Trucks and trailers are key pieces of equipment for any horse farm, even when owners have no intention of taking horses off the property to clinics, shows or offsite trail heads. Beyond moving horses from one place to the next, they are needed to transport feed, hay and other items, according to Karen L. Waite, PhD, the director of undergraduate education at Michigan State University.
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“In the event of horse illness or a disaster, having a well-maintained, and properly functioning truck and trailer can literally mean the difference between life and death,” she said.
Emergency preparedness planners often recommend having a large enough trailer or enough trailer space to move every horse living on the property. Depending on how large the barn is, that might not be possible. However, a stable-owned trailer in combination with client-owned trailers can be another option.
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When shopping for a truck and trailer, the excitement of fancy living quarters and the latest tack room designs can get shoppers wrapped up in the emotion of buying a nice rig. Before long, it’s possible to have a $1,000-plus truck payment along with a trailer payment of nearly the same amount.
“It is important to be realistic about your budget, but at the same time, one doesn’t need to break the bank,” Waite said.
Make a list of your needs and wants. For example, you might need a four- or six-horse trailer. Other barn owners might only need a two-horse rig.
Are you traveling overnight and need a place to sleep? A weekender package or a gooseneck with a space for a mattress might suffice. Others who travel for weeks at a time might need a full living quarters set up.
Keeping the truck and trailer on a regular maintenance program can significantly extend the lifetime of both pieces of equipment. Buying a well-cared-for used truck and trailer can also be an affordable option.
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