Horse Box & Trailer Safety

There has been an upsurge in reported incidents of horses falling through horsebox floors, often whilst the vehicle is moving. The resulting injuries are horrific, including tyre burns on limbs, dislocated hocks and fetlocks and even limbs being ground away by the road.

Horse TrailerRegular and thorough horsebox maintenance is vital to stop this happening to your horse.

  • Wooden floors, or those made of laminated chipboard will rot if not maintained correctly. Rotten, moist or damaged floors can give way.
  • Power-wash and thoroughly dry the flooring after use, and check for soundness and damp patches every time you load your horse.
  • Have wooden floors checked 2-3 times a year by your trailer distributor.
  • Lift rubber matting if the box is not used for a while.
  • When buying a new horsebox, choose one with aluminum flooring, or consider replacing a wooden floor with an aluminum one.
  • Be aware that tyres will need replacing more frequently than those on other vehicles, especially if horseboxes and trailers are frequently parked on damp ground.

If the worst should happen:

  1. Contact the Fire and Rescue Service and Police for assistance on 999.
  2. Keep your horse calm by getting it to eat. Food is a great natural tranquilizer.
  3. Never release a trapped horse unless there is a safe place for it to go.

This information was provided by the British Horse Society's Safety Department, who provide information and advice on all aspects of horse and rider safety.

The Organization of Horsebox & Trailer Owners has valuable information on tyre and windscreen safety on their website as well.