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If you own a horse, having access to a horse trailer can give you ease of mind. Whether you need transportation to horse shows, trail rides or visits to the vet, having or renting a horse trailer can be an essential part of horse ownership.
However, buying your own horse trailer is quite a large investment. Depending on the style, they can range anywhere from $4,000 to $50,000, and up. Fortunately, there are more budget-friendly options for hauling your equine partner.
Renting a Horse Trailer
Renting a horse trailer gives you the opportunity to haul your horse without the financial burden of buying one. Though owning your own can pay off if you do frequent hauling, renting can be a good choice if only haul a few times a year.
When you rent a trailer, you can generally rent it on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Though it will vary by company, most places will offer models that you can rent for different amounts of time, depending on your needs.
Horse Trailer Hire Cost
The cost of renting a trailer can vary largely depending on the horse trailer brand, size, and style. If you are looking for something affordable, a stock trailer is your best choice. If you are wanting something luxurious, a trailer with living quarters is the route to go.
When renting, you can expect to pay anywhere between $60 – $180 a day. If you are looking for weekly rental, you can expect to pay $400 and up. For monthly rentals, you will pay around $1,300 and up. Additional fees and taxes are often added on, so be prepared to pay more than the list price.
When you go to rent a trailer, make sure you have the proper insurance prior. Most states will require insurance companies to have liability insurance on any trailer you tow, in addition to your insured towing vehicle.
Be sure to make sure the company you select has comprehensive and collision insurance on its rentals. Renting a trailer is different than renting a car, as it requires specialty insurance.
Tips for Renting a Horse Trailer
In order to successfully hire a horse trailer, there are some important tips you should follow. These tips will save you stress and make the whole process much easier.
Make Sure You Have the Right Towing Vehicle
This might seem obvious, but people often overlook the towing capacity of their vehicle. In order to safely haul, you need to make sure your towing vehicle can handle the load.
The gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is set by the manufacturer and is the weight limit for your car. This is very important to know as too much weight can potentially cause your brakes to give out, tires to blow out and the suspension to fail.
Before towing, be sure to take into account the weight of the trailer, your horse, equipment, and passengers.
As we mention in our horse trailer insurance guide, make sure you have the right hitch. Some companies may have hitches you can rent, but don’t wait until the last minute to check. Certain places require the renter to provide the hitch.
Check to See if the Company Has a Business License and is Bonded
You can generally find horse trailer rentals online or in the yellow pages. Once you have selected a company to work with, make sure they have a business license and are bonded.
Working with a reputable company will save you a lot of time and hassle. A good company will make sure you have all the proper requirements before allowing you to rent through them.
Have an Emergency Plan
Before you hit the road, be sure to have an emergency plan set up. You want to be prepared for any situations that may happen on your trip.
Make sure to have the numbers of the rental company and your insurance written down in case you need to call them.
Let a friend know where you are going so they can help you out if anything occurs. Have a spare tire for your car and be sure to check that the trailer has a spare tire as well.
Pack extra food and water for both you and your horse in case you get stuck or stranded. Have a human and horse aid kit readily accessible if any injuries occur.
Check Your Contract
Trailer companies will require you to sign a contract. Be sure to thoroughly read the contract over before signing.
Some companies may include hidden fees in their contract that they may not tell you about.
Once you have read it, try to get a copy of the contract for yourself to take with you. Also make sure that you have an insurance card with the trailer’s vehicle identification number (VIN) before leaving.
Be sure to check the VIN and insurance information are listed in the contract. You’ll also want to have the registration for the trailer with you.
You will want to double-check that the license plate and registration number match before driving anywhere. These simple steps could save you a lot of legal issues down the road.
Clean the Trailer Before Returning It
Be sure to thoroughly clean out the horse trailer before returning it. Nobody wants to open their trailer to find the person who used it last didn’t clean it out.
Not only is it considerate to clean it out, but it may also save you from paying additional fees. Be sure to clean out all the poop, pee, shavings, loose hay and dirt.
How Do I Choose a Trailer?
When renting, make sure to select a trailer that has the proper space for your needs and will be compatible for your vehicle. There’s no need to spend extra money on a three-horse or one with living quarters if you don’t need that room. A two-horse bumper pull is often a good choice to go with.
Can Horses Sleep in a Trailer?
No, horses can not sleep in a trailer. It is not safe to let horses stay in a trailer that is not hitched, as it increases the chances of injury.
How Long Should You Trailer a Horse?
Generally, you should not haul a horse for more than 12 hours at a time, though it is best to not go past eight hours at a time. On long trips, you should stop every four hours for thirty minutes to make sure your horse is comfortable and to offer them water.
How Heavy is a Horse Trailer?
Though it varies by brand, a two-horse bumper pull will typically weigh 2,400 – 3,500 pounds, a two-horse gooseneck weighs 3,500 – 4,700 pounds, a three-horse bumper pull weighs 2,800 – 4,000 pounds and a three-horse gooseneck weighs 4,000 – 6,000 pounds.
Also, read our guide to renting a horsebox and horse insurance.