What You Need to Know Before Buying a Horse Trailer to Take Your Horse to Competitions

After spending a lot of time getting ready for horse shows, the last thing you'll want to do is to either break down on the way to competition or—worse—get into an accident with your equine cargo in tow. It's crucial to inspect the trailer before loading your horse into it and taking it on excursions to your competitions, especially if you buy a used trailer. Here are a few crucial things to check and the documentation you may need to legally be able to transport your horse. 

The Flooring 

The interior of the trailer should be sturdy, particularly the floorboards. Due to the weight of horses, wood is used as flooring in horse trailers. Wood, however, is susceptible to rot and damage from insects. Therefore, always keep tabs on the condition of the wood flooring and replace the slats as necessary.

Make sure the spaces in between the slats is not large enough for leads or ropes to fall into and get stuck, which could easily spook your horse. Obviously, a spooked horse inside an enclosed trailer isn't a good thing, particularly while on the road. Also, be sure to secure each end of every slat so they don't lift up like a teeter-totter when your horse steps into the trailer. 

The Walls 

The walls should be smooth and rust free. There should be no jagged joints or framing. These types of conditions can easily injure your horse, which again could cause your horse to spook or cause it to want to take flight. Any windows in the walls should be easy to open and also without any damage that could cause injury to your horse. The windows should be sealed tightly in the walls to reduce the amount of water that can enter into the trailer, which can lead to excessive moisture and eventually cause rust. 

The Documents

Depending on the laws in the state where the trailer will be registered, you may need to have a commercial driver's license in order to legally tow a horse trailer. If this is the case, you may also need to register your towing vehicle and horse trailer with the Department of Transportation so you can get a DOT number assigned to your towing vehicle and trailer, if necessarily. 

This all often depends on whether or not your participation in horse competitions can be considered as an income earner by the IRS. If it's just a hobby for you but you win money in competitions, you may actually benefit from this. The reason for this is because you could write off some expenses when you do your taxes. Therefore, it's a good idea for you to speak with a local tax advisor so you can have the appropriate documentation you'll need in order to tow your new horse trailer from the seller or dealer. 

For more information on horse trailer options, contact companies like Lakota of Ohio.