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Dangerous trailering situation?

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  • Dangerous trailering situation?

    I saw this about a month ago and wanted to post right then to see what others thought, but life got in the way and I never had time when I got home. I passed a similar rig again this morning that reminded me of it again...so on a hot day this summer (I'd say 85-90 degrees, not crazy heatwave hot) I passed a 6 horse slant-load gooseneck on the PA turnpike. The driver had left the bars over the drop windows down, and one of the horses was sticking his entire head and I'd say a good 10-12 inches of neck behind his ears out the window. My first thought was 'am I the only one whose parents warned them that if you stick your arm out the window in a moving car, you may lose it?'
    I slowed down beside the truck as I passed, mustered up the most disapproving look on my face I could, shook my head and mouthed the words NOT SAFE as I looked in the other driver's eyes. I have to assume she could see the horse's head in her rearview mirror and might have had some clue as to what I was upset about, especially if she noticed the "horsey" sticker on my vehicle as I passed. This was a rather wide trailer sharing a major highway with even larger, fast moving trucks. Am I the only one who thinks it is more important to have your horse completely contained in the trailer than to have that tiny bit of extra air the bars would have blocked circulating?

  • #2
    I absolutely hate this. Just asking for an injury, in my opinion - the horse could easily lose an eye, or worse
    ~Nancy~

    Adams Equine Wellness

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    • #3
      When I was a kid I saw a yearling "jump through" one of those.. It only made it through enough to get extremely stuck and it did not end well. I do not open those windows completely ever.. Not even when loading the horses up. I think they are unnecessary and extremely dangerous.
      Teneriffe Enterprises- NW Indiana
      www.saradanielhaynes.com

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      • #4
        Right up there with the folks that leave their dogs loose in the bed (or even worse, on the flatbed) of the pickup truck as they fly down the freeway.

        Both situations very common around here and frequently combined.

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        • #5
          Unsafe and stupid. And if I understand correctly, they had the barred window cover available and just left it down? Even dumber. People really amaze me.

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          • #6
            It makes me cringe seeing horses in trailers with the windows open but the bars up, or stock trailers without the plexiglass in the "windows", being moved without flymasks down busy roads. I am absolutely terrified when I see horses sticking their heads out the windows! At the very least, something could fly up and hit it in the eyes. At the worst, you could have a very beheaded horse (or more!) creating a giant pool of blood in your trailer! Just plain dumb.

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            • #7
              Definitely not safe. I'm think it may be illegal in some states too?

              Where in PA are you from, OP? Anywhere near me?
              My CANTER cutie Chip and IHSA shows!
              http://www.youtube.com/kheit86

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              • #8
                People haul horses in open stock trailers all the time without putting flymasks on them or putting plexiglass in the slats, and the horses never suffer any injuries.
                Not sure about the head-out-window, but I've never heard of any actual accidents caused by that. Maybe because most people don't do it.

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                • #9
                  It's totally unsafe and stupid. Not only can objects fly into their face, but if they're wearing a halter it could get caught on something. I don't even want to think about what could happen if a lead was dangling out the window...

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                  • #10
                    It drives me absolutely crazy when I see that. I read an article several years ago about a guy who had his two horses' heads hanging out the trailer and a big rig came by and decapitated both horses. He had travelled thousands of miles hauling horses and had never had a problem. But he said that was the worst day of his life and he would never do it again. Too late for his horses, though. He competed in rodeos and they were both his livelihood and his "best friends".

                    It was a horrifying article, and I've never forgotten it.

                    Stupid and unnecessary.

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                    • #11
                      Unsafe. If you want to make your brain bleed, go read some threads on Horse Grooming Supplies Forum where people ask "is it okay to tow with this" and "is it safe to do XYZ with a trailer." It'll blow your mind.
                      ~Veronica
                      "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                      http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by saddleup View Post
                        It drives me absolutely crazy when I see that. I read an article several years ago about a guy who had his two horses' heads hanging out the trailer and a big rig came by and decapitated both horses. He had travelled thousands of miles hauling horses and had never had a problem. But he said that was the worst day of his life and he would never do it again. Too late for his horses, though. He competed in rodeos and they were both his livelihood and his "best friends".

                        It was a horrifying article, and I've never forgotten it.

                        Stupid and unnecessary.
                        Same thing happened to a horse on the way to pony club nationals back in the late 90's. It was awful.

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                        • #13
                          Horses and dogs and people need to keep all parts of their bodies *inside* the moving vehicle. Even a bug hitting you at 50 mph *hurts*. The potential for eye injuries is too high IMO.

                          Open stock trailers are fine. The bedding isn't swirling around back there in a mini-tornado -- if it's that dusty, wet it down or use bigger shavings. If it's bad enough that you're worried about getting it in the eyes, I'd also be worried about the horse breathing it in.
                          --
                          Wendy
                          ... and Patrick

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                          • #14
                            Bad idea. I've seen it once. I wouldn't want my horse's head hanging out there.
                            ::I do not understand your specific kind of crazy, but I do admire your total commitment to it::

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by I'dRatherBRiding View Post
                              My first thought was 'am I the only one whose parents warned them that if you stick your arm out the window in a moving car, you may lose it?'
                              Nope. And my mom is a nurse so when I was older she followed it up with stories of attempted arm reattachment and stuff. That stuck very effectively.

                              Of course, I'm the horrible person who will call the police on folks I see towing something unsafe or weaving a lot or whatever, too. I don't know if I would have in this case because I don't know if the horse head out the window is illegal, but possibly. And I've definitely done it when someone was pulling a u-haul or something and it was just not behaving properly, or when someone keeps going off the road onto the shoulder and then correcting, in any vehicle. I figure if I tell them then they can keep an eye out and do something if something needs to be done.

                              (Lest it sound like I'm on the phone all the time - I drive around a lot because my mom hates to fly and can't drive herself due to medication, so I play chauffeur often, and in years of doing that and going on family car trips and so on, I think my family has called to report something 3-4 times total.)

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                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Thank you! That's exactly what I thought, and that day I wanted to run right home and ask you all on here because I was so flabbergasted by it. It also ticks me off when I see people towing trailers on a complete slant because they don't have the right drop on their hitch. That one's not quite as danderous for the horse, just the rear tires and axle I guess, but I still want to roll down my window and shout "stupid!" whenever I see it!

                                To the Max, it was on the PA tpike between Valley Forge and Lancaster/Reading exits. I make that drive daily for work and am a Chester county transplant to Lancaster county.

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                                • #17
                                  Where I used to live there was a disabled trailer on the side of the road with the horses' heads hanging out. A semi came by a little too close and decapitated them. I saw the video on the news and it was EXTREMELY disturbing.
                                  Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
                                  My equine soulmate
                                  Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by saddleup View Post
                                    It drives me absolutely crazy when I see that. I read an article several years ago about a guy who had his two horses' heads hanging out the trailer and a big rig came by and decapitated both horses. He had travelled thousands of miles hauling horses and had never had a problem. But he said that was the worst day of his life and he would never do it again. Too late for his horses, though. He competed in rodeos and they were both his livelihood and his "best friends".

                                    It was a horrifying article, and I've never forgotten it.

                                    Stupid and unnecessary.
                                    Yikes! I never even thought of this happening. Poor horses.

                                    I have seen only a very few trailers with the bars down and the horses heads out. Stupid. However, I don't think stock style trailers without plexiglass are a bad thing.
                                    Proud to have two Takaupa Gold line POAs!
                                    Takaupas Top Gold
                                    Gifts Black Gold Knight

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                                    • #19
                                      Used to be common around here to see the standardbreds going down the road with their heads sticking out the windows. Now that we don't have standies at the local track in the summers, I haven't seen horses traveling with their forelocks blowing in the wind.

                                      Not sure why it seems to be so common for that one segment of the industry around here.
                                      Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

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                                      • #20
                                        It is pretty common around here esp for the trail riders. I would never do it. I do not even open the windows up to just the bars behind them..partly because I am afraid of losing the actual windows! But also things could fly in between the bars. I do open the sliders on the windows where the screens are.
                                        We have friends who haul with horses heads out and have gently tried to explain that that could be dangerous. They still do it!
                                        There are lots of people who do stupid stuff hauling horses or with animals "in" vehicles in general. Was driving on the highway one day and saw a truck w gooseneck trailer with a dog in the bed of the truck. Just thought to myself wow that could go wrong in so many ways.

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