Horse float doors and other important factors for safely transporting horses
Transporting your horse from A to B isn’t easy anymore, because you must use a proper horse float to keep your horses safe on our busy roads. When buying a new or second hand horse float however, there are numerous factors you need to consider before making your final decision. These include the horse float doors, type of ventilation, entry method, interior height and so on. Let’s take a look at some of these factors so that you can select the right type of float for your horses.
Weight of the horse float
The weight of the float needs to be matched to your vehicle’s towing capacity, because if it’s too heavy it will not only increase your fuel consumption, but it won’t be safe on the road. The weight will depend on its size and the materials it’s made from, which generally include aluminium, wood, galvanised steel or fibreglass. Also consider the ease of cleaning these materials, as well as any repairs that may be needed in the future.
Type of suspension
Your horse float will need some type of suspension so that the horses have a smooth ride and don’t get too upset and injure themselves. You have three options: rocker roller suspension, torsion suspension or air suspension. Everyone has a different opinion about these suspensions, so you need to do your own research before making your decision.
Horse float doors
The doors of your horse float need to be easy to use, easy to clean and maintain, and not cause any injuries to your horses. The horse float doors need to be high enough so that your horse can’t leverage its rear end on top of the doors and if your horse manages to turn around, it isn’t encouraged to jump out! Split doors or fully enclosed rear doors can often be an advantage.
Type of brakes
Your horse float will need to have its own brakes, which are either hydraulic or electric. As with the suspension, everyone has their own thoughts on this, but always check the legal requirements to make sure you choose the correct braking system for the weight of the trailer.
Height of the float
The general interior height needed for most horse floats is 2.2m or 2.3m, however the height you actually need will be dictated by the height of your horses. Also check that the rear entry doesn’t have a lip along its upper edge, because this reduces the entry height and requires horses to dip their heads to enter the float.
Ventilation of the float
Your horse float needs to be fully ventilated to keep your horses cool during transit and free from a build-up of carbon dioxide and other exhaust pollutants. The best solution is to have a vent in the roof and windows or vents on the sides, as well as a window or large opening above the rear horse float doors.
Angled or straight entry
This is another factor that divides horse owners, so you will need to make your own mind up about the type of entry to the float. This will generally depend on your horses, budget and the size of the horse float you need. Smaller floats are better with straight entry ways.
Lastly, always check the horse float for any sharp edges that can injure your horses.