Trailering a Horse

Tips for Trailering a Horse or pony

Why Do We Put Horses In a Horse Trailer?

You may have to load a horse into a horse trailer in order to go to a horse show, to a Veterinarian, or if you Buy or sell a horse or pony

Trailer Equipment for Horse & Ponies

Trailer Equipment

  • Breakaway Halter and Lead Rope
  • Sheet or Blanket: Weather permitting, to keep dust off the horse’s coat
  • Shipping Boots or Bandages: To protect against injury to the horse while trailering
  • Tail Bandage/Tail Wrap: Protects the tail from rubbed or caught on the trailer
  • Head Protector/Head Bumper: Used on horses and ponies that may throw their heads up and bump them on the trailer roof

What is a Breakaway Halter?

If a horse or pony panics and pulls back against nylon halter, there is the risk the halter will not break which can lead to injury to the horse. Some nylon halters have a leather crown piece or a tiny leather flap that will break if enough pressure is applied to it. The breakable part of the halter will separate if a horse gets caught on on something, or panics, and allows the horse to break free without injuring itself. Leather halters are a good option as well that will break in an emergency. The risk of a breakaway halter is a horse can break it and get loose, causing injury to itself. Ask your riding instructor what type of halter they recommend.

Types of Horse Trailers

There are many types of horse trailers, some you can even live in! Some common examples of horse trailers include:

Two Horse Trailer

Four Horse Trailer

Stock Trailer

Goose Neck Trailer

Horse Trailer Load Types

Some horse trailers carry horses facing straight ahead and some carry horses loaded at a slant or angle. Stock trailers may be open on the inside and the horses are able to move more freely.

Straight Load Trailer

Slant Load Trailer

Stock Trailer

Equipment for the Trailer

Tips for Loading a Horse

  • Not every horse trailer has a ramp. Some are step up trailers.
  • The front exit door should always be open before loading to provide light for the pony to see through, and for the person loading the pony to be able to get out of the trailer quickly in an emergency.
  • Not every trailer has a front exit door. If there is no front exit door, do not lead the pony in. The pony should be trained to step into the trailer by himself.
  • If you are loading the pony into a trailer by yourself, lead the pony in but do not tie him. Exit through the front exit door, put up the butt bar and close the back door or gate. Then go to the front to tie the pony.
  • It is NOT ok to tie your horse while the butt bar and back door are open, because the horse could get frightened and pull away. This could cause injury to you or the horse.
  • Do not travel with the horse saddled or bridled. The tack could get caught on the trailer while unloading. This could break the tack, scare and potentially injure the horse.
  • The trailer should be on level ground when loading a horse.
  • If a horse is traveling alone in a double trailer, it should always be loaded on the left or driver’s side. This puts the weight of the horse closer to the middle of the road to help stabilize the load.
  • Give the horse hay while traveling to keep him content and occupied.

Filled Hay Net

Tack & Grooming Supplies

Water Bucket & Water Carrier

Equine First Aid Kit

Muck Bucket, Pitchfork, & Broom

Extra Lead Rope & Chain Shank

Loading a horse into a trailer

  1. Load tack & supplies, hang hay net, get treat ready, if needed
  2. Open the front exit door
  3. Load the horse or pony
  4. Put up the butt bar
  5. Close the back door/ramp
  6. Tie the horse to the trailer ring with a quick release knot

Quick Release Knot

How to Tie a Quick Release Knot

Unloading a horse from a trailer

  1. Untie the horse from the trailer ring
  2. Open the back door/ramp
  3. Lower the butt bar
  4. Unload the horse or pony
  5. Remove needed supplies and tack
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Play the Horse Trailering Matching Game

Match the Horse Trailer Equipment With the Correct Image