THE ORGANISATION OF HORSEBOX & TRAILER OWNERS INSPECTION SERVICE MAKE : REG : DATE : MILEAGE : INSIDE CAB ? ENGINE COMPARTMENT ? Ministry Plate - position/detail Engine mountings Seat Belts - condition Oil leaks Radio Fuel tank & system Cab floor & steps Exhaust system Driving seat Exhaust brake Other s ts Radiator mounting Mirrors Cooling system View to front Fan, generator, auxiliary belts Condition of glass (screen/windows) Fuel pump linkage & seals Screen wipers and washers Injectors, pipes, filters Speedometer - operation - seals Air intake system - turbocharger intercooler Audible warning - horn & filters Driving controls Air compressor/exhauster Steering wheel - free play Starter Motor Steering wheel - security - condition GROUND LEVEL
Steering column Road wheels & hubs Pressure/vacuum - warning Bumper & protective guards Pressure/vacuum - build up Spare wheel carrier (& spare wheel) Other gauges - warning devices Trailer coupling Service brake pedal Condition of wings (rear) Service brake operation Security/condition of body Hand operated brake control valves Electric wiring/equipment/batteries/switches UNDER /ALONGSIDE VEHICLE Fog & auxiliary lamp switches Chassis - condition Panel/interior lamps & switches Electrical wiring & equipment Cab heater/demister/air conditioning Oil leaks Fuel tank & system CAB EXTERIOR Exhaust system Bumper (front) Suspension pins & brushes - condition Conditions of wings (front) Suspension units & linkages - condition Cab panels & trim Spring units, linkages & sub frames - security Cab security Shock absorbers Cab doors include. hinges, locks Wheel bearings & seals (rear) Cab floor (underside) Stub axles & wheel bearings Mirrors (external) Steering linkage Front lamps (side lamps) Headlamps - operation - aim Foglamps, spotlights
Loading Problems
Safe Hands in a Crisis
The Organisation of Horsebox & Trailer Owners        Tel: 01488 657651    Fax: 0844 8546681
© PRP Rescue Services Ltd 2018  
Training to Load Much   has   been   written   on   training   a   horse   to   load   and   there   are   several   tried   and   tested   ways   to   coax   a   reluctant   horse   up a   ramp   (such   as   crossing   two   lunge   lines   behind).   However,   every   owner   is   in   agreement   that   a   horse   that   has   been properly trained to walk quietly into a vehicle is a sheer joy, so we thought we should start from basics. Loading   a   horse   into   a   the   horsebox   or   trailer   is   simply   a   test   of   how   well   you   have   taught   him   or   her   to   walk   next   to   you.   It is   not   a   separate   skill   you   and   your   horse   must   learn,   It's   just   a   matter   of   applying   the   fact   that   as   you   step   forward   so   does your   horse.   When   the   horse   understands   your   step   as   an   cue,   meaning   he   is   to   follow   each   of   your   steps   with   a   step   of   his own,   you   can   use   that   cue   to   ask   him   to   enter   the   horsebox   or   trailer   with   you.   Most   horses   will   not   be   too   fearful   of loading.   Horses   that   are   very   afraid   are   usually   horses   who   have   been   beaten   into   a   horsebox   or   trailer   before   and   are afraid that they will be beaten again. Horses   that   have   had   bad   experiences   when   traveling   remember   horseboxes   and   trailers   as   frightening   things.   If   your horse   is   scared   of   the   trailer   because   of   previous   bad   experiences   you   must   treat   it   like   a   new   piece   of   equipment. All   new equipment   must   be   presented   slowly   and   in   a   calm   working   environment.   You   reintroduce   loading   slowly,   in   a   relaxed manner. If   your   horse   is   afraid   to   even   go   near   the   trailer,   do   calm   and   familiar   things   beside   it.   For   example,   you   can   walk   the horse   in   large   circles   next   to   the   trailer   because   the   circle   is   a   familiar   shape.   Remember   the   object   is   to   be   quietly   and constantly   be   in   control   of   what   the   horse   is   doing.   Calmly   get   him   working   with   your   step   and   walk   him   up   to   the   trailer. The   truly   scared   horse   has   a   tendency   to   rock   back   on   its   haunches   with   his   attention   locked   on   the   trailer   as   he approaches   it.   Gradually,   you'll   coax   him   closer   and   closer   until   you   get   him   right   up   to   the   ramp.   Finally   he   will   literally   try to   go   up   the   ramp   on   his   toes   as   he   walks   in   beside   you.   Take   some   familiar-smelling   bedding   from   his   stable   and   cover the ramp and trailer floor about 6 inches deep so there's no chance he'll slip and slide when he first tries to tiptoe inside. When   you   are   reintroducing   horseboxes   and   trailers,   you   don't   want   the   horse   to   be   afraid   to   escape   or   duck   away.   If   he wants   to   escape,   you   let   him.   Stop   at   the   point   where   he   begins   to   hesitate   and   acts   like   he   wants   to   escape.   Let   him investigate.   Make   sure   you   reinforce   your   friendship   with   the   horse.   Groom   him,   scratch   him,   talk   nicely   and   do   not   raise your voice. Do this over and over until the point at which he starts to worry gets closer and closer to the ramp. A   walking   horse   will   always   feel   safest   at   your   shoulder.   Most   of   the   time,   the   horse   will   be   perfectly   willing   to   stay   next   to your   shoulder   but   if   he   is   not   relaxed   he   will   want   to   escape   (with   you)   when   things   start   getting   scary.   If   your   horse   gets excited,   stay   as   close   to   the   shoulder   as   you   can.   Your   body   position   will   calm   the   horse.   If   the   horse   gets   scared,   it   is even   more   imperative   that   you   remain   in   position   at   the   shoulder.   You   must   achieve   rhythm   and   relaxation   during   each stage of introducing the horsebox or trailer. You   must   give   him   all   the   time   he   needs   to   get   comfortable   with   loading.   Do   not   force   the   issue.   Let   him   check   the   ramp out.   Give   him   time   to   be   curious.   Keep   his   attention   on   both   the   ramp   and   you.   Do   not   let   his   head   go   to   the   outside   or behind   you.   If   he   backs   up,   stay   at   his   shoulder,   and   ask   for   back.   Make   it   your   idea.   Let   him   calm   down   by   giving   him something   to   do   that   he   already   understands   and   can   be   successful   doing. Then   walk   forward   again.   Show   the   horse   what to   do.   By   backing   and   walking   forward   again   behind   the   trailer,   the   area   that   the   horse   is   comfortable   in   will   get   larger   and larger   until   he   is   also   comfortable   walking   into   the   trailer.   So   be   patient   and   be   his   friend.   Keep   going   back   and   walking around   the   vehicle,   maybe   even   do   some   lunging   nearby,   until   he   realizes   that   when   he   is   with   you,   the   vehicle   is   not scary. Never   hit   a   horse   that's   afraid   of   loading   with   your   whip   to   get   him   to   go   in.   The   object   is   to   get   the   horse   to   want   to   go   up the   ramp,   not   to   trap   him   in   the   horsebox   or   trailer.   He   should   go   in   because   he   trusts   you   and   because   he   feels   safe   next to your shoulder. If you start a fight or try to force him you will only make the situation worse. Remember,   the   big   goal   is   getting   the   horse   to   willingly   go   with   you   anywhere,   to   follow   your   step   with   trust   and   accuracy and willingly. If the horse will not go somewhere with you, you must fine tune the heeding and earn more trust. Now that you have overcome the problems - here are a few more tips:- Loading the Horse Whenever   loading   or   unloading   horses,   it   is   best   if   two   people   are   available   to   do   the   job.   Use   a   cotton   lead   rope   or leather   lead   when   loading   or   unloading   horses.   This   is   advisable   in   the   event   that   the   horse   rushes   backwards pulling the lead through your hands. Nylon leads will blister, burn and cut hands when pulled quickly. Before   walking   a   horse   into   the   trailer,   make   sure   that   chest   bars   and   escape   doors   are   open   for   the   handler   to   exit safely. Never climb under or over dividers, chest bars or the horse to exit the trailer. Never   leave   yourself   in   the   position   of   being   trapped   in   the   trailer   with   the   horse   between   you   and   the   exit.   Make sure that the trailer is securely and properly hitched to the towing vehicle before loading a horse. Never   load   a   horse   or   leave   a   horse   in   an   unhitched   trailer.   Do   not   unhitch   a   trailer   with   a   horse   still   inside.   Trailers are very unstable and can easily tip on end. When   loading   a   single   horse,   place   the   horse   on   the   left   side   of   the   trailer.   When   trailering   two   horses,   place   the heavier   horse   on   the   right   side. This   will   make   towing   the   trailer   smoother   and   the   ride   easier   for   the   horse   because of the crown contour of the road surface. When   approaching   the   ramp   make   sure   the   horse   is   in   the   centre   of   the   ramp   so   that   the   horse   does   not   step   off the sides. Always   secure   the   rear   bar/chain   before   tying   the   horses   head.   If   the   horse   pulls   back   before   the   rear   bar   is   in   place it   wont   break   the   tie,   the   head   collar   or   fall   down.   Do   not   stand   directly   behind   the   horse   when   hooking   the   rear   bar in case the horse flies backwards. When   tying   the   horses   head   use   a   safety-quick-release   knot   or   a   tie   with   a   panic/safety   snap.   Make   sure   the   horse has   enough   rope   length   to   permit   head   movement   for   balance,   but   not   to   get   its   head   down   or   over   to   the   horse traveling alongside Traveling Safety Most   horses   take   to   trailer   travel   naturally,   while   for   others   it   is   often   a   traumatic   experience.   It   is   important   that   a horse is happy and secure when traveling. One bad experience is all it takes to make a horse a bad traveler. Before   starting   out,   check   to   see   that   the   horse   is   comfortable,   that   ventilation   is   adequate,   and   that   the   hay   net   is securely fastened so that the horse cannot become tangled in it. Test   all   doors   to   make   sure   they   are   secure   and   that   the   tow   hitch   is   secure.   Safety   chains   should   be   in   place   and all lights and brakes functioning. Turns, starts and stops should be very slow and steady. Do   not   exceed   the   speed   limit.   Remember   to   allow   extra   stopping   distance   when   towing   a   trailer.   Moving   horses and the weight of the trailer will push against the towing vehicle. Do   not   allow   anyone   to   throw   lit   cigarettes   or   matches   from   the   window   of   the   towing   vehicle.   Wind   currents   often suck the cigarettes or matches into the trailer, causing a fire. Check   on   the   horse(s)   at   every   stop   or   every   100   miles. At   this   time   also   check   the   hitch,   safety   chains,   lights   and hay nets. Keep hay nets full and offer the horse(s) a drink of water. Avoid   backing   up   with   the   trailer   if   at   all   possible.   If   backing   is   necessary   it   is   advisable   to   have   a   person   outside the vehicle to watch and guide you. Unloading the Horse When lowering the ramp keep feet and hands out of the way. Untie the horse before releasing the rear bar or chain. Do   not   stand   on   the   ramp   or   directly   behind   the   trailer   when   a   horse   is   exiting   in   case   it   leaves   the   trailer   quickly.   It is not advisable to allow a horse to fly back quickly - this soon becomes a bad and dangerous habit. Try   to   keep   the   horse   straight   as   it   backs   down   the   ramp   so   that   it   does   not   step   off   the   side.   Walk   the   horse   around after traveling for an extended distance to restore circulation and ease stiff muscles. Other Safety Precautions When   tying   a   horse   to   the   outside   of   a   trailer,   use   a   safety-   quick-release   knot   or   panic   snap.   Make   sure   the   rope   is short   enough   that   the   horse   cannot   get   a   leg   over   it,   but   long   enough   to   allow   free   motion   of   the   head.   Never   tie   a horse   to   a   trailer   with   a   rope   length   long   enough   to   permit   grazing.   This   is   where   the   most   serious   trailer   accidents occur. The   ramp   to   the   trailer   should   be   in   an   up   position   when   tying   a   horse   to   the   outside   of   the   trailer,   especially   when the   tie   rings   are   located   towards   the   rear. A   ramp   in   the   down   position   leaves   space   between   the   back   of   the   trailer and   the   springs   where   a   horse   can   easily   get   a   foot   or   leg   stuck.   The   ramp   is   also   the   right   height   for   the   horse   to injure its lower legs. Never   leave   a   horse   tied   to   the   outside   of   a   trailer   unattended.   When   leaving   a   horse   inside   a   trailer,   make   sure   the chest bar and rear bar or chain are secure, especially if an escape door is left open. Do   not   tie   a   horse   to   the   outside   of   a   trailer   when   it   is   unhitched   from   the   towing   vehicle.   Horses   are   stronger   than we think and a panicked horse can and will drag an unhitched trailer behind it. Traveling   with   your   horse   is   a   fun   and   rewarding   experience.   As   long   as   common   sense   is   used   and   the   safety guidelines above are followed trailer accidents are less likely to occur.