4 Top Horse Float Safety Tips when buying a new horse float or transporting your horses this holiday season, because – safe trailers save lives.
Whether you are new to transporting horses, a seasoned pro, or looking to buy a new trailer, float safety is something every horse owner should consider.
So, to make sure you are ready to hit the road safely, here are a few things to look out for, brought to you by local manufacturers of the safest horse floats in Australia – JR Easy Traveller.
4 Safety Tips when Buying a New Float
Know your Vehicle’s Towing Limits
What type of float you get will depend on your vehicle’s towing weight limits. Make sure you calculate the fully loaded weight limit of your vehicle including the tare of your float. What is the combined weight of your vehicle, your float and your load (tare + tack + horses)?Never go to the maximum towing capacity of your car as weight is often underestimated.
Get the Float Inspected by aHorse Float Specialist
Having a qualified repairer inspect your float will ensure that you and your animals stay safe while travelling. A mechanical inspection will identify hidden defects like a bent frame, wornbearings or a worn floor your horses may fall through.
Make sure the Trailer is Scramble Free
Ensure your horse is as comfortable as possible during travel by getting a trailer wide enough so it can spread its legs for balance. A trailer with chest bars that support the torso and spine will also help your horse stay balanced during travel which reduces their anxiety.
Never leave the divider across if your horse is scrambling as well, as horses without support are subject to spinal injuries. JR Easy Traveller has a range of scramble free trailers you can check out here.
Make sure the float has Proper Ventilation
Proper ventilation avoids causing breathing problems in your horse due to built-up ammonia and carbon dioxide and prevents dehydration due to trapped heat. Ensure the float has plenty of air flow, especially in the QLD heat.
Minimize rattles in your float which can scare your horse.
Ensure the bars are set up correctly to support your horses torso.
Taking Corners and Handling Sway
Horse floats are not remarkably stable, so reduce your speed when going around corners to avoid tipping. A good rule of thumb is to travel 10km/hr under the speed limit shown on road signs. Wait until the trailer and car are in line to pick up speed again.
If the float is swaying, do not brake to stop the sway. Instead, slowly decrease acceleration or, if possible, apply the float brakes separately. An internal camera monitoring your horses is also a great addition and a cheap tip is to put a baby monitor in for your peace of mind.
Avoid sudden braking. Because of the increased weight from the float, braking will take longer than usual. Aim to keep a further distance behind cars than you usually do and slow down earlier than usual to allow the horses time to balance. Ensure you have a brake controller on your car which is the legal requirement when towing an ATM of over 750kg in QLD.
How do I know if my Horse is Uncomfortable?
When they are scrambling, scrape marks up the side of the float are one clue that your horses are trying to gain control of their stance and stay upright in a constantly moving trailer. Distress signals can also be extreme whinnying, sweating, stamping and excess pooping, kicking and rocking.
Safe Trailers Save Lives
Although these suggestions seem small, they make all the difference in ensuring you and your horses are safe during travel.
If you are a local horse owner wondering where a good place to buy a float is, look no further than JR Easy Traveller in Crestmead. They currently hold the title of the safest horse trailers in Australia.