Submitted by Devan Mills, EasyCare Customer Service Representative
With the summer months upon us, we horse people always have a place to go, whether it be to a competition or going for a trail ride with some friends. Over the years, through trial and error I have learned to be very organized when it comes to hauling my four legged friends. It makes the whole process much less stressful for me and my horse. I have composed a few tips that make my trips much more enjoyable.
First, I always make sure my truck is taken care of because I normally haul alone and I’m not the most mechanically inclined person. I change the oil frequently and use a shop that I trust will tell me if something else is going on. Tires are also very important, if you have ever had to change a tire on a pickup while you have a trailer full of horses you know what a pain it is, if you haven’t experienced this you are lucky, it is awful. Making sure all four tires are in good condition, balanced and the pressure is correct. Check your spare too; having a flat spare is pointless and frustrating. During the summer months I always make double sure I have washer fluid to get all the lovely bug particles off my windshield. Don’t forget about all the lights; turn signals, brake lights, headlights and of course the dome lights. Just in case I always carry a flash light in my pickup and I can’t tell you how many times I have been thankful for having it. Before my trailer is hooked up I try to make sure my tank is full, that way my horses do not have to spend any extra time in the trailer and there are not very many fueling stations that accommodate for horse trailers.
Once I have the trailer hooked up I check all the lights, inside and out, digging through your tack room in the dark is time consuming. Tires are extremely important on any trailer, I feel as if they get forgotten about. All four tires need to be in good condition along with being at the correct pressure. Adequate tire pressure is extremely important in trailer tires; I have learned this the hard way. If the pressure is incorrect you will run a much greater risk of getting a flat and it also causes the tires to wear much faster. Also make sure you have a jack and four-way wrench handy in case you do get a flat. Oh, and don’t forget to check that spare!
Packing the trailer, my favorite part! This will vary with what type of event I am going to and for how long but the basics are, for the most part, the same. I make sure all the tack I will be using is clean and ready to go, anything that was broken or not working properly I fix immediately. Saddles, bridles, saddle pads, Easyboots, leg wraps and anything else you may use. I also look over all my grooming supplies; shedding blade, soft and hard brushes, some detangler, mane and tail comb, hoof pick and fly spray. My vet kit is something I keep stocked and in my trailer at all times it contains; chlorhexidine solution , betadine scrub and solution, a few different types of wound dressings, plenty of wound dressing materials, gauze pads, a thermometer and stethoscope, bandage scissors and as expected some duck tape. I always keep buckets in my trailer and haul water from home, many times whether I’m going to a barrel race or on a trail ride finding a water spigot is almost impossible. I keep two six gallon camping canteens in my trailer at all times. They work awesome and are very easy to pour the water out of. I make sure my trailer is cleaned out and has fresh shavings. If I am leaving for a few days I will make sure there is plenty of feed, if only going for a day trip I fill a hay bag for the trip home or if they might have to stand at the trailer for an extend amount of time.
Now that the truck and trailer are ready its time to head out. I always like to make sure my horse is cleaned up before loading in the trailer, checking for anything unusual. This will also give me an idea if something happened during the trailer ride. I always pick out my horses feet before loading them in the trailer and put Easyboots on for added traction, stability and shock absorption. During the spring and summer months there will be dew in my trailer and even with that fresh bedding it is still slick, having the Easyboots on gives them that much more grip in the trailer and I never worry about any of them falling. I am so excited about the Easyboot Cloud! That will be what I haul in, without a doubt, once I get a set. If my horses are going to be on the trailer for an extended about of time I will also poultice their legs and use standing bandages. I also apply fly spray or a fly sheet if the bugs are bad. If I am heading out for a long trip I always try to leave early enough in the morning that I will arrive to my destination when it is still light out. That way I can get the horses settled and not be trying to finding my way in the dark. If I am only hauling in for the day I will still attempt to leave early so I can have a good parking place that is comfortable for my horses and myself. The Easyboot Cloud will make stalling over night and hauling for the day much more comfortable for my horses. There are many times I will not attend an event just because I know my horses are going to have stand on concrete whether it be for the day or overnight. With the new Easyboot Cloud I will not have to be nearly as concerned about hauling, stalling or parking. Did I mention how excited I am about the new Easyboot Cloud?
As you can tell my hauling regiment is quite extensive when laid out but after doing this a few times it comes easily. Having everything organized and prepared has saved me countless hours and massive amounts of money. It has made my horses and I enjoy every trip that much more. One downfall of having everything always in working order is that all your friends are going to want to come with you on your next trip because they will know that there will be no flat tires, broken down pickups or missing tack when you arrive to your destination. I hope these few tips will help with your future hauling plans.