What to Know Before Buying a Horse Trailer

When you own a horse, at one point or another you will need to move it. Without a horse trailer, that will be tough to do. When buying a horse trailer, there are certain things you should be aware of. While certain imperfections, like some rust on the fenders if you buy a used trailer, can be tolerated, other aspects that can directly affect the horse’s safety must be exact.

We’ve put together an important list of questions to ask before buying a horse trailer.

Has the Trailer Been in Use?

If a trailer has been parked for a long period of time, the tires may have rotted and the steel may have rusted. This is particularly true when the trailer has been parked on grass, as the moisture accelerates the rusting and rotting. It’s perfectly fine to buy a used trailer, but you should inspect it for extreme rust, especially in the interior. Further, you should get an indication of how long it’s been idle, so you know how much repair the tires and axels may need.

Is the Structure Sound?

Make sure you examine the structure of the trailer before making an offer. While superficial rust is common and should not be a problem, check the steel to make sure it doesn’t give or crumble when poked. Also, inspect the trailer for any screws or bolts that are exposed and could cause injury to your horse, or yourself.

Has the Trailer Been Cleaned Regularly?

A used horse trailer should be cleaned after every use. Urine and manure can erode the flooring if it’s not cleaned off quickly. Remove the mats and look for signs of rotting or weakness.

Is the Trailer the Right Size?

Step inside the trailer and imagine it in use with your horse in it. Will your horse be safe and comfortable?  Is there sufficient ventilation so your horse can breathe? Check the escape doors to make sure you can maneuver through them properly and that they function.

Keep in mind that you need access to every horse in the trailer in case of an emergency. The size of your trailer depends both on the size of your horse and how many horses you are moving.

Is the Ramp Stable and Sound?

The trailer’s ramp will vary based on how old it is, but the important thing is that the ramp is stable and sound. Check the latches and hinges to make sure they can move properly. Choose a vehicle with a ramp that your horses can use with confidence.

More Considerations

 Other elements to inspect are the electrical systems for the trailer, as you will need to make sure the brake lights and turn signals function properly. Some trailers also have fans and interior lights that can help ventilation and visibility for both horses and their owners. When looking for a horse property, speak with your agent about any contacts they have who deal in horse trailers and other necessities. Agents specialized in equestrian lifestyle properties are usually the best local resource for quality products.

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