Comfort and Style
14 ways to make your horse trailer even more user-friendly.
By Pamela Britton-Baer | May 15, 2017
The American Quarter Horse Journal
Editor's Note: In the May issue of the American Quarter Horse Journal, we shared everything you need to know to purchase a trailer to get you and your horses down the road in style and comfort. As a bonus, columnist Pamela Britton-Baer has come up with 13 ways to make your trailer even more user-friendly.
Hay is for horses, and horse trailers are, too. Most weren’t designed with humans in mind. Even the ones with living quarters make you feel like you’re doing business in an airplane restroom. With that in mind, I thought now would be a good idea to share some of my favorite horse trailer hacks. These hacks will help you save space, and hopefully make your life a little easier on the road.
You’re not limited to the bridle racks that come with your trailer, you know. Hooks come in all shapes and sizes, and they’re easy to attach with a screw. I like the three-in-one hooks that swivel. You can move them out of the way when they’re not in use.
Friends, Romans, Countrymen
No need for Caesar with the Gladiator Rail System, which should win awards for most creative space saver EVAH. You can use the rails to hang your husband when he’s being bad…KIDDING. The system allows you to attach hooks and other items on a sliding rail. My favorites are the mesh baskets and plastic bins. Recommended for dressing rooms.
I’ve attached wire baskets to wall space that is rarely, if ever, used. I hang them way up high, usually above windows or over doors. They provide easy storage, and the basket keeps things from moving around.
Use Your Mother’s Cupboard.
Pantry cabinets are a horse trailer’s new best friend. I’m not talking the cabinets that house dishes. I like the kind that are 4 inches deep and only a foot or so wide—like an extra tall spice cabinet.
They don’t take up much space and they’re perfect for storing essentials like horse sprays, bandages and brushes.
Contents Shift During Flight
Overhead storage bins aren’t a new idea, but they are when you hang them inside the back of your horse trailer, yes, above your horses’ butt. (Butt of course…)
If you’re worried about plastic cabinets back there, use the mesh baskets mentioned with the rail system above. All that wasted space, but now you can put it to good use.
Plastic Makes Perfect
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, my husband bought me stackable, plastic drawers for my trailer. (He’s big on organization. Me? Not so much.) Ten years later, I still have them and they still hold my horse treats, hair products, whiskey, and bandage wraps. These days, manufacturers make three-drawer carts with wheels, available for about $20. Secure them to the wall using Velcro straps, then wheel them outside for use during a horse show. (I use a bungee cord to keep the drawers closed during transit.)
Moon Over my Hammy
Just like plastic bins, storage hammocks are good to have around. You can hang them between hooks for additional space. Or stretch them above kitchen nooks in your living quarters. Easy to take up and down.
It’s no secret I love my solar-powered, motion-activated light. It saved my bacon at a recent horse show when I had to dress in the wee hours of the morning. Hang the lights on the inside of the door of your horse trailer so they recharge in the sunlight while the door is open.
Margaritaville frozen drink machine. Whoa. Wait. How’d that get in there?
Get a Drop on Things
Don’t have a bed in your trailer? No problem. Drop-down beds are an easy way to create a sleeping space. Here’s a tutorial on how to build one. An adventurous DIYer can create bunk beds out of plywood and wooden supports.
Attach a plastic pipe to the inside of the back door of your horse trailer. It will hold rakes and longe whips and other tools. No more tripping over handles on your way through the tack room.
Hang It All
If you have a steel trailer, magnets are great to have around. They can hold show bills, numbers, entry forms and more. If you don’t have a steel trailer, use the adhesive spring clips such as the ones made by Command.
It’s a Pot, Not a Kettle
Have you seen the collapsible pots for cooking? They compress into a compact discs, perfect for saving space in already cramped cabinets.
Something Old or New
I enjoy repurposing, and a two-drawer dresser is the perfect addition to even the smallest of dressing rooms. You can find them used at thrift stores. Pull out the drawers and attach the back to a wall. I use mine for storing clothes, boots, even horse blankets.
Royal wire isn’t just for tack stalls. Secure a sheet of pig wire to your horse trailer and use Royal Wire inside your trailer, too, then move it to your tack stall when you arrive at your horse show.
While researching this article I found so many cool ideas that it inspired me to totally re-vamp my horse trailer before I left for a horse show, and I’m glad I did. Everything was so organized and I had so much extra room that I didn’t need to share a tack stall with my barn mates. (Saved me $$$s.) The extra space I saved came in handy when changing clothes, and having things super organized helped me to find things when I was running behind. (And who doesn’t run behind at a horse show?) I hope you find these tips and hacks useful, too!
Pamela Britton-Baer’s column, Up and Over, appears monthly in The American Quarter Horse Journal. You can subscribe to the magazine at www.aqha.com/magazines. Pam would also like us to mention that she has a new book out. HER COWBOY LAWMAN features cowboys, horses and laughter with a lot of romance thrown in.