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First time hauling a horse...

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  • 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
    -trailer aid
    -fire extinguisher
    -5g of water
    -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, 12:16 PM.

  • #2
    I also keep a knife in case of emergency. i.e.if you need to cut the rope or halter.


    • #3
      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!
      Check us out on Facebook at EVER AFTER FARM


      • Original Poster

        Thanks guys!! will add knife to list.


        • #5
          * 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!


          • Original Poster

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

            will do! and will be taking pictures of course


            • #7
              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.
              Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


              • #8
                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.


                • Original Poster

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

                  what is overdrive? that sounds important...


                  • #10
                    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
                    Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


                    • #11
                      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
                        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
                          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
                            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
                              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
                                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.
                                Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans


                                • #17
                                  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.
                                  HorsePower! www.tcgequine.blogspot.com


                                  • #18
                                    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.
                                    "As soon as you're born you start dyin'
                                    So you might as well have a good time"


                                    • #19
                                      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
                                        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.