Busy-Traveler’s Trailer-Loading Checklist
Fall’s cool days enhance hauling comfort for both you and your horse, opening up endless trail opportunities. Fall also means trailering to year-end shows.
As you enter this busy hauling season, it’s good to follow a checklist so you don’t skip important safety steps, especially if you’re in a hurry.
If the loading and unloading process isn’t done in the right order, even the calmest horse can spook, step back, or slip, causing a harmful chain reaction. For instance, if your horse is tied in your trailer, but knows the back door is open for escape, he might pull back and panic when he can’t get free. The panic session will compound when he hears the loud echo as he slips and scrambles on a metal floor.
Follow this checklist from top trainer/ clinician Julie Goodnight for safe loading and unloading every time.
Loading Your Horse
Prepare your trailer. Leave your horse in his pen. Hitch your trailer to your tow vehicle. (As you do, check all lights and blinkers, brake connections, and tire pressure.) Drive your trailer to a flat, open area clear of debris. Securely close all trailer doors and win-