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Trailering for Dummies?

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  • Trailering for Dummies?

    I am a total newbie when it comes to purchasing, hooking up or driving a trailer. Usually I've just always trailered with the boarding barn, or friends, or hired haulers.

    I don't know the first thing about any of this. I don't even know what I need to know! I don't even have a truck yet.

    Are there any really great "trailering for dummies" resources online? I've read some articles but a lot of them are assuming I already have a clue, like "buy a truck that has sufficient hauling/braking capacity". OK, well HOW do I know if it's capable enough to be safe?

    I'm looking for a two horse trailer and truck to haul that safely.

    Thanks for any tips!!!

  • #2
    Well, you come here

    First, what are you hauling
    for what purpose and how long, both the length of ride and duration of stay

    That determins what you need in the trailer

    The you look at the trailer you need and you match it up with a truck that can pull (and stop) it that matches your topographic situation (hills vs flats) and your pocket book.

    Clear as mud, no?


    • #3
      Get a copy of this book: The Complete Guide to Buying, Maintaining, and Servicing a Horse Trailer

      Last edited by ChocoMare; Jan. 28, 2010, 04:12 PM.
      <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


      • #4
        Here's three things you can do to get started:

        1. Tag along (sorry, bad trailer joke) with a friend who is an experienced hauler -- ask questions, look at all the "bits and pieces" -- this will help demystify it for you. See if she'll give you some lessons in a parking lot or somewhere with the trailer empty. Even if it's not the exact set up you will end up with, it'll help you get your feet wet!

        2. Get Neva Scheve's book, which is something like A complete guide to buying, towing, etc etc a horse trailer. [edited to add, this is the one chocomare recommended!!]

        3. Read this primer: http://www.equispirit.com/info/towing.htm
        (by the same folks who wrote the book). There is also a FAQ on their site that explains a lot...

        good luck!!!
        The big man -- my lost prince

        The little brother, now my main man


        • #5
          If you're going to get a two horse, make sure it is tall enough/wide enough for your horse. Decide if you want a bumper pull (can sway if your truck isn't big enough for it--- sway bars solve that though), keeps the whole bed of your truck for use even when towing. Goose necks are much more easily maneuverable, but can be more expensive.

          GET A TACKROOM if you can afford it. Nothing like digging your horse stuff out from under the hay the horse has tossed around, and you don't have to keep moving tack from the house or barn to the truck then back.

          Get at least a 3/4 ton truck (that would be like a Ford F250, or Chevy 2500, etc.) Yes, you absolutely can tow with a 1/2 (F150), but when your horse pitches a fit in the back, you really do want your truck to win, not him.

          Install and use an electronic brake controller. Common sense, yes, but surprising how many will rely on the truck brakes to stop the trailer.

          Get a diesel if you have any hills or mountains you frequently tow over.

          Get a 4X4. Again, more expensive, but when you went to the show, and it rained, and the ruts your truck dug are deeper than your tires..... you'll regret not having 4 wheel drive.


          • #6
            If there's some sort of Horse Expo or fair in your area, try to go and look at a variety of trailers. You might need to buy the truck before you buy the trailer, and it really helps to have a good idea of what trailer you're going to get before you buy the truck. Good luck and have fun!