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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2007
    Location
    Zone IV/Area III
    Posts
    1,213

    Default First time hauling a horse...

    I bought a 2003 diesel excursion 4x4 in february, and got my 2012 XL 2H BP w/ DR delivered in march. I am driving my truck and trailer 3 hours to go get my horse from college and bring him home for the summer. I guess my 3 hours of practice will be the ride down! We have a weight distribution hitch with sway bars. We also have US Rider.

    Anything you can think of that I don't have that I need to put in my trailer?

    -extra halter
    -chocks
    -trailer aid
    -jack
    -fire extinguisher
    -5g of water
    -bucket
    -first aid kit

    Mom and I are just so nervous!!! We have never hauled a horse ourselves before.
    Last edited by reay6790; May. 1, 2012 at 12:16 PM.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 23, 2011
    Location
    The land of OZ
    Posts
    40

    Default

    I also keep a knife in case of emergency. i.e.if you need to cut the rope or halter.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 13, 2009
    Posts
    661

    Default

    If it makes you feel better the first time I drove a trailer was when I moved from PA to FL! Also the truck I was using was a brand new truck from my DHs dealership so I'd have been in trouble if I got even a scratch on it. We all made it fine, horses, trailer and truck! By the time I got to FL I could drive that thing anywhere!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2007
    Location
    Zone IV/Area III
    Posts
    1,213

    Default

    Thanks guys!! will add knife to list.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 29, 2008
    Posts
    434

    Default

    * Hay in a hay net (a Freedom Feeder, perhaps? )
    * Shavings on trailer floor
    * Tool kit

    You're gonna do fine. Just remember what my trainer told me: Go as slow as you need to and don't worry about pissing people off. Let us know how it goes!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2007
    Location
    Zone IV/Area III
    Posts
    1,213

    Default

    oh yes he will be getting hay in his mini freedom feeder and shavings.

    will do! and will be taking pictures of course



  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2003
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    14,148

    Default

    My tip for peolple who have never driven a horse trailer before is to go slowly around corners, stopping and starting up. "Coffee cup on the dashboard slow".

    The trailer tires follow a different (inside) track when turning, so leave enough room when pulling into the gas station for gas or you will wipe out the fenders of the trailer. I took out a gatepost once doing that.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2003
    Posts
    3,589

    Default

    My advice before going is to take your truck and trailer to a local school carpark one evening and practice reversing - many times. You never know when you might have to and it constantly amazes me how many people haul and are totally unable to reverse their trailer. It takes some getting used to, but please do that.

    Also remember to switch off your overdrive before hauling.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2007
    Location
    Zone IV/Area III
    Posts
    1,213

    Default

    we have been practicing backing. got the sailboat out one day and practiced with that as well.

    what is overdrive? that sounds important...



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2005
    Location
    Back to Normal.. or as close as I'll ever get
    Posts
    9,434

    Default

    Overdrive is a setting on your automatic transmission that keeps the engine in the correct gear.
    Not needed when you are hauling.

    Another reminder to Just Take It SLOW - on the road ignore asshats who "need" to pass you and be aware they may cut you off so allow plenty of space to brake as they do.
    Noone likes to follow a horse trailer

    Also make your turns W-I-D-E and S-L-O-W especially at intersections and driveways.
    I killed my own mailbox coming onto my driveway too sharp.

    Take your time and relax, you'll be fine.
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009
    Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009



  11. #11
    Join Date
    May. 5, 2008
    Location
    Glenelg, MD
    Posts
    619

    Default

    It's probably in your tool kit/first aid kit, but duct tape is always helpful, as well as a charged flashlight. Also, syringes pre-loaded with banamine and bute should be considered for first aid kit for horse. And, water and snacks for you as well. Might be overkill, but you might want to consider one of the Ryobi battery-powered fans just in case. I keep a copy of my horse's vet records in the trailer, as well as printed maps of the route I'm taking. Those maps also identify any equine med facilities located along the way. I can't take any credit for these suggestions - when I got my trailer a very well-organized friend gave me a 'new trailer book' that includes great information about all this stuff. : )



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2012
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    4,986

    Default

    Reay - there is probably a button on the very end of your automatic shifting lever. Some are indicated by an image of a trailer. Some just say "O/D." It puts your truck in a lower gear, so to speak, so easier on the tranny when hauling. It also helps keep you slower on the downhills. On my F-150, when I push the button, a light on my dash reads "O/D OFF" so I know. Think of overdrive as highway cruising, so you turn it off to get lower geared.

    The first time I hauled my trailer I was so nervous I had a migraine by the time I got where I was going. Relax. By the time you get where you're going, you'll feel pretty comfortable with it.

    Remember when on the highway to give plenty of room if you pull out ot pass and then pull back into the right lane. Objects in mirror are closer than they appear is on your mirror for a reason
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar. 21, 2011
    Posts
    30

    Default

    Two things I learned when first trailering that have continued to serve me well:
    drive a loaded horse trailer as if you are hauling a hot tub filled with water - the goal is to not spill a drop; when backing, grab the bottom of the steering wheel and remember to turn the wheel in the opposite direction that you want he rear end of the trailer to go. Also, the trailer is likely slightly wider than the tow vehicle - keep that in mind when navigating narrow spaces...

    Good luck and safe travels!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2012
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    4,986

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pferdfeathers View Post
    ... when backing, grab the bottom of the steering wheel and remember to turn the wheel in the opposite direction that you want he rear end of the trailer to go.
    If holding the bottom of the wheel, you'd be moving your hand to the direction you want the trailer to go (thereby turning the wheel in the opposite direction of your intended direction).

    Just wanted to clarify so you don't have your hand on the bottom and moving it right, and wanting your trailer to go left!
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr. 25, 2000
    Posts
    8,939

    Default

    I have no idea what they are called, but one of those tools that gets the lug nuts off the tires if you have to change a flat...



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2007
    Location
    Beside Myself ~ Western NY
    Posts
    6,762

    Default

    And flares or reflective triangles or something similar.

    You will do just fine. Don't overthink it. Just be careful and responsible and pray. That's all any of us can do.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec. 9, 2002
    Location
    Fort Salonga, NY USA
    Posts
    553

    Default

    The diesel Excursion is a great tow vehicle. I have had one since '04. Hauled 2 horses almost halfway across country (college trip) twice yearly for several years.

    Don't be in a rush. The trip that was 10.5 hours by car was 13.5 hours hauling. Stopped every 2 hours to check water & hay & general well-being.

    Bring a Trailer-Aid. That's the ramp-like thing that lets you drive up on it and change a trailer tire.

    If you're not experienced in backing a trailer, (or even if you are) always know how you can get out before you pull into a place... even if that mean walking it first.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 2007
    Location
    Rising Sun, MD
    Posts
    3,544

    Default

    Best advice is just to take it easy- give yourself plenty of time and don't rush. When you're doing things like backing up or changing lanes, always double check. Be alert and leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front of you.
    I always do my stops and starts like I am driving in snow- slow and gentle.
    “While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats.” Mark Twain



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul. 18, 2008
    Location
    Ohio, USA
    Posts
    631

    Default

    I will Twenty-eth the GO SLOW on turns/stops/starts advise. Especially if you end up on a curvy county road, make sure you take your time. My rule of thumb is to go at least 5mph UNDER the recommended posted speed on curves.

    If you get someone ticked off and tailing you, just go slower. Force them to pass, if possible.

    Whenever I get an angry motorist behind me who is in an apparent hurry, I just smile into the side mirror and say to them, "Sorry guy, but I love my horses more than I like you."



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul. 1, 2000
    Location
    Goochland, VA
    Posts
    1,435

    Default

    Keep the extra halter with a lead shank with chain in the truck with you, not in the trailer. That way if there is any problem (which there probably won't be) you will have easy access to it and not have to look around in the trailer.

    And a bucket with some grain, in case you have to catch a horse. And a dressage whip to assist with loading if needed.

    And your cell phone.



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