And as far as unsafe trailers go...years ago I sold a lovely TB mare to a woman in Chicago when we lived in So. Pines, NC. Her "commercial" shipper arrived with a trailer I wouldn't send a horse down the driveway in!! The back doors and ramp were tied up with rope and the belly of the long gooseneck trailer was sagging almost to the ground. I called the buyer (horse was paid for in full) and told her what a mess the rig was and she told me that if I wasn't satisfied with the trailer, not to ship the horse!! The shipper went BALLISTIC when I refused to load the horse, but I slept well knowing I had done the right thing. I wouldn't have put "MY" horse in that thing and I didn't plan on putting "HER" horse in it, either...paid for or not!! (There were already 6 horses on board..."my" mare was to be tied in the middle of the horses already on the trailer!!
Years ago a bunch of us were going someplace with a friend, and there was some sort of problem with the trailer when we stopped at another farm to,pick up the last horse. She tried to insist that we go anyway and the situation was really awkward, because the others in the group were unwilling to stand up to the strong personality and say "WTF, there's no way you can haul our horses like that." I think I was the only one willing to put my foot down - honestly, I would have walked home from there at that point - and she finally fixed whatever it was and we did make the trip safely. But it amazes me to this day that people can be willing to put others in danger. Your horses, your stupidity is your own problem. But when others are involved... So sometimes you have to say, no, I'd rather stay home than put my horse in that trailer, sorry, have a great time without me. My guardian angel just isn't that good.
This is slightly OT, but for me, I will sometimes keep my mouth shut when it comes to my own safety or comfort to keep from from offending or ruffling feathers. But when it comes to my dog or horse I will never compromise their safely or comfort and will stand up for them without a second thought.
While we're sharing stories...I was half leasing my mare for a time to a teenaged gal with non horsey parents. She wanted to go to a HS Eq Team practice or something. They said they had made arrangements to haul. I told them that was fine, but I wanted to see the rig and I would follow them.
They showed up with a steel 2 horse hitched to their minivan. The trailer was in bad shape to begin with...add in the fact that they were hauling with a MINIVAN and their inexperience (I *thought* they were catching a ride)...that was a big. fat. N. O.
And WCPORTER? Nah, not that odd. LOL
A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.
I am not advocating ruffling feathers just for the sake of, but I am not, will not EVER be shy when it comes to taking care of mine.
I would not "politely decline" or avoid the issue. I would say EXACTLY why I would not put my horse on the trailer. I would hope that BO simply did not realize the problem. Life can be THAT hectic at times. I would hope BO was mortified at the danger being pointed out.
And if he/she does not recognize the issue, I would wonder what other important things are being overlooked.
NEVER be shy when it comes to the safety and well being of your horse. You are their only voice.