It is recommended that we check our horse trailers each year for wear and safety issues. Below is a general guideline of items to check to avoid potential safety issue.
Take the time each year assure your horses safety!!
In addition to these recommendations, USRider advises horse owners to check all trailer tires, (including spares) for signs of dry rot, correct air pressure, faulty air valves, uneven tire wear, overall tire wear and damage. USRider recommends investing in a high-quality air pressure gauge – learn how to use it - and inspect tire pressure before each trip. Always replace tires if worn or damaged. In addition, tires should be replaced every three to five years regardless of mileage. When replacing tires, always replace the valve stems. USRider recommends that only high quality tires specifically designed and rated for trailers be used – never use retread or automobile tires on a horse trailer. According to Riss, “Quality tires are like fine leather shoes, they only hurt once – when you pay for them.”
It is also important to service the wheel bearings annually, or every 12,000 miles, regardless of mileage due to moisture build-up. Keep a spare set of wheel bearings in your trailer in case of premature failure. Be sure to inspect trailer wiring and lighting; inspect door latches and grease the doors; inspect the floor (be sure to remove any rubber mats so the entire floor can be examined); and inspect and lubricate mechanical moving parts, such as the hitch and suspension parts. If the trailer has been sitting for a while, check for wasp nests, spider webs and any other creatures.
Riss also reminds equestrians to check the contents of their equine and human first aid kits. “Any depleted and out-of-date items should be replaced,” he said. A list of recommended items for first aid kits is posted on the USRider website.
USRider advises horse owners to use ICE - In Case of Emergency. This important initiative was designed to aid emergency responders in identifying victims and determining who needs to be notified. Implementing ICE is easy. Program your emergency contact information into your cellular phone and designate it with the acronym ICE.
Horse owners should also ensure that their emergency contact information is stored in their tow vehicle. To facilitate this, USRider has developed an In Case of Emergency form and posted it online for horse owners to print out. Simply fill in the blanks and store the paper in the tow vehicle as well as in the trailer. Additional recommendations as well as a Power of Attorney form are posted on the USRider website.
For additional safety tips, visit the Equine Travel Safety Area on the USRider website at www.usrider.org.