How To Prepare Your Horse Trailer for Your Next Trip

DHM Horse Trailer PhotoThere is no better way to ruin a trip than a “broke down” horse trailer. You are loaded with kids, dogs, horses, perishables (and who knows what else – where does all that extra baggage come from?) and the last thing you need is to be broken down on a busy highway, or anywhere else for that matter.

There is no way to guarantee this won’t happen but there are steps you can take to reduce the chances of this happening to you.


Before your trip (we recommend several days before):

Walk Around

Conduct a thorough and complete “walk around” the horse trailer looking for anything that could indicate a problem. If anything is wrong, fix it before you leave home.

  • Broken wires
  • Broken/cracked lights
  • Under-inflated tires, including the spare tire
  • Broken windows
  • Inoperative latches
  • Defective hitches
  • Broken safety chains
  • Broken or missing emergency brake cable
  • Doors that don’t properly close
  • Oil or grease on the hubs
  • Missing or loose lug nuts
  • Anything dragging or hung up under the trailer

Connect to Truck

After the walk around, connect the horse trailer to the truck. Check to be certain all lights work properly, brakes are adjusted correctly, trailer clearances are correct and the level the trailer for best operation and braking.


On the day of the trip:

Connect to Truck

Check to be certain the hitch is locked, safety chains are fastened to the truck and the emergency brake cable is secured to the truck.


Park the horse trailer on level ground if possible to load the stock. Be certain the loading doors and dividers/gates are open and secure so that you are not preoccupied with them handling the stock. Load and secure the stock and close all dividers/gates and secure correctly.

Walk Around

Do one final walk around before you leave home to be sure everything is working properly. If not, fix it. If it isn’t right before you leave, it will only get worse along the way!


Always remember (and maybe use as a tongue twister for your brood), proper prior planning prevents a poor performance!

We are always available to answer any questions or to provide advice for your trips. Feel free to call us toll free!

Happy Trails!