Use your horse trailer as storage!
What is safe, and not safe, to store in our trailers?
- For some of us, our trailer tack rooms become a sort of “storage unit” for all sorts of things we can’t fit into our tack trunks and tack rooms. This can be convenient, but we should also be diligent to make sure what we are storing can take the temperatures!
- I use my trailer tack room for some things that live there permanently. I also keep seasonal items in there, too.
Big trailers = loads of room to store your stuff = go shopping more often!!
Permanent items in the trailer tack room could be:
- Blankets and sheets not in use. I like to clean them, repair them, and store them in vacuum bags. No need for bugs and critters to be tempted. I also know they are ready for use when the cool weather hits again.
- Show items that only get busted out when the whites really need to be white. A few show pads and schooling boots are safely tucked away in plastic storage containers with lids.
Containers with lids are the best for organizing and stacking in trailers.
- Extra grooming supplies. If I find a sale, I will stock up on my fave brushes and hoof picks, etc. For liquid products, I keep elsewhere just in case the temps burst the container or freezes it.
- Tools to change a trailer tire. One of those great solid blocks to drive onto instead of using a jack. Be warned that the lugs on a trailer tire often do not work with your truck’s tools. You also need to have some other tools on board in case of a roadside emergency.
- Fire extinguisher. Be sure to get the right type (they are classified as to what types of materials they work on.)
- I might keep an extra bag of shavings if I think I need to fluff up the bedding on a trip.
- Broom and manure picking fork.
- Hay nets. One of my “pet peeves” is for things to dangle and rattle in the trailer. If I don’t have a horse in all the stalls, the hay nets come down in the empty stalls when I travel.
- Protective outer hoof boots, in case a shoe gets tossed or pulled on a trip. Or if it happens at home. This is also a good place to keep your shoe pulling tools, easy to access at home and with you on a trip.
- Duct tape, zip ties, bailing twine. All can be stored in a few buckets or even in the door of the trailer.
- Vice grips to pull the mats of the trailer.
Here are some things I DO NOT suggest keeping in the trailer full time.
- Your Vet kit. Only pack this when you are traveling with your horses. At shows, I put it in the grooming area so that it’s close and out of extreme sun/heat/cold/etc. Also, at some horse shows you will hike and hike and hike some more to get to the trailers. Not so good if you need your diaper stash pronto! The pharmaceuticals in there can quickly overheat and become useless, also.
- Liquids, like shampoos, sprays, etc. I have found a few bottles with sprayers popped and leaking from heat….not so fun to clean up!
- Fireworks. Just checking to see if you are paying attention.
- Grains, feeds, and supplements. If you are so short on space at the barn that your feed room is now part of your trailer, see if it’s better to make your grain meals at home where you can have some control over temps.
- Hoof oils/sprays/polishes. Like the sprays and shampoos, they can start to leak. Melting is not always great if you don’t need it melted.
- Dewormers and other medications. All medications will have temperature guidelines on the packaging. This will guide you. I’ll also tell you that I have never seen a dewormer or medication with a note that says “store between temperatures of colder than Santa’s house and hotter than heck”. And, since that is what trailer tack rooms are like, take that stuff out unless you are traveling!
Your meds will have an expiration date, as well as a safe temperature range for storage.
- Manure and urine. Of course, you don’t want to turn your trailer into a compost bin! You also don’t want to turn your trailer into a hole-riddled and dangerous container. Urine and manure should be removed immediately after you unload and get settled. If your horse urinates in the trailer, remove the shavings and pull the mats to clean. It sucks to do this job, but it sucks more to have the urine eat a hole in the trailer floor.
- Tack! This is actually a maybe. Mold, mildew, drying, cracking and what-not can all happen in your trailer, depending on the climate you live in.
What did I forget to mention?