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Trailering 101

Traveled Lane Trailers Divider
New Trailer, No Problem, Right?

DISCLAIMER:  Always read all operating manuals, for tow vehicle, trailer, hitch and related components for towing suitability and compatibility before operating.

The day arrives, the moment you have been waiting for for years, your first outing in "YOUR OWN TRAILER".  Finally, the days of bumming rides, saving money, waiting for the hired hauler to arrive are over, you now have "YOUR OWN TRAILER", life couldn't be more perfect! You plan out your schedule,    Let's see planning might go something like this, lesson at 3:00, 1/2 hour to tack up horse so 2:30, 1/2 hour drive so 2:00, 1 hour to get hooked up, load tack, last minute grooming and of course load horse so 1:00, and 20 minutes to the barn, okay so we start adventure at 12:30 after a nice lunch.

You arrive at the barn and back up to "YOUR OWN TRAILER" which just happens to match the truck and happens to be the best looking rig at the barn. You have seen it done so many times by your friends that you back right up and hook up like you have been doing it all your life (don't we all wish).  Next,  you pull up in front for everyone to admire, we mean load up nonchalantly secretly hiding your enthusiasm for   "YOUR OWN TRAILER".  You chat with friends and put the finishing touches on Ol' Bessy and you look down at your watch, right on time 1:45 time to load and go.  You attach the lead line and off you go right up to the back of "YOUR OWN TRAILER". Calmly you walk in to "YOUR OWN TRAILER", but you are just about jerked off your feet because Ol' Bessy has planted her feet at the back of the trailer and she's not moving. (You know the picture, front feet planted, neck stretched out, and leaning backwards).  You look puzzled but not too worried in front of the on-lookers admiring your new trailer and loading skills, so you give Ol' Bessy a reassuring pat, walk her around in a circle, cross your fingers and try again.  And again she stops dead in her tracks, now you start to get worried because Ol' Bessy would walk onto anything. Not to mention the fact you just paid a whole bunch of money for this trailer only to find that your horse won't load.  And... your going to be late for your lesson, people are watching, and Ol' Bessy's feet have no intention of leave "terra firma". And you are starting to panic...well hopefully not panic.


We have run into this problem many times with new trailers and its something that most folks don't even think about. Besides the appearance of a new trailer, the SMELL of a brand new trailer can stop even the easiest of loaders dead in their   tracks.  Just as a car has that unique "new car" smell most of us like, for some strange reason, the smells of new rubber, adhesives, woods, metals, etc... are foreign, strange and sometimes scary enough even to stop Ol' Bessy. 


We do not claim to be experts in horsemanship or in trailer loading but this type of situation is not uncommon.  We recommend if at all possible, set aside time before that first haul to acclimate your horse to his new transportation in a relaxed setting.  If your horse is a seasoned hauler, a little time is usually all they need to assure themselves that the rubber monster isn't going to reach out and gobble them up.   However, if after several hours of coaxing, or bribing which ever you prefer to call it, your still in the trailer and the horse isn't.  You may want to pay a visit to Ol' Bessy's stall load up the wheel barrow and christen the trailer yourself.   Sometimes that's all it takes.

Moral of the Story:  BE PATIENT, and Set aside time for any horse to get accustomed to a new trailer, the time you spend to make that experience pleasant for you and the horse will be an investment that pays off in the future.

Happy Trailering... See you Next Month. (Or whenever we feel like something needs to be said.)

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If you have any comments, suggestions or topics for a "Trailering 101" article we'd be happy to take them.  Trailering education is our goal.

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