Towing: Are You Hauling Your Horse Safely?

There is much more to consider when towing a horse trailer other than having a hitch, hooking up the trailer, loading your horse and hitting the road. Vehicles, hitches and trailers all have different weight ratings and as such it is important to know and understand the towing equipment you are working with or need in order to tow safely.

The Must Know Information:

-A two-horse tagalong cannot be safely hooked up to a tow vehicle's bumper. The weight of the trailer is liable to pull the bumper off the vehicle completely.

-Most states require a frame-mounted receiver hitch for tagalong trailers. Even if not required in your state, a frame-mounted receiver hitch is recommended.

-Check your hitch rating. Each component of the hitch (hitch ball, slide-in ball mount and coupler) must be equal or greater than the fully loaded weight of the trailer being pulled. This information should be readily available on a sticker on your frame-mounted tagalong hitch.

-Be sure your hitch ball fits correctly into the coupler. For example, a 2” coupler won’t drop onto a 2 5/16” ball. But, a 2 5/16” coupler will drop onto a 2” ball, however the fit will be loose causing the hitch ball to bounce in and out of the coupler while traveling.

-Weight carrying rating: the weight the hitch will hold on its own without weight-distribution bars.

-Weight distribution rating: the weight the hitch will hold on its own with weight-distribution bars.

-To tow a fully loaded tagalong trailer, you will need weight-distribution bars if you are towing with a vehicle other than truck that’s at least a half-ton.