Horse Trailer Tips from the Arizona Air Stride
Trailer Distributor Company Newsletter
"Put an anvil in the same room with a horse and in two hours he will turn
it into steel wool."
A horse whisperer friend tells us to point out how important it is to
pay attention to every detail in your horse trailer. As you know, horses do
the strangest things - things you would never expect. Some of these behaviors can
seriously hurt the horse. A small change in your trailer can make a big
change in your horses' safety.
In this issue, you will learn tips on how to make your trailer safer - these
tips are so important that they could save your horse's life. Commit to
yourself that if you are violating any of these safety tips mentioned in
this letter, fix them this week.
Keep in mind that if you are going to use a friends' trailer, check each of
these tips on his or her trailer, too, as a precaution to transporting. Also, this
information can be used when inspecting an unfamiliar stable or other
location where your horse is being kept.
There is a lot of text here, so you may want to print this out on your
printer and then read it.
A hay rack could kill your horse...
A hay rack on top of the horse trailer makes a nice convenience and many people try
to add it themselves by getting an old rack off of a station wagon or an older horse trailer. But we recommend not to do that because it could kill
What people seem to do is bolt the hay rack to their trailer with long lag
bolts that stick down into the horse stall area of the trailer roof. Even
if the bolts just extends down a couple of inches - they are a danger.
You see, if the horse rears up, and many do when traveling, that bolt will
lodge into the back of it's head - the most vulnerable part - the horse is killed instantly. It is sad, but it has happened many times.
If you have bolts sticking down into your horse stalls - remove them today, before you forget. Otherwise,
just leave the hay rack off and find another way to get the hay there.
Metal brackets have various uses in a horse trailer. If you have any in
your trailer, make sure that there are no edges sticking out where a horse
could be scratched. Brackets located on the roof and extending down into
the horse stall area, pose a similar danger just like the hay rack bolts
If you have brackets that stick out, either change them out to smaller
brackets or file them down so that there are no edges a horse could get
Phillips head screws compared to hex head/flat head screws...
Check the inside of your horse stall area. There will be different parts of
the trailer that may be screwed together. There is nothing wrong with
having screws, but you want to make sure those screws have a rounded edge
In most cases, the flat head screw (slotted) and the hex head (the kind you
can put a wrench around) have heads that extrude from 1/8" to 1/4".
will try to scratch themselves on the edges of these screws and could hurt
their eyes or muzzle.
Phillips head screws (they have an "x" when looking at them from the
can have rounded edges and are less likely to scratch your horse.
If your screws have rough edges to them, count how many you have total,
take a couple screws with you to the hardware store, and get rounded
replacements for them. Then just go through your trailer and remove the old
rough screws with new smooth ones.
Be sure to take out only one screw at a time and replace it before moving
on to the next screw. If you remove many screws at the same time before
replacing them, it could cause a shifting of the panel or object that is
To save on your favorite fly spray, mix apple cider vinegar on a 1 to 1
ratio to dilute it. Your fly spray will still work great. Apple cider
vinegar also makes a great body rinse after a work out.
Side wall stall mats--rough vs. smooth...
Smooth side wall mats are better to have than rough or wrinkled mats. With
the rough mats on the side wall, the horses love to rub up against them for
the feeling they get. They can wind up rubbing the mat down to nothing in a
short time. This leaves metal and welds of the trailer exposed to where the
horse could rub and be scratched or cut.
Smooth side wall mats will not tempt the horse to rub on them and if the
horse does, they will not wear down quickly.
If your trailer has rough side wall mats you may want to replace them. The
cost is minimal and the hardest part is keeping the mats smooth when you
glue them on. Finish off with black caulk across the tops and sides for a
smooth beaded edge.
Your local trailer guy can do this if you prefer not to do it yourself.
If your horse bolts it's food and gets some caught in it's throat, break
up a peppermint candy and put it in a bucket of water. Then take a
washcloth and dip it in the bucket and put it in the horse's mouth several
times until the obstruction is gone.
Wooden floors--always inspect...
I do not recommend wooden floors in a horse trailer, but if you have them,
pay close attention here.
Urine and manure will cause the wooden floor to rot and weaken. Always wash the floor after every trip and inspect the boards and even jump on each
board to test the integrity of your floor system.
A weak floor board could break in the middle of transit, causing a horse to
be dragged with a leg on the road. Death of the horse is likely should this
condition persist for any length of time. Replace any weak boards
Uneven floor mats...
Remove all foreign material that may get lodged under the floor mats. Keep
them clean. Remember, when traveling, your horse has to straddle and
adjust to every bump and turn. A smooth even surface on the floor mats
makes it easier for your horses to adjust their position.
Metal edge story...
Make sure that there are no jagged or sticking out metal edges in the horse
stall area of your trailer.
A gentleman I know of tells the story of how his friend's horse trailer had
a strip of metal with a rough edge at about knee level.
On one trip, they stopped and noticed blood dripping from the back of their
two horse trailer - the horse had cut his leg seriously during the trip. It
was too late to find a vet, so they rushed to a store and got flour and a
They wrapped the towel tightly around the leg and threw in a handful of
flour with each succeeding wrapping around the leg.
The next day they got the horse to the vet. The vet said he could not have
done a better job himself and that the horse would be fine.
They were lucky. Just make sure that there are no rough edges in your
trailer and this will never have to happen to you.
If your horse throws a fit when the farrier tries to pound the nails in,
practice this by tapping the horses feet and getting him used to it. Your
horse will get used to the sound and feeling of the farrier hammer and will
make shoeing time much easier for both you and the horse (and your farrier
will appreciate it also).
Michelin offers the safest tires
Michelin is the only tire known that can be balding on top and will still
not blow a side wall. If you do not have them, I recommend going this route
for truck and trailer. There is nothing worse than having a tire go bad in
the middle of a trip.
You can check them out and find the right tire for you at
That's all for now.
Aaron Vaughn & Daniel Oberan
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Aaron Vaughn & Daniel Oberan
Arizona AirStride Trailer Distributor
"The Most Horse Friendly Trailer"
Feel Free to Drop Me a Line firstname.lastname@example.org