the saddle while carrying their hands higher than in other disciplines. The horses have to be smooth and comfortable enough for hours of riding and the rider must make the ride appear to be effortless.

Hunt Seat

Hunt Seat

In English riding style, hunting is an event that involves a group of competing horses performing gait and direction change over fences or on a flat area. The horse is judged based on how well it obeys and submits to instructions, how well they can maintain an even head carriage, as well as a horse’s ability to race quietly. Style is essential in hunter classes, and the horse will be judged on how its form while jumping the fence.

Horses may be any breed with the requirements of having a long stride and little knee action. Being quiet with the ability to listen to the rider is key for a hunt seat horse.


Show Jumping

Showjumping is where a horse and rider work around a combination of fences of differing heights while being timed. Hitting and dropping a rail results in a time penalty. The course used in completion varies depending on the level of competition.

Cross Country

This is a horse riding endurance test that involves horses jumping over several obstacles over a long course. It is one of the longest horse riding races that require a well-built horse. In this event, riders are penalized whenever they exceed the time period or when horses fail to clear all hurdles. The winner of the event is the team that completes the course with the least amount of penalties. The lowest score is then the winner



Polo is a game played between two teams of four players each using mallets to drive wooden balls down a grass field and between goalposts. Each rider wears helmets, colored team shirts, riding boots, and white pants. For further protection, riders can attach facemask on helmets and wear gloves.

Wrapping It Up

Each riding style has plenty of options to choose from.  Pick one that best fits your personality and most importantly, the personality of your horse. You may decide to compete or just be a casual rider. No matter what riding style you choose you’ll be developing a bond between you and horse that is both fulfilling and rewarding for life.

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