How to Repair a Sheet Metal Horse Trailer

Rust and damage can shorten the working life of your horse trailer if left unrepaired.
Rust and damage can shorten the working life of your horse trailer if left unrepaired. (Image: rust image by sasha from

Rust is one of the most common problems that occurs as horse trailers age and are exposed the the elements. Rust can weaken the overall structure of the trailer and even ultimately render the trailer unusable if it is not repaired.

Things You'll Need

  • Sheet metal
  • Welder
  • Protective clothing, including safety mask and gloves
  • Sandblaster and sandpaper
  • Grinder
  • Saw with metal cutting blade or cutting torch

Repairing a Sheet Metal Horse Trailer

Assess all damage on the trailer and make note of where repairs are needed. Measure areas needing repair in order to get an accurate estimate of how much sheet metal you will need in order to repair all areas.

Make sure to measure an inch or two larger than your damage areas in order to allow for the new metal to overlap the existing metal.

Remove the paint and rust by sandblasting the trailer. Sand down all rough or ragged edges. In cases of severe damage or rust, you will want to cut away damage using either a saw with a metal cutting blade or a cutting torch.

It is important to completely remove rust before attempting to weld new metal on to the trailer, as it can affect your repairs.

Cut replacement sheet metal to fit damaged areas on your trailer.

Weld new metal to the trailer, completely covering the damaged areas with new metal. Make sure the edges, or seams, of your weld are as smooth as possible. Grind down any rough edges. Wait for welds to cool down.

Repaint trailer, using rust or corrosion resistant paint to help prevent new rust damage.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you do not know how to properly make a repair, get professional help to ensure the task is done properly.
  • Tools should only be used by responsible adults. Improper use of welding equipment and other tools can cause injury or death.
  • If repairs are not done properly, the trailer can be damaged or dangerous to use and cause injury or death.

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