trailer could be a deathtrap for your horse
the start of the show season approaching leading animal welfare
charity The Blue Cross is actively encouraging horse owners to check
out the safety of their horse trailer before they entrust their
precious horses life to it.
which have not been checked and serviced regularly and have been
left unused over the winter months can conceal a multitude of dangers
which could be a deathtrap on wheels for your horse. Respected towing
expert John Henderson explains: If a trailer has not been
used for a long while you should check it thoroughly, lubricate
moving parts and then take it for a test run. When you return home,
check none of the wheel centres are unusually warm, which would
suggest a wheel bearing or brake is seized. Only then should you
continues: "Trailers can deteriorate even if they are not used.
Winter weather can speed up the effects of rot in a poor floor and
interior condensation can promote the growth of fungus whose spores
can be harmful to horses. Tyres can perish and crack and may even
get a flat spot if the trailer has not been regularly moved while
unused. Water seeping into brake drums can literally weld the shoes
to the drums, especially if the trailer has been parked with the
is estimated that up to three horses every day need veterinary treatment
as a result of transport related injuries. Many of these accidents
are the result of poor trailer maintenance, with the collapse of
the trailer floor being one of the most common and often fatal problems.
Bathe MA VetMB CertES(Orth) DipECVS MRCVS RCVS & European Specialist
in Equine Surgery, University Equine Surgeon at The Queen's Veterinary
School Hospital, University of Cambridge said "I see at least
two serious horse injuries per year caused by travelling. I would
expect this figure to be similar for a lot of equine vets around
the country, which would roughly equate to a national figure of
about 1000 injuries resulting from travel every year."
Blue Cross launched a Safe Trailer Campaign in 2002, urging owners
to undertake simple checks before transporting horses by trailer.
The charity is offering free practical advice and guidance on trailer
safety and maintenance in the form of an easy-reference leaflet
produced in conjunction with John Henderson.
addition the charity is liaising with key trailer manufacturers,
dealers and towing authorities to ensure that everything possible
is done to provide for safe trailer travel for horses. You owe it
to your horse to keep him safe so please keep your trailer in good
request your free copy of The Blue Cross trailer safety leaflet
please telephone The Blue Cross Equine Welfare Centre on 01993 822454.
or visit the website at www.bluecross.org.uk
Blue Cross is Britain's pet charity, providing information, advice
and practical support for pet and horse owners. Through its network
of animal adoption centres it rehomes thousands of animals each
year. Its hospitals provide veterinary care for the pets of people
who cannot afford private vets' fees.