Show season is right around the corner, so the first sights of Spring serves as a great reminder to prepare your trailer for the haul ahead.
Start by checking out the basics:
Tires. The treads should be intact with no cracking on all tires, even your spare. Check the tire pressure, too, since tires tend to lose pressure in the winter.
-Trailer tires are not the same as car tires! Need help finding the what you need? Send “Gordo” a message at Suspension Tire and Truck Services! They are also available in the Southern CA area should you find yourself stranded while on the road!
Lights. Plug in your lights and check that they all work. There’s nothing more dangerous than turn lights that refuse to blink in the dark.
Wheel Bearings. The wheel bearings on horse trailers need to be repacked once a year. They’re in dire need if you can feel a lot of play when you jack up the trailer and rock the wheel back and forth.
Brakes. If you have your wheel bearings professionally serviced, your brakes will be checked at the same time. For the do-it-yourselfer, you’ll want to check the brake pads to ensure they’ve got plenty of life, ensure that each brake is fully engaging and that the breakaway battery has a good charge.
Hitch. Whether you’ve got a gooseneck or a pull-behind trailer, your hitch is your tow vehicle’s only connection point to your horse. Make sure the hitch still fits tightly and is in excellent condition, without any movement that might indicate broken or weakened welds. When connected, your horse trailer should tip upwards very slightly.
Flooring. It is the nature of the beast! Lift up any matting and clear out shavings and inspect areas for rot (wood flooring) and rust (metal floors). The last thing that you want is your horses to fall through the floorboards while in transit!
This is also a great time to do some Spring Cleaning on tack and storage rooms, as well as the living spaces, should your trailer have one.
Tack. It is not uncommon for people to store tack, buckets, and grooming supplies in their trailers.
This is a great time to assess the condition of tack and its completeness (Clean-up and conditioning is not a bad idea either)!
- Check leather items for dryness and cracks.
- Check saddles for all required parts and their condition (stirrups, girth, pads, etc.).
- Check for cracks and breaks in plastic items (Buckets, rakes, steps, etc.)
Grooming Supplies. Do you store “show ready” grooming supplies in your trailer? This would be a great time to verify your “stock” and create a list of necessary items to add to your list on your next tack store run!
Living Spaces. If you are fortunate enough to have a trailer with living quarters, this is a great time to do a complete walk through and cleaning!
Living quarters need a regular going-over as well to ensure that your appliances are working correctly, you’ve got plenty of water and gas on board and that any motorized equipment is still functional. LQs collect plenty of extra stuff, just like dressing rooms and tack areas, so make sure you clean all the unnecessary out. Run all the faucets, flush the toilet and test the outlets so you don’t have any surprises far from home.
- Clean and restock bedding and toiletries
- Drain and clean any fresh water/grey water tanks
- Check electrical outlets
- Check propane levels
- Organize for an easy show experience!
There is nothing worse than preparing for a show, only to find out last minute that you have a flat tire, the electrical doesn’t work, etc. Even worse is the unsuspected danger that you may put your family and horses into hitting the road when a simple walk through could have easily prevented.
We would rather you arrive to the show, safe and sound, with boring stories than those of adventure and horror!