One Axle Horse Trailer Safety

One Axle Horse Trailer Safety thumbnail
Trailer safety is essential to the well-being of your horse.

There are many considerations to consider when traveling with a trailer in tow. Even though the one-axle horse trailer is at the lower end of the weight scale for horse trailers, drivers must follow certain safety precautions.

  1. Hooking up

    • The hitch is the most important equipment. Always hitch the trailer to a frame-mounted equalizer hitch. The ball will slide into the hitch. Never attach a horse trailer directly to the bumper. Double-check the weight rating for the ball and mount. They should equal more than the rating for the hitch. Never travel without hooking up lights and brakes.


    • Many states require brakes. Electric brakes should have a control box wired into the vehicle. The control box controls any sway. Adjust the brakes every time you haul. Always attach the breakaway brake, if so equipped: It will stop the runaway trailer.

    Safety Chains

    • Safety chains are required in most states. The chains should cross underneath the hitch and hook to it. If the trailer becomes detached, the chains will catch the trailer. Chains should not touch the ground.

    Matching trailer to vehicle

    • Before buying a vehicle or a new trailer, check the vehicle manufacturer's rating. Do not haul above it. The owner's manual will also list the towing capabilities of the vehicle.

    Loading Horses

    • Weight affects the manueverability. When hauling one horse, place himt at the left side of a two-horse trailer. When hauling two horses, place the heavier horse on the left. When pulling a slant-load, the heaviest horse goes in first.


    • Look ahead for potential situations that may occur. Take twice as long to brake, and start off easily. Follow at double the normal distance. Avoid phone calls and use your headlights.

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  • Photo Credit mactrailered image by Lydia from

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