The summer travel season is finally here, which means show season is in full swing for some of us. Others can take advantage of warm summer nights on overnight camping excursions with our horses. I know I’m looking forward to weekend travel for clinics and cross country schooling trips. Despite the excitement to hit the road, there’s some preparation involved to keep trailers safe and horses happy on summertime trips.
Checking the lights, brakes, tire condition and tire pressure are a given. Here are some tips on how to prepare your trailer for summer and keep it in working order.
Keep the bugs out: I find that the critters are more likely to seek out shelter in my trailer in the summer than any other the season. I blame the rain for that. So to keep your trailer wasp, ant and rodent free, I recommend installing window screens on all your windows. If your screens are old and have rips, this is the perfect time to replace them. Another idea is to install bug repellents that are horse safe to keep pests away while your trailer isn’t being used. VeruGreen BugPellent works great as it repels bugs by emitting vapors safe for humans and horses. You can hang it anywhere inside your trailer.
Lay down stone tiles: One way to help save the life of your trailer tires is to park your trailer on concrete or stone tiles instead of letting it sit on grass, soil or gravel. Long stays on grass or soil will speed up the dry rot process in your tire tread.
Invest in tire covers: Another way to combat dry rot is to keep your tires covered. The relentless sun is just as bad as the rain and the mud for your tires. Keep them covered when you won’t be using your trailer for longer than a few days.
Keep it clean: One way to keep bugs, mold and mildew from the rain and humidity out of your trailer is by keeping it clean. Disinfect your trailer with a bleach or dish soap-based soak down in between regular uses.
Install a thermometer: Most horse trailers don’t have air conditioning. While windows and vents help keep air circulating inside a trailer, it’s going to be hotter in the trailer for your horse than for you in the truck. Do you know how hot it gets in your trailer in the summer? Now’s the time to install a thermometer and keep track of that. Maybe reconsider trailering in the middle of the day if you know the temperatures are unbearable or unfair for your horse.
Plan for the worst scenario on a hot day: A blown tire or an accident is something any horse owner never wants to experience on the road. But imagine being stranded on the side of the highway in the middle of summer. Now’s the time to pack extra supplies to beat the heat and help keep your horses comfortable in case of an emergency. Clear and disinfect your water storage and only fill it again when you’re ready to hit the road in an effort to keep the water from getting too hot for a horse to drink. Pack battery-powered fans and an extra hose. Keep more medical supplies on board. And keep a cooler with ice and cold water in the truck on every trip.
Got more trailering tips? Post there here in the comment section.