As part of an initiative with Land Rover, H&H produced a series of instructional videos explaining how to tow a horse trailer. The videos below cover all the things you need to consider before setting out with your horse and trailer. NB: the competition to win an Ifor William horse trailer has closed.
Preparing to tow a horse trailer
There are some checks you should make to your horse trailer and towing vehicle before you set out.
- Check the oil and water levels on your towing vehicle
- Look for damage to tyre walls on both the towing vehicle and trailer, including the spare wheel
- Check the handbreak is applied on the trailer and that there is no damage to the breakaway cable
- The electrical connector must be clean
- Check the trailer has the correct numberplate for the towing vehicle
How to hitch up your horse trailer
- Check the handbreak is securely on, then remove the hitch lock
- Adjust the height of the hitch by winding up the jockey wheel
- Reverse back slowly until the towball is below the hitch cup
- It helps to have someone guide you back, or try leaning a broom against the hitch to you gauge the distance and location of the hitch
- Attach the breakaway cable securely to the vehicle. Don’t just loop it over the towball.
- Wind down the hitch until it is securely attached, then release the handbreak (NOT the other way around as suggested in the video!)
- Wind up the jockey wheel up to its highest position and put the pin in place. Then release the lever, pull the jockey wheel right up and secure it
- Attach the electrical cable and make sure all the lights are working correctly
How to tow a horse trailer
- Pull away slowly to allow your horse to find and maintain his balance
- Look ahead and read the road to avoid unnecessary braking
- Use your mirrors to check your trailer’s position on the road
- Position the trailer so the wheels is not too close to the curb/gutter as this will give your horse an uncomfortable ride
- Approach junctions slowly and position your vehicle to allow room for the trailer to turn
- Slow down before corners, make a smooth turn allowing room for the trailer, then gently accelerate away
- Make sure you know the speed limits that apply when towing
Dealing with a breakdown
Dealing with a breakdown when you’ve got horses on board is something we all hope to avoid, but if it does happen the following advice will help keep you and your horses safe.
- Put your hzard warning lights on and pull over to the side of the road
- Take care getting out of the vehicle and put on high-visability or other bright clothing
- Place an emergency triangle approx 50ft behind the trailer
- Check your horse is comfortable and offer hay/water as necessary
- Call your breakdown company. NB: standard breakdown will not include rescuing your horse so it’s worth investing in a specialist breakdown policy to know your horse will be taken home in an emergency