Have Horse, Will Travel—Out on the Trail With Your Horse
HACK YOUR TRAILER
Use these creative tips to organize and equip your rig for the road ahead.
By Allison Armstrong Rehnborg
Have you ever misplaced your show number, lost all your bobby pins or ended up wearing a borrowed shirt into the show ring? If this sounds like you, it might be time to review “Horse Trailer Organization 101.” Whether you’re inherently messy, a bona–fide clean freak or fall somewhere in between, hauling horses will put your organizational skills to the test—but keeping your trailer clean and organized is essential for happy trails, no matter your final destination.
Spring Cleaning: Horse Trailer Edition
The first step in maintaining a clean, organized horse trailer is to start fresh. Pick a sunny day before travel season starts for a deep cleaning of your truck and trailer from top to bottom. To make a big task feel more manageable, divide your rig into sections and tackle each section one at a time. If you still feel overwhelmed, enlist a barn buddy to help.
- Remove everything from your trailer and then sort items into four piles: repack, return to barn, discard and donate. In your repacking pile, include the items you tend to use most often while on the road, as well as for emergencies. Packing smart is crucial for APHA member Cierra Chapman of McAlester, Oklahoma, who hauls multiple horses least three nights each week.
“[Aside from emergency supplies], I try to only bring the necessities on every trip,” Cierra said. “If you get somewhere and you don’t have what you need, you can almost always buy or borrow.”
- Once all sections in your trailer are empty, ensure your trailer’s interior is in good repair. Inspect floors, walls and ceilings for leaks, cracks or holes; then, check mangers and stall dividers for protruding nails or splinters. Test out your hardware to confirm clips, hooks and latches are in good, working condition, too.
- Thoroughly, sweep each section to reduce the amount dirt and dust your horses breathe in while traveling; consider investing in a small vacuum or mop to keep in your trailer for use on the road. APHA member and all-around rider Stacie Lundquist of Brookville, Kansas, stores a small vacuum and a floor mop with a telescoping handle in her trailer.
“We’re always tracking mud, dirt and shavings into our trailer, so having a small vacuum is handy,” Stacie said.
- Schedule your next deep-clean day on your calendar. Consider the frequency of your trailer use and how quickly clutter accumulates when determining the time between cleans. Plan to tackle minor cleaning chores in between shows. For example, Stacie vacuums her trailer and launders her travel towels and sheets between every show.
This is an excerpt from the full article—get the whole story in the Spring 2019 Chrome magazine, which is sent to all current APHA members. Not a member? Join or renew at apha.com/join.