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Trailering 101

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If it's not broke don't fix it...
...and we don't mean the trailer

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

If  you are like us you probably receive more than one horse national or local magazine. Since, the health and welfare of our horses is always a prime concern when the front cover contains catch titles dealing with trailers and trailering, it no longer becomes a candidate for the recycle bin. Well not immediately anyway, not at least until that portion of the magazine has been read by one or more members of the staff.  Why, because like so many of  you we too try to keep up on the latest and greatest news concerning the welfare of our and our customers' horses when traveling...And to see what the resulting  "trailer trend" is going to be.

If you have been around horses for any length of time, you'll understand what we mean by "trailer trend". Have you heard of the  "straight vs. slant" debate?  According to countless articles written over the years the theory is that horses ride better on a slant than straight on. And in some cases they didn't stop there, they took that concept one step further to not only ride on a slant, but slant and backward.  Many times these articles and studies are written and conducted by authors and universities that have enough horse credentials to catch the attention of even the most seasoned of trailer hands. So why shouldn't we be ready to throw away our current trailer to get what the "experts" say is the "better" way to do it?

The answer, simple...Horses can't read medical studies.  Now you may think that is a smart answer but it simply means that if a horse "seems" comfortable in his current environment, changing it MAY cause more harm than good...hence...if it's not broke don't fix it...  Now we are not addressing upgrading your old trailer to something new in modern, of course since we sell them, we are just addressing the position in which your horses haul, whether it be backwards, forwards, or upside down (a bit extreme but who knows what the future holds :~). 

Now we don't want you to think we are encouraging you to dismiss what is being stated, in fact we believe it should be read with an open mind, you never know when something may help with your current situation.  We suggest however, that before actually purchasing  that new cure all trailer, that you conduct a study of your own.  Hire someone or bribe a friend with a similar configuration to what you are considering.  Load ol' dobbin, take a spin and see what happens.  This little study of your own may save you from making a several thousand dollar mistake or reinforce the fact that the investment you are making is the right one for you.

The article that prompted the writing of this came from The April 2000 issue of EQUUS®, VOL. 270, called "HOW TRAVEL AFFECTS HORSES1".  We found this to be very interesting, and even though they admit that some of their studies were not complete enough to be considered the gospel, it did cast a shadow of doubt over some long time thoughts concerning trailering and horse happiness. They even did some research into standing position, and air flow in trailers among many other items.  If you get a chance it's well worth the read.  As a foot note, a regular feature in the magazine called "back page", also located there, has some very interesting insight to what horseman long ago already knew about this subject.  

1EQUUS® is a registered trademark of the PRIMEDIA Enthusiast Publications, Inc. This magazine is usually available in tack stores and even some magazine shelves in local stores. Their subscription office can be reached at 800-829-5910 (US and Canada) or you might try

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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