Horsebox Trailer Maintenance, Repair and Servicing

Southern Trailers has full service and repair facilities for all types of horse trailers including, Ifor Williams, Rice Richardson, Bateson and Indespension.

We can carry out all types of work from an annual service to a full rebuild.

One of the most common problems with horse trailers is the wooden floors which rot and then give way with serious consequences, replacement floors can now be fitted using Plastic as a replacement or in the case of Ifor Williams they can be replaced using Aluminium. These materials have the advantage of not rotting like wood meaning the floor will last the life of the trailer.

In some cases people also like to have the Hardwood floors in trailers replaced with new hardwood, this is possible and we have facilities on site to machine the hardwood to shape and size. If looked after a hardwood floor will give years of service and provides a very solid base for the horse to stand on.

We also modify horse trailers to suit the customers requirements, modifications include fitting of sliding windows for ventilation, one piece breast and breaching bars, new partitions and rubber matting.

Horse box maintenance

Breaking down on the motorway in the pouring rain, with one or more horses in a trailer isn't anyone's idea of fun. Unfortunately, it can and does happen and whether you are travelling to a local show or venturing further afield, a simple breakdown can quickly turn into a nightmare - particularly if the horses in transit are young, or do not travel well.

So, the next time you are busy checking over your horse or pony, spare a thought for the trailer in which he has to travel.

Make sure your trailer is serviced annually, including a thorough check on the brakes.

  • Power-wash the outside and underside regularly, especially after use.
  • Make sure the trailer is insured and that the lights and indicators are working correctly.
  • If your trailer has a wooden floor, check it regularly for signs of rotting - reports of floors giving way while horses are in transit are not uncommon and can result in serious injury!
  • Occasionally remove floor matting or bedding, power-wash inside and allow to dry thoroughly before replacing.
  • Regularly check the tyres for signs of wear and ensure that tyre pressures are correct.
  • Never use a single axle trailer to tow a horse
  • Ensure the towing hitch is the correct height for the trailer and that the trailer can be towed level, to prevent uneven tyre wear.
  • Always carry a fully charged mobile phone with you - even on short journeys. Make sure you carry the emergency helpline number for your breakdown/recovery company, vet and insurance company.
  • Make a date in your diary to check your trailer every month.
  • Remember - your horse's safety depends on you!

Driving ambition

We are lucky enough to be able to travel whilst sitting down, but for your horse, trying to remain balanced whilst being transported on in a lorry or trailer can be a tricky business.

Here are a few tips for making the journey smoother and safer:

Before you set off...

  • Check that the indicators and lights are working on your horse box or towing vehicle and trailer and ensure that the ramp, doors and coupling are securely fastened.
  • Make sure the trailer brake is off, the jockey wheel is in the raised position and the safety chain is securely attached.
  • Make sure that the combined weight of your horse and trailer does not exceed the safe towing limit for your vehicle - if in doubt, check with your vehicle and/or trailer manufacturer.
  • Check your spare tyre is in working order and fully inflated.
  • Make sure the registration number on the back of the trailer is the same as the vehicle towing it.

Drive carefully...

  • Move off slowly and allow plenty of time for your journey.
  • Don't cut corners - allow room for your vehicle to turn.
  • Drive smoothly and thoughtfully, avoiding sudden braking and jerky manoeuvres - your horse cannot see where it is going and is therefore unable to prepare itself for sudden movements.
  • Use your mirrors and make sure you are aware of what is happening on the road ahead of you at all times.
  • Control your speed and observe the speed limits for your vehicle.
  • Remember - if you passed your driving test after January 1997, you now need to pass a separate test to a tow a trailer weighing over 750kg.

Helpful hints on maintenance


  • Carry a useable spare .Ensure tyre pressures are correct.
  • Check tyre condition, particularly if the vehicle has been left idle over the winter months, as they may have cracked on the rims as well as reduced in pressure.
  • If a trailer or small lorry, check that a serviceable jack and brace are carried.Lorries over 3.5 tonnes - carry a spare tyre without a spare wheel as assistance will be required to change the wheel anyway.
  • Towing vehicles - Check rear tyres as trailers can flip onto their side if the towing vehicle suffers a rear tyre failure.