How to Customize Your Old Horse Trailer on a Budget

Written by kent page mcgroarty
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How to Customize Your Old Horse Trailer on a Budget
Provide your horse with a safe and comfortable ride. (horse image by milemarsovac from

Horse trailers are used to move horses from one location to another and should be customised to make the travelling as comfortable for the horse as possible. This includes providing cushioning on all sides, including the floor and other safety features, such as a chain behind the horse in its trailer stall. Customising an old trailer on a budget is actually a fairly simple process, as there are many items that can be reused in a horse trailer, such as old dog chains and bath mats.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Rubber mats
  • Wood shavings
  • Straw
  • Thick, sturdy dog chain
  • Old towels
  • Duct tape
  • Old cushions and pillows
  • Industrial-strength staple gun

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  1. 1

    Collect old rubber mats, such as old bath mats, as floor covering and padding. Clean all mats thoroughly before use to get rid of any scum and slime.

  2. 2

    Inform friends and family that you will collect any wood shavings and straw as additional floor covering for your trailer, which can be placed on top of the rubber mats. A mixture of wood shavings and straw also helps absorb urine and faeces and provides extra cushioning for the horse.

  3. 3

    Reuse a heavy-duty dog chain or any thick chain as a "butt bar" for your trailer. All trailers should have such bars, or chains, behind the horse. It is an additional safety feature should the trailer door swing open or is not fastened correctly; the horse will put its weight on the chain and not the door. Wrap the chain in old towels and secure with duct tape to prevent the chain from rubbing against the backside of the horse and loosening hair from the tail.

  4. 4

    Collect old bed and throw pillows and seat cushions to pad the sides, front and back of the trailer. The padding is necessary to protect the horse from "rubs" on its sides and should be low enough in the front to protect the horse's knees. Secure padding with an industrial-strength staple gun.

Tips and warnings

  • Remove the rubber mats, wood shavings and straw from your trailer when not in use so the wood can dry fully. Replace wood shavings and straw as needed.
  • Hang bales of hay in each stall for the horses to munch on as they travel.

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