Recently I had David Bodin, “the horse trailer guru,” on my radio show and it reminded me of a mishap in my trailering past. I suspect that you’ve done something similar if you’ve done much trailering. Usually this involves backing or cutting a corner too closely. Mine was something quite different but you’ll have to listen to the interview to hear the ugly details. Unless of course you were one of the 500+ people who saw me do this at a Clinton Anderson tour stop in Phoenix around 2004.

Aside from its entertainment value, the interview offers some great tips that were new to me. For example, did you know that you need to recalibrate your brake controller (that little box sitting under the dash of your truck) whenever your trailer load changes? I didn’t. David offers a quick and easy way of doing it and explains clearly what happens when you don’t. What came out of all this for me is a better way of thinking about my horse trailer. Instead of being an extension of my truck, the trailer is really a separate vehicle attached to it. I need to think about its brakes, lights, electrical system, tires, wheels, bearings, battery, body, and fluids just like I do those of my truck.

I’m a big believer in getting a ramp with your horse trailer but it’s not because I feel it makes loading horses easier. There are pros and cons to a ramp for that purpose. No, my fondness of a ramp is that it allows me to use the trailer for other things. Both of my trailers are designed such that everything in the horse compartment can be removed easily, leaving a big open box. I can haul my garden tractor to the repair shop or help a friend move furniture. The ramp is handy in both cases.

One of our trailers is a living quarters model. The front part is like a travel trailer or motor home with bed, dinette, fridge, stove, sink, toilet, shower and storage. The back part is for the horses, although we often clean it out and use it as a big work room when we’re on the road. Horse people know that an LQ trailer makes for very comfortable accommodations but they are foreign at most RV parks. Often when I call to reserve a space, an incredulous voice over the phone asks, “You’re going to sleep in your horse trailer?”

Listen to the interview with David Bodin.