5 Trailer Features for Special Needs Horses
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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18 thoughts on “5 Must-Have Trailer Features for Special Needs Horses”
People often forget that horses are living beings too and travelling in a compact space can get uncomfortable. This is why we need to take such measures for all horses to give them the comfort they deserve for all they do for us.
You’re so right, Lisa. We have to think of our animals’ comforts.
I agree that it’s always a good idea to have additional loading doors. I have a horse that always likes to kick if you try to back him out in tight spaces. My sister got a really bad bruise last time we tried. Another loading door would prevent that problem.
Ouch! Being kicked by a horse could cause a person a lot of damage. I’m glad your sister only got a bruise. Thank you for your input, and for visiting Animal Bliss.
I agree you should get one with low ramps. Otherwise, it will be hard for both you and the horses to get on the trailer. And, if you decide to also use the trailer for storage, it will be hard to get things up the ramp.
I didn’t know that horse trailers could be made with extra loading doors, but it would certainly be very helpful for horses with disabilities. I don’t currently have any horses, but if I do ever have any, I will be sure to keep this idea in mind, in case any of them are disabled. Do you know how difficult it would be to alter an existing trailer?
Aww, I love the name, “Nora” for a horse. Sweet. Thanks for taking a look at this article, Jennifer! I appreciate it so much every time you visit my blog. You’re the greatest. 🙂
A trailer cam! Thats so neat! I have never heard of one before!
A trailer cam could potentially save a animal’s life. It’s a very good feature. Thanks for your comment, Kim!
Ramps can be so helpful!
I worked for several years during grad school with a local horse rescue. Our big trailer had a great ramp. So helpful for the older horses or horses that were sick or injured.
Also, for the young or untrained horses, I think the ramp made it a lot easier to teach the horses how to load into the trailer and made the trailer not quite as scary.
Thanks for sharing your experiences, Mary. That’s great that you worked with a horse rescue. I would love do to that someday. I imagine those trailers can be quite intimidating for the untrained horses, especially with the drive that’s to follow. Take care, Mary!
All sound like very important features for trailering these special horses! Thanks for sharing!
You are quite welcome, Christina. I visited your site too. Thank you for all that you do towards getting those precious pitbulls adopted. It makes me sad that they have such a bad rap. Take care!
Very interesting article. I have had a fascination with quarter horses since childhood. Great information and thanks for sharing!
Quarter horses are such beautiful, majestic animals. I don’t blame you for having a fascination with them. I’m glad you enjoyed the article, Toy. I appreciate your taking the time to visit my site.
This is such a valuable blog post for all horse owners!! Thank you for sharing!!
Thank you for your comment, Alanna. I’m glad you stopped by today. Come back soon!