Thursday, May 13, 2010

Trailer hazard

I have had my "Thuro-Bilt" trailer for a year now. I like it alot , though I would not have picked this model out myself, given the choice of one main thing---Solid wall or removable wall.

While I like the fact I may take the wall out, and the one slant stall divider out, to make this trailer more of a "Stock" Trailer-
 When left in, and that is my normal mode, you have a tack room (and I NEED a tack room!)  being the prepared gal I am.
Now-THIS IS THE PART I DISLIKE- When you leave the trailer to go for your ride; often by the side of the road or public park, you must lock, (to keep your gear and belongings in the tack room)- the windows/tack door/  Back trailer door -every stinkin' time you leave your rig!! 
While I am known for my organised 
methods and takes much effort to rally yourself, after you saddled up and the horse is ready to go......take the pins out of the tack door and back trailer door, then get both the locks and then do the, did I do the windows? And where are the KEYS!
 Actually, I have gotten proficient at his now~

My sweet new friend who owns Mustangs, had invited me to join a group of folks up at Mount Hood, a place I had not ridden before.
I washed the trailer- inside and out...sparking clean, knowing I was to sleep in there. I had an air mattress, cedar shavings(smelling good) under that,  Screened windows (no bugs). Lanterns chair... All  the fixin's for a comfy couple of nights. 

It was GREAT! And I have had NO problems with my mare in this trailer at all. 
Since the wall is removable though...I took silicone gel and went along the bottom edge(THICKLY SO) with it, to seal  off any debris or urine from coming under the wall, into the tack room. mare has never pee'd in a trailer!
So...the problem arose not with my horse...but My PBO's gelding, Romeo, that likes to look all around and sticks his head over the  dividable wall. He is taller than any horse I have had inside my trailer..and he also thinks "treats" may be lurking just around every corner!
This apparently is a problem with her 3 horse -removable wall- trailer too- with him-.
She has had this trailer, a stock  "Morgan Built" , for almost 2 decades. Early on, she had to have a friend WELD a "blockade bar" at the top of the wall.
If you look at where a head would pop over to check things out, (looking for treats) can clearly imagine the  problem that may arise!

This welded add on keeps that from happening in HER trailer. only a few years old and It took ROMEO to prove to us that I needed to get that welder dude to hook me up with That bar safety feature too!

This is my front stall in the Thuro-Bilt trailer-
 See the scratches in the paint? And the hook nearby?(NOT even as close as her pegs...they are recessed back)

Romeo had to really tweak himself to reach this!

(I require others that trailer with me in MY rigs, to use safety halters that break!)

Romeo's halter DID break, and we felt nothing from the struggle to alert us as we drove along  home, from the beach last month.
We simply got him out upon arriving home, and his owner noticed the leather halter had broken at the clasp under his chin.

This just occurred to me; Just as you groom and study your horse's legs and body before a ride , and....after the ride, as you do a one over- YOU may find INJURY faster this way and establish -a base line for health and normalcy, your horse as well.
I clean my trailer after each use( My sissy's influence again) with White Vinegar in a spray bottle, Using a dry towel. This eliminates lingering bacteria . You may also use it inside your hoof boots or leg wraps/saddle pads for the same, as it is non irritating and cuts odor as well, for a quick fix. ( NOT a substitute for washing porous material)
Doing this clean up job that day, is when I noticed the fresh scratches in the paint and put 2 and 2 together with the broken halter and peg.

So, the next ride we went on together with Romes and Wa mare-CTRF Hardy Creek- Before we loaded Romes, I remembered to ask if he had his safety halter on? Nope...waiting for another in the mail... So Wa mare had to go in first. Which can present a problem.
 Hence the Trailer Debacle of that day I referred to in that post .
Wa mare is a very opinionated girl, she has personal space issues, and horses coming in behind her in the trailer..she takes offence to. I, for obvious safety reasons, normally load her lastly and all does go well.( A GREAT REASON TO USE Padded Leg hauling Wraps too!)

Well, coming home.vs going out to the ride...she decided to squeal and kick when my PBO tried to load Romeo behind her...she was in the trailer and suddenly said,"Here-YOU have more influence over her- YOU load him!" (hence the debacle-I influenced her with the training stick touching her  neck as I told her to "Easy!")

We are looking out for you Romeo! (who is looking after me?!)

Calling the welder dude now!


  1. Tie them shorter. I don't use the off the shelf trailer ties for the reason of them being too long and horse getting caught up on stuff in the trailer or possibly getting leg over the rope. Had a similar incident but with a latch for the door, not a bridle hook. I believe you really can't tie a horse too short but you can certainly and easily tie them too long.

  2. I worry about trailering horses. I have a trailer and the older mares are great travellers. The youngsters have been aquainted with the trailer and are happy to stand in it, we now have to take them on small journeys to get them used to travelling. Good idea to get the safety bar fitted.

  3. Our mare Dawn has the same personal space issues and is happy as a clam when last on (I have a slant), but kicks up a storm if there's a horse behind her.

    It's good to be thinking about all these safety issues all the time.

  4. Kacy, use the Blocker tie rings. the horse can pull back and release the tension without breaking the halter. I use the Clinton Anderson rope halter on Gilly all the time but when he is tied, the rope is tied to the Blocker tie ring. Since this ring releases the rope slowly it also teaches the horse not to pull back.
    I hope one day to have a trailer of my own, I want a Featherlite Stock combo. I think this will work for me far better than a regular horse trailer...husband wants cattle again and don't want them in a horse trailer! LOL
    Your trailer is beautiful!!! So neat and clean!
    Jane and Gilly

  5. Sydney~ Good idea= for him!

    DI~ Wa hated to trailer when i got her...took 40 minutes to load and all kinds of stunts...patience and good trailering rides and trust...all it takes is time and patience !

    Kate~ glad(not really) that Wa is not such a freak..there are others like her. Thanks for letting me know that!

    Jane...notice in my photo of my trailer IS a BLOCKER!The breaking halter this time was from the "Bridle hook" over the wall in the tack area-right).

    And> I NEVER Use "ROPE HALTERS" to trailer in( only ground manners and NOT even lunging!)...I had an incident, resulting in a head Injury for the horse- I now use A "BUMPER HEAD PIECE" because of this.

    No matter what devise you use to tie them with...once they hit the small double/ or larger single rope on poll- and all the balls coming into action on sensitive nerves on jaw and sides of's ON-ON Pain!
    That Pain memory for the trailer took several months to erase.

    Only "Safety halters"- that break- for me and my riders in the trailer now!

    "My MOTTO" for handling horses:
    If it could happen- it will happen- SO, I plan for it Not to happen!

  6. Crazy what horses will get into. That gap doesn't even look high enough or comfortable enough to get a big ol horse head into. Amazing!

    After our own trailering refusals and issues with Apache I finally figured out what caused it. We didn't tie her when she was in the trailer, because that is what my instructor advised us not to do because of unloading and not remembering to release the tie from the halter.

    Well, apparently, I believe that Apache bent her head down to hoover up some hay bits and to stick her head underneath the divider bar...and WHAM. She tried to lift her head up and hit her poll, nose and head. I think it traumatized her.

    Now, I clip her halter to the tie strap and it's my responsibility to always remember to reach in and unclip her before opening the doors.


    word verification: bitticar

    It's just a little tiny car.

  7. I must respectfully disagree about tying short in the trailer: I want there to be enough room for the horse to lower their head and give their airways some drainage, especially on long trip. The stock 30" trailer ties don't do that!

    I, too, use the Blocker Tie Rings in the trailer, although I try to have a hold on the end of the lead before I open my slant's divider: occasionally, a horse will rush back and the Blocker allows them to do so, if left on the "loosest" setting (you can adjust the friction/tension with variations on the placement of the lead rope's tail). Beth managed to get all the way out one time, before I could regain control (she didn't actually get loose), so until she gets some more practice I maintain a little more contact.

    I don't do anything but ground work in a rope halter, but I have never gone the route of a breakaway (or any of those easy break cross ties or whatever). I NEVER leave a halter on a loose horse (tho I am rethinking the breakaway route for Miss Piggy Kate if I get her a grazing muzzle this summer). I don't want a horse to think they can sit back and get away (see Beth's near escape above). I keep a sharp knife handy for emergencies, tho I suppose that could carry it's own dangers on a panicked horse...

    I agree, whatever *can* go wrong, probably will, so I try to make sure it can't!

  8. OOH! Good to know! I'll keep that in mind when we finally buy a trailer. And, I will look into a safety halter when we transport Casey across country soon. Good thought!

  9. Kacy wow what a nice sleeping quarters and trailer! I agree on the breakaway halters....that's all we use along with the Clinton Anderson tie rings. We have a stock trailer for three horses that my OH made slant panels for (did a great job on them and saved some money too) and each stall has a tie ring mounted in it. It's not a fancy trailer or truck but it gets the job done and we don't go that far to go camping (30 mins.) Now I just need a better sleeping facility....we had a small tent with the taller air mattresses in it and I could hardly get out of it! They barely fit in there...and were nearly flat by the morning! LOL! Oh we neither tie too long or too short and have had no problems.

  10. Ecellent info every one!..I love all the responses!
    My girlfriend does not tie her horses-in her own trailer- and it always makes me nervous. Head under the divider and sometimes making like he'd turn completely around.

    I think that Romeo may not get to eat while traveling and be "short tied" and have it released, before we get my mare out... just until I get the welder dude to make that safety bar.

  11. After reading this I'm glad I don't have a slant load trailer. We have a two horse straight load? is that the term? They just stand side by side and I've never had a problem. The tack room/ dressing area is separate with a separate entrance. Hope you get it all sorted out soon with the welder.

  12. Grey is NOT the slant load that is the problem... just the kind with removable half walls, that do not come up all the way.

    My mare would not get in straight to save her life...too close for her claustrophobic self.
    Yet..I have not seen one that was not 20 or 30 years maybe there are roomer one out there?Actually, we did load there in one once and had the divider left open for a roomer feel..and we closed the divider on the way home, and had another horse (a mare)in with her.


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