Travel Safely

28 Apr 2024

Istock 876980064
Unfortunately, from time to time we get a call to attend road incidents involving horses and ponies going through trailer floors or involved in road traffic accidents…. This is very distressing for all concerned and can have horrific consequences. Here are some tips for maintaining safe transport.
External Trailer Checks:
Walk Around Inspection:
  • Examine the trailer’s general condition for any damage, rust, or wear and tear.
  • Check that the handbrake functions correctly.
  • Ensure that reflectors on the sides of the trailer are clean, secure, and visible to other vehicles.
  • Verify that the number plate matches the towing vehicle and is securely fixed at the back of the trailer.
Internal Trailer Checks:


Floor Inspection:
  • Lift the rubber matting and check the floor:
  • Ensure it’s sound, rot-free (for wooden floors), and dry.
  • Always muck out the trailer after each use and ensure the floor is fully dry before closing the doors.
  • Clean the floor’s drain holes out with a screwdriver – most trailers have natural drain holes built into the lower body and floor at the front and rear of the trailer.
Ramp, Doors, and Hinges:
  • Inspect the ramp, doors, hinges, and fastenings:
  • Ensure they are in working order.
  • Carefully examine the roof for signs of leaks or weakness.
Partitions and Breast Bars:
  • Thoroughly check that partitions and breast bars are secure and in good working order.
  • Check any quick release pins
Electrical Connections:
  • Verify that all electrical connections are secure:
  • Look for frayed wires or loose connections.
Light Check:
Ask a friend to stand behind the trailer:
  • Confirm that brake lights, sidelights, and indicators are functioning.
  • Inspect light lenses for cracks or breaks that could affect the electrics.
Tire Inspection:
  • Check tire pressure (refer to your trailer handbook for correct levels).
  • Inspect each tire for wear, cracks, bulges, and splits in the rubber.
  • Ensure tire treads are at least 1.6mm deep.
  • Don’t forget to check the exterior spare wheel: remove the cover, ensure it’s secure, has sufficient tread, no cracks, and is properly inflated.
Coupling Up:
Confirm the following:
  • Brake is off
  • Jockey wheel is raised securely.
  • Breakaway cable is correctly attached (not over the towball) It should have a separate attachment point from the towball but on the same piece of metal.
Remember, thorough safety checks contribute to a smooth and secure journey for you and your horse. A well maintained trailer / lorry is a major factor for safe transportation, if ignored it could become your most significant heartbreak and financial drain as well.
If in any doubt get a professional to check... Travel safely