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Before you haul your livestock, be sure to review our pre-trip checklist to make sure you have everything you need for your horse trailer.
  • Wheel bearings serviced? (service every 12 mos./12,000 miles, carry spare bearing set).
  •  Tires in good condition? (look for dry rot, replace every 3-5 years regardless of mileage).
  •  Check tire pressure (including spares and inside tire on dual wheels).
  •  Hitch locked on the ball? Correct size ball?
  •  Safety cables/chains connected?
  •  Plug and secure electrical connection.
  •  Connect emergency breakaway system.
  •  Emergency battery charged?
  •  Test trailer lighting (brakes, turn signals, running, perimeter).
  •  Check/test brake controller.
  •  Prior to loading horse(s), check trailer for hazards.
  •  Leg wraps, head bumper on horse(s)?
  •  Secure and lock all trailer doors.
  •  Headlights on? For greater safety – get noticed.
  •  Drive safely – allow greater braking distance, and travel at generally slower speeds.
Neva Kittrell Scheve is the author of The Complete Guide to Buying, Maintaining, and Servicing a Horse Trailer and Hawkins Guide: Horse Trailering on the Road. She and James Hamilton, DVM, co-authored Hawkins Guide: Equine Emergencies on the Road.