5 Trailer Features for Special Needs Horses
Written by Kristi Waterworth
Trailering your horse is serious business, but not every horse is a medium-sized, healthy and experienced traveler. The special needs horses of the world have to trailer sometimes, too, and no matter how much we love them, they’re a little different and need to be treated with individual care. If you’re hauling the young horses, pregnant mares, miniature horses, stallions or lame horses of the world, consider choosing these five helpful features next time you’re looking at horse trailers for sale.
A lame horse needs all the help he can get to make it into the trailer at all — a low ramp is the best option for loading him. Older horses, miniature horses, foals and pregnant mares will also appreciate this easy loading scenario, since they may have trouble stepping up into a trailer on their own.
Additional Loading Doors
Whether your horse has a medical problem or is simply a youngster learning to load, a walk-through trailer can be your best friend. Not only can you teach a young horse to walk into the trailer long before you have to deal with teaching them to back out, the walk-through design gives the trailer a much more open feel during loading and unloading, reducing horse anxiety. Owning a walk-through also means that old or sick horses won’t have to worry about backing and possibly injuring themselves, since you’ll be leading them forward and out.
Box stalls save lives, especially when it comes to transporting lone foals, mares with foals and miniature horses. These horses may travel best laying down, and without the protection that solid dividers offer they could end up tangled in bar-style dividers or worse, trapped under dividers that don’t quite reach the floor. Your stallions may travel better in a box stall, too, depending on their temperament and who else is traveling with them.
Young horses, sick horses and stallions are notorious for pawing and kicking at the horse trailer, as well as rearing when they can. A little extra padding will go a long way to prevent injuries caused by these anxiety or aggression reactions. Have your horse trailer manufacturer add extra thick padding on walls, bars and dividers, as well as anything your horse might hit his head on during loading. A well-insulated ceiling that can take a blow from below is another smart investment.
When you’re transporting a special needs horse, it’s doubly important that you can see what’s going on in the trailer at all times. A trailer cam and a good friend riding shotgun who can monitor it constantly is great protection against serious injuries and accidents. If your horse is slipping around, falling over or otherwise hurting himself, you can pull over to check on him right away instead of finding a potentially gory surprise during a scheduled stop.
No matter the age or condition of your horse, it’s important to keep their needs in mind when choosing the right trailer in which to haul them. There are always options to make horse travel easier for special needs horses, from tiny horses to sick horses and even those aggressive stallions.
5 Must-Have Trailer Features for Special Needs Horses
GUEST AUTHOR: Kristi Waterworth is a writer for Double D Trailers
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