How to dress your horse for a trailer ride!


We love to dress up our horses – admit it! Most of the time, what we put on our horses has a purpose. Saddle pads, coolers, leg wraps are more than just a “fashion statement”. Protective clothing helps your horse be more comfortable and safe.


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Keep your horse’s legs, head, and hooves protected during a trailer ride.


  • Hooves may need bell boots. For the barefoot horses out there, it’s not AS critical. Bell boots on the front (and maybe back) protect the heel bulbs, hooves, shoes, and part of the pastern from knocks, bumps, cuts, scrapes, bruises. Your horse may never ever kick or stomp in trailer, but he may still step on himself.


  • Next, are the legs. Two common (and very good choices) are standing wraps over quilts or shipping boots. Standing wraps envelop the legs, and may be a good choice for the horse that stocks up or wears them regularly. Shipping boots are a good choice for the horse that kicks. Most shipping boots cover the front of the hooves, knees, and hocks.



horse shipping boots

These shipping boots cover the knee and back of the pastern – they are even reinforced! You may still have room for bell boots also.


  • I can hear you guys now … why bother for a five-minute trailer ride? I watched a horse unload after a five-minute trailer ride. He was naked, his leg slipped off the ramp and he de-gloved his entire lower leg. Being on the trailer is not always the issue, it’s getting on and off. And yes, it was GROSS.


  • Head bumpers! I always suggest a head bumper. This goes double for the tough loaders who like to pull back and try and back out of the rig. This goes double for the tall guys on the short trailers. Head injuries in horses are very dangerous, and again, the length of the trip doesn’t matter.


fuzzy noseband cover for horse halter

Where are we going?

  • Fuzzy halter covers. These are, among other things, super cute looking on a horse. They can protect your horse’s skin from rubs and bonks on the sides of trailers. You may need to adjust your halter a bit larger to accommodate the fuzzy covers.


leather halter with crownpiece fuzzy

You can buy fuzzy pieces that velcro on. Some horses don’t tolerate them on their cheeks, some horses do. Keep vital buckles easy to access.


  • Also, think about a fly mask. Because of the ventilation that your horses need – you have some wind! Fly masks help protect the eyes from dust, hay bits, bugs.


So what about blankets for your horse in the trailer?


  • There is usually not easy to decide if you need one for your horse. Remember that no matter the outside temperature, the trailer must have ventilation.


  • Also that in the rig, your horse is using all of his muscles to stay balanced, all of the time. This creates a fair amount of body heat. In the winter, you have outside temp to deal with as well as your horse’s hair coat. If he’s clipped, for sure he needs a blanket.


  • If he’s hairy, he may be great without a blanket or he may just need a sheet to break any wind.


  • In the summer or during major heat, limit any extra clothes that your horse may wear.


  • You can always purchase a thermostat for the trailer whose readout can be in the truck cab with you.


  • On a longer trip, stopping every 2 hours or so for water is a great chance to check your horse’s condition and adjust accordingly.


How does your horse get dressed for a trailer ride?


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06/23/2024 01:08 am GMT


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