New proposal to make horse trailers safer *H&H VIP*

  • Would you know where to find the right tool to release the breast-bar of your trailer in an emergency?

    Amanda Smith, of Brightside’s Horsebox Hire, had the idea for a solution after she saw a horse become stuck over the front breeching bar of a trailer at a show.

    Ms Smith told H&H people were desperately trying to find an Allen key to release the collapsible bar from the outside of the box.

    Luckily, the horse managed to free himself, but it gave Ms Smith the idea that a box containing the relevant tool to release the bar could be fitted to the outside of trailers and horseboxes.

    Jon Phillips, of the Organisation of Horsebox & Trailer Owners, said he thinks it is a “wonderful idea”.

    He added if they were on the same place on every trailer and horsebox, rescuers will know where to look.

    However, he urged owners to exercise caution and understand that vets and firefighters of large animal rescue units are trained to deal with these situations.

    Jim Green, of BARTA, said it is important that if things do go wrong, the right people and veterinary care is used to cause as little distress to the horse as possible.

    Horsebox safety in the spotlight

    Insurer NFU Mutual held a recent campaign to encourage owners to check the condition of their vehicles.

    Its Horsebox Safety Week (4-10 April) highlighted a different issue each day, including overweight vehicles, safe loading, rotten floors and what to do if you horse is trapped or injured.

    NFU Mutual equine specialist Victoria Walton said the week would focus on seven key issues, also including overweight vehicles and breakdowns, with short video guides available.

    “Getting into a horsebox or trailer is not a natural behaviour for a horse, they do it because they have trust in their owner: our message to horse owners is clear don’t betray that trust,” said Victoria Walton, of NFU.

    “It’s our responsibility to keep them safe and checking for things like worn tyres, rotting floors or ramps and if your horsebox or trailer is overloaded could prevent a disaster waiting to happen.”

    Ref: H&H 7 April, 2016