Tips for Hauling a Horse Trailer Safely in Bad Weather

Tips for Hauling a Horse Trailer Safely in Bad Weather

Traveling to experience new adventures is easily one of the best aspects of horse ownership. Whether it’s hauling your horse to scenic trails or horse shows, you may find yourself on the road. Occasionally, your route may have you driving in bad weather. To help make sure you get there safely, we thought we’d highlight a few driving tips for hauling in nasty conditions. Whether you’re new to pulling a horse trailer or a veteran behind the wheel, these best practices can help make sure you and your beloved equine friend arrive at your destination safely.

Preparing Your Horse

Before you head out, you’ll want to make sure your horse is ready for the ride. Check the weather ahead of time to decide if you should blanket your pal for chilly conditions. Further, supplying hay can help keep your horse occupied during the trip, as well. If you plan to be on the road for several hours, you may consider leg wrapping and making contingency plans for water or pit stops.

Driving in the Rain

One of the most common weather conditions you’ll encounter is rain. Torrential downpours can be risky to navigate. However, even the slightest drizzle can present slippery pavement. Be mindful of your visibility first in bad weather. If you encounter a thunderstorm, play it safe, and find a spot to pull over to wait it out. For lighter rains, be aware that pavement can be slick, especially if you need to stop suddenly.
With the extra weight of the horse trailer behind you, you’ll need to proceed slowly and anticipate braking distances appropriately. Take your turns cautiously in order to avoid having your trailer lose traction on wet curves. Remember, rain can be risky in a regular vehicle. Having the horse and trailer means it’s best to proceed with extra care.

Ice & Snow

If your horseback riding adventures have you driving through ice or snow to get there, you may want to reschedule your trip. It is always best to postpone and err on the side of caution. If icy or snowy conditions are unavoidable, you’ll want to proceed slowly and with your vehicle and trailer’s hazard lights flashing if necessary. Accelerating and braking may cause you to slip and lose traction. Deep snow, even with four-wheel-drive, can cause you to get stuck. If you have a choice, avoid risking these potentially dangerous situations altogether.

Rough Terrain

Most of your travels may be on smooth pavement, but some of the best trails will have you navigating dirt or rocky roads. Even horse shows can mean you’re pulling your horse and trailer through grassy areas and uneven paths. Remember to not only try to avoid visible potholes or depressions, but you’ll also want to be mindful of your horse trailer bottoming out in the middle over uneven dips as well.

Handling Hills

If your truck has intended settings for hauling, climbing hills is a critical time to engage them. Don’t use your overdrive going uphill, as it may overheat your transmission. Use your lower gears, and because you’ll be driving slower than most of the traffic around you, stay in the right lane.

Gusts & High Winds

Windy conditions can be deceiving, and oftentimes catch drivers by surprise. While you’re not necessarily at as much risk as the semi drivers are around you, your horse trailer is susceptible to pushing and tugging from heavy winds. The best advice is to prepare ahead of time and always be aware of your conditions. Keeping both hands on the wheel will help you feel how your truck and trailer are being affected. If you do feel pulling, be mindful not to overcorrect or jerk the wheel.

Find More Tips for Hauling a Horse Trailer Safely in Bad Weather

Do your best to know your weather driving conditions before you head out. Check to make sure all of your trailering lights are working and prepare your horse as well. Be aware of the potential weather conditions around you and take it slow. If you’re not comfortable, pull over and wait it out if you can. For more tips for hauling your horse or handling your trailer, contact us!

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