Always Shut Your Doors
It can be tempting to take your horse out, put them away and then just walk away from your trailer after a long day of hauling. However, you should not leave your trailer doors open. The weight of the door can stress the hinge and break it. Also, swinging doors are a safety hazard. The door could swing into something parked next to your trailer, or bang back shut and break hinges.
Do you know the purpose of the little wire that runs from the trailer hitch? This is your emergency brake if the trailer comes unhitched. It needs to attach to the truck, not the trailer chains, because if the chains break too, it won’t engage. Make sure it is long enough to not accidentally engage on a turn, but not so long it will drag on the ground. When you take your trailer in for service, have them make sure the battery that it hooks to is still holding a charge.
Crossing The Trailer Chains
Whenever possible, cross the chains when hooking up your bumper pull trailer. If your trailer hitch comes undone, the crossed chains will “catch” the hitch, hopefully, long enough for you to safely stop your rig.
Always Untie Before Unloading
For anyone that has had a horse pull back while still tied in the trailer, this will be a no-brainer. No matter how experienced or quiet your horse is, you should always untie your horse before unloading. Especially if you have to go into the trailer to unload. Once your horse has had a bad experience in the trailer, it can be an on going issue the rest of their life. Better to use an abundance of caution, than cause a training issue.
Never Leave Drop Down Windows Down
Drop down window make is easy to tie your horse in the trailer and to hang a hay bag. They are also nice to let the horse’s poke their head out during parked breaks. Drop down windows should NEVER be left down while traveling, unless there is a grate or netting to prevent the horses from sticking their head out. There have been many cases of horses being impaled by passing branches, hit in the face by debris or decapitated by passing trucks. Just don’t do it!