How to Maintain your Horsebox

The Horsebox upkeep and maintenance is necessary to prevent a breakdown on the road with your horse in tow. Taking proper care of your horsebox will also help to protect your horse from accidentally being injured because of a poor maintenance schedule of your horsebox. In addition to maintenance, take out a good level of horsebox insurance to protect against loss or damage.

6 Horse box Safety Checks

It is important to look after your new horsebox or a horsebox bought second-hand, making it safe for transporting your prized equine livestock. A pre-trip inspection of your horsebox will help to ensure you and your horse will make it to the destination without a problem occurring. Things to look at include;

  • 1. Tires : Check the tires for proper inflation and there is enough tread on them, so a blowout does not occur. This has to include the spare tire.
  • 2. Floor Boards: The condition of the floor boards should be noted. Cracked and broken boards should be replaced before they become so weak the horse would fall through it. If mats are on the floor in the horsebox, they should be removed so that the floorboards can be properly inspected.
  • 3. Exposed nails: Look for any nails or screws in the sides, ceiling and floor that are exposed or not completely in. This could injure the horse and also cause the area to become insecure because it is no longer properly anchored. 
  • 4. Lights:  Check the lights in and on the horsebox to make sure they are properly functioning. 
  • 5. Wheel Chocks: Make sure the chocks are in proper condition so that they will not allow the trailer to move when it is unhitched from the tow vehicle. 
  • 6. Hitch : Inspect the hitch for any weakness or cracks in the welds and any unsafe condition that might be apparent.
  • 7. Safety Chain: Check the chains for structural integrity so that they will preform properly, just in case the hitch fails.
  • 8. Tow Ball : On the tow vehicle, make sure the tow ball is properly greased so that the hitch will not bind while under pressure.
Horsebox UK Infographic

Bi-annual inspection

There are items that do not need to be checked before each time you use the horsebox, but should be added to the list of inspection on a bi-annual basis to make sure of the structural integrity of the box.

  • The frame on which the horsebox is set upon should be checked for structural integrity. This has to include cracks in the welds, cross members that might be bent and that hold-down bolts are secure.
  • Look for rusted or damaged sheet metal and replace it.
  • Check for any loose and frayed wires and damage to the conduits. Repair or replace any that are damaged.
  • Lubricate all hinges, slinging panels, sliding windows, springs and make sure they are in proper working order.
  • Inspect the brakes and all cables associated with the system. During the brake inspection, repack the wheel bearings.

Horsebox upgrade

If you need a larger horsebox, you could consider a trade in on a new larger horsebox.  Buying second-hand may be a more affordable option. If you do decide on buying second-hand, follow these tips on buying a used horsebox in our buying guide.

What to do after each use of the horsebox

After you return home from a show and unload the horse, the horsebox has to be cleaned. This includes removing all the mats if present from the interior and power washing both the interior and exterior of the trailer along with any mats used on the interior.

After the horsebox has been cleaned, it has to be dried. Wood will rot if left wet and metal will rust. The metal parts can be wiped down with a shammy, while the wood can be dried by placing a fan on it.

By performing the proper Horsebox upkeep and maintenance on a regular basis, you will always know the condition of it. This makes it more likely you will get to where you are going and back again successfully, unless you have an unforeseen blowout. 

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