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How to Buy a Horse Trailer

By: Chris Robertson

Whether you own one horse or several, a horse trailer will provide a convenient way to travel with your horses to shows, rodeos, camping sites, horse trails, or wherever you need to take your horses. Horse trailers are also useful in case of an emergency if you have to evacuate your horses or get them to a veterinarian in a hurry. But buying a horse trailer can be a little confusing because there are so many different types and styles available. Here are some things to look for when shopping for a horse trailer.

Stall Details

Probably the most important features that will determine how well your horse travels are the features of the stalls. How many stalls are included? What size are the stalls (length, height, and width)? If your horse’s ears are touching the ceiling of the trailer, it is probably too short. Also, be sure the horse will have room to turn around for exiting. Some horses can be very difficult when it comes to backing them out of a trailer stall.

Be sure there’s plenty of ventilation for each stall. Horse trailers usually have from two to nine stalls. It’s a good idea to get a horse trailer with one extra stall than what you actually need. This will provide more room for your horses and also allows you to add another horse in the future.

Trailer Entrance: Step Up or Ramp

Horses are like people in some ways… they seem to have their own preferences when it comes to horse trailers. They especially have their own preferences when it comes to stepping up into a trailer and/or walking up a ramp into the trailer. This makes choosing a horse trailer difficult because you might not be sure which method of loading your horse would feel more comfortable with. Before you start shopping, find a couple of friends with horse trailers of different styles and ask if you can do a test load with your horse. You might be able to find out ahead of time what type of trailer will work best for your horse.

Slant Load or Straight Load

Another thing to consider is if you will buy a slant load or straight load horse trailer. The slant load trailer has stalls that are slanted diagonally from right to left. The horses stand in a slanted position while riding. These are usually economical for carrying more than two horses. A straight load trailer enables you to load the horses straight into the trailer from the rear and the horses face forward while riding. With both styles, choose a horse trailer that is the correct size, has proper ventilation, and provides the features you need.

Bumper Pull or Gooseneck

Consider whether you want a bumper pull or gooseneck trailer. The bumper pull trailer attaches to a hitch near the rear bumper of your towing vehicle. The gooseneck extends over the bed of the hauling truck and attaches in the truck bed. The main difference is the gooseneck can provide extra room for dressing room or living quarters.

There are other features to consider as well. The trailer might be made of steel or aluminum, or a blend of the two. It might have a tack room in the front of the stall area where you can store saddles, bridles, buckets, feed, and trunks. Some horse trailers come with dressing rooms fancied with a mirror, table, and an area to hang clothes. Some have roomy living quarters featuring a bedroom or two, dining room table, kitchenette, and bathroom. Living quarters are great for frequent campers!

Towing Vehicle

Before buying a horse trailer, consider what type of trailer you will be able to haul with your current truck or vehicle. Some vehicles haul better than others, and some can handle heavier trailers than others.

Consider all these features when shopping for a trailer, and go online to compare horse trailers and brand names such as Sundowner horse trailers. You can search for trailers by brand name or by location and state. For example, if you live in Tennessee, you might search for “horse trailers in Tennessee” or “Sundowner of Tennessee.” You can also find used horse trailers for sale if you’re on a tight budget.

Use these tips to find a horse trailer that you and your horses will enjoy for years to come.

Author Resource:

Chris Robertson is a published author of
Majon International. Majon International is one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing and internet advertising companies on the web. Visit their main business resource web site at: http://www.majon.com

To learn more about subjects like horse trailer please visit the web site at: http://www.sundowneroftn.com

For more information and informative related articles and links about this subject matter and content, please visit Majon’s Pets and Supplies directory: http://www.majon.com/directory/Pets_and_Supplies

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Does Your Horse Need Electrolytes while Traveling?

Drinking HorseThe technical summer season may be dwindling down, but the heat is definitely not.  In many parts of the country, cities and states are still seeing temperatures in the upper 90s and even 100s.  With the heat and humidity, horses being transported for long distances, especially in climates they are not used to are prone to dehydration.

Dehydration results from the excessive loss of fluids and cause horses to have an elevated body temperature, develop colic, have muscle malfunction and even die.  With the fluid loss is also a loss of the essential electrolytes that the body needs, which are very important components in normal body function.

The electrolytes include sodium, chloride, potassium, calcium and magnesium.  They are vital to muscle contraction, nerve transmission and blood fluid balance.  These substances are soluble in water and sweating causes them to be lost.  When a horse sweats and then dries, the white residue that is seen is salt and indicates a loss of electrolytes.

Horses that are transporting through consistently hot weather will need to be watched for sweating and electrolyte loss.  You can test whether or not a horse has become dehydrated by taking your thumb and forefinger of one hand and pinching the loose skin on a horse’s neck.  If the horse is hydrated, the skin snaps back quickly.  If the horse is dehydrated, the skin will stay in the pinch that you made with your fingers or “tented.”  This is an indicator of dehydration and a sign that the horse needs fluids as well as electrolyte supplementation.  However, horses are different and some may develop gastric irritation and ulcers from electrolyte supplementation, so it is important to discuss this with the horse’s owner prior to supplementing it.

There are several ways you can supplement a horse with electrolytes.  Typically we do so without realizing it when we feed a salt or mineral mix to our horses.  Horses will self-supplement if they have a salt or mineral block available to them.  You can make these available to horses in your trailer by installing small salt block holders or placing them in buckets.  If you place them in buckets, be careful not to pour liquid or mashes onto the blocks, as it will cause them to melt.  You can also put electrolytes into a horse’s drinking water.  The drawback to this method is that not all horses will drink the water and those who do drink it may not consume enough of the water to get adequate amounts of electrolytes. Powdered electrolytes can be placed on the horse’s feed. Most horses will consume them readily in this manner, but others may refuse to eat.  Finally, there are oral pastes available and are ideal for those horses who have become stressed or you can’t seem to get electrolytes down them any other way.

Keeping Your Horse Comfortable on the Road

When you are hauling a horse a long distance, it is very important to make sure that you thoroughly check both the vehicle and the trailer before you ever load your horse to ensure that they are both in good condition and safe for the long ride. Once you have done all of the necessary checks, it is time to think about what your horse will need to stay safe and comfortable on the long trip. One last thing that you will need to get before you leave for your trip is a copy of the horse’s registration papers, health certificate, negative coggins, and transport papers if your state requires them. Once you have all of the paperwork in order, it will be time to prepare your horse for the long trip.

The first thing that you should do is allow them to eat normally before you load them into the trailer. They should also have free access to all of the clean water that they will drink. If you are going on a long road trip, you could hang a hay net or bag full of hay for the horses to nibble on during the trip, however, it is very important to make sure that you hang the bag or net high enough so that it will not get tangled around their legs during travel. You should also take water with you that the horse is used to. Some horses will not drink water that smells or tastes different.

Once you have the hay net properly secured, it is time to load the horses. If your trailer has individual stalls, it is safest to tie each horse in their stall using a quick release knot. When you are tying the knot, you will want to make sure that the rope is loose enough for the horse to touch the butt bar or door behind them. This will prevent them from pulling back on the rope during travel.

Once the horses are loaded, you should leave as quickly as possible and remember to start out slowly so that the horses will be able to adjust to riding in the trailer. When you stop for fuel or to eat, offer the horses water, even though most of the time they probably will not drink. You should also plan to stop once or twice to eat a leisurely meal. This will give the horses a chance to rest.

If you take care to ensure that your horses are comfortable during their ride, you will arrive at your destination with horses that are in wonderful condition.