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Thoughts on trailering with or without bedding

I have the extra crossbeams as well, but that’s because of the width (8’0) still it’s crazy that you standardly get the wider placement on those trailers that are just marginally less wide (same axles).

I worry about the dust insomuch as I worry about a great many other things in horse ownership that are less than ideal but we all pick out poison in this regard. I use just enough fresh shavings plus pine pellets in the pee spot (gelding). The pine pellets are absolutely not blowing around and the newer shavings are not blowing around any more than the hay bag full of hay! And while I’m not worried about hay in front of the horse for local trips, we average about 20 7+ hour trips a year, so hay will be blowing around. For the long hauls I clean out the trailer each time because we stage out of the trailer. The bedding just goes in the stall and I set aside some new stuff to go in the trailer on the way home.

My feed dealer got in some of that airlite bedding that is dust free and I’ve seen it in action, it totally is. It’s also too expensive and annoying to use in stalls, but a few bags a season may be just perfect for the trailer. I’ve got two away trips in September that I may use for a test run.

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Has anybody voted for “shavings to soak up all the blood”?

(Horse is at the hospital and will be okay, but it hasn’t been a great afternoon here.)


Oof. Jingles!!


Oh no @Libby2563! You can’t catch a break! Jingles!


Oh no. That looks suspiciously like a Petey nose. Please keep us updated.


I only put down shavings for trips over half an hour. So far I’ve avoided hauling in the heat, but I have heard that using the wood pellets and wetting them (as you would in a stall) will help keep the trailer a bit cooler as the moisture evaporates. And that also keeps them from flying around.

Short trips no shavings. They tend to be a pain to clean out and I hate moving mats around. Long hauls I will. I wouldn’t want them to pee on mats and it be slippery as hell.

Omgosh. Hugs and jingles for horsie and you. :kissing_heart:


That looks scary.



Also, cannot recommend, will not buy again. Horse broke almost immediately after unboxing. Gave 1 star bcuz can’t give zero and write this review. :face_with_symbols_over_mouth::face_with_symbols_over_mouth:


Thank you all so much for the jingles! Sorry to hijack the thread briefly but now I have a new shipping-related paranoia so you all can join me… Graphic photo alert for the middle of this post.

@beowulf, well spotted — it is indeed a Petey nose! I had just loaded my 5-year-old Petey in the trailer and still had the escape door open. I was loading up my tack on the other side when the whole trailer started rocking for about 10 seconds. Opened the door to check on him and saw a puddle of blood starting under his left front. He must have pawed, hooked his foot (no shoes) on the edge of the door frame, and panicked.

He stood like a perfect angel while I got a pressure bandage on it, then self-loaded back into the bloody trailer. I drove him 30 min to the teaching hospital because it looked horrific and my vet was 45+ min out. Thank goodness he didn’t quite make it to the coffin bone/joint (which happened to my retiree many years ago) and no tendons or ligaments were affected. He did nick a blood vessel that they had to tie off, hence the carnage. They sutured it up as best they could and if it heals back together we may only be looking at 2-3 weeks of stall rest. However, as the vet said, it was “hanging on for dear life,” so it’s possible that the whole chunk will fall apart and we’ll have to go through a month or two of granulation etc. He will probably also have some weird hoof growth from coronary band involvement. He stayed overnight but hopefully I can pick him up today.

I’m really kicking myself for leaving the door open when I know he paws sometimes and for not using shipping boots (which I generally don’t for short trips like this 20-minute one). It’s insane that the door frame edge, which is not sharp at all, could do this. I had another pawer who bent and creased it but never managed to hurt himself. Ugh. It could have been so much worse if he caught himself a little higher up.

Then I got home to find that our elderly dog hadn’t eaten all day and my 27-year-old horse is unbelievably lame on at least both hind legs, possibly all over. The third horse, who already has separation anxiety issues, spent the night staring at the empty trailer and whinnying for Petey. Which is funny because he treats everyone like he hates them and wants them to die, but I guess then he’d have no one to boss around.

All I can say is: horses.


Oh Libby, what a horrible day. It sounds like your quick actions and smart thinking after the accident turned out well.
You totally can not blame yourself. Pretty much everyone (I know, not actually everyone) leaves the escape door open while they do other stuff. This was not you doing something wrong, this was your horse working hard to self destruct. Darn horses.


@Libby2563 Oh man. One of those freak events that no one could have prevented… door open, door shut. Boots on or off. No one would have anticipated something like that happening. You couldn’t recreate it if you tried.

Jingles for all of your animals!


@Libby2563 I swear that young horses, particularly 5 y/os, are the walking embodiment of that “F around and find out” meme. They are always finding novel ways to self-destruct. I am so sorry for you and Petey. I hope your old man and your dog feel better tomorrow. It’s like horses take “bad luck happens in threes” as gospel truth.

I can’t believe he took a chunk out of himself like that, wowza. It sort of looks like an awful quarter grab I saw years ago and there was so much blood while we waited for the vet. Don’t feel awful skipping the shipping boots. Two years ago I decided to put shipping boots on one of the boys for an XC clinic just because it was a Big Deal and I didn’t want to take any chances. While he was unloading he somehow stepped on himself (because of the boots and walking funny) and panicked, stepping on top of himself again and ripping right down the inside of his hock to his fetlock. Those shipping boots don’t really protect from all scenarios and they made this one worse.

Hope that Petey gets to come home today.


I have wooden floors, rubber mats fitted tight and shavings in a two horse straight load bumper pull. The windows have screens. Because the horses face forwards, and the air flows over them, there isn’t an issue with dust from the shavings. The horses do let go lots of trailer poops, but I don’t think anyone has ever peed inside. Certainly not my mare because she wouldn’t want the backsplash off the closed ramp.

So I scoop the poop from the very back of the trailer and indeed carry a bin and pitchfork. Sometimes I even scoop just before I shut the ramp, or just before I unload. I lose very little shavings, they are clean and dry and just stay in the trailer. They make it easier to clean poop and they do provide some traction.


So both of my horses pee every.single.time they are in the trailer. Sometimes twice in one trip. I guess I’m lucky like that :upside_down_face: In any event, I bed accordingly. I have werm floors so I should probably be hosing out after every trip but who has that kind of time?

Yikes, @Libby2563, I’ve taken to not using shipping boots or wrapping because both of mine travel well and often (and I actually imagine they are more likely to hurt themselves with them on because they are so stupid with the boots) but maybe I should reconsider that :grimacing:

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I’ve never had a horse let fly in the trailer, but there have always been plenty of piles (and I’d be worried if there wasn’t) – even for very short hauls.

Have to share a story. Was visiting my breeder friend, and we’d taken several horses in her large combo stock (polo trailer type) to a show, and were hauling home in the dark. This was hours from her place, so we had to stop for fuel on the way home late at night.

When we pulled into the gas station, the rig’s driver put the nozzle in the truck and began fueling. Immediately a cascade of urine started flowing out below the back doors of the (step-up) trailer as, apparently, all the horses simultaneously took a potty break. It flowed down the pavement, towards the drain, glistening iridescently in the fluorescent station lights (from oil present on the surface). A virtual waterfall of bodily fluid, and even kind of pretty, in a way, lol.

I looked around for the water hose, but it wasn’t reachable, and there was nothing to be done to help it along. We finished fueling asap and left.


Don’t beat yourself up. My horse did something way worse (severed a nerve and an artery) on a gate. The gate wasn’t even sharp. He stuck his leg in between it and panicked and sliced himself.

Another one of my horses ran full force into a wood fence and impaled himself with the shrapnel of it being obliterated by him.

If a horse can find a way to hurt themselves, they will.


I always put bedding in trailer even if it’s for a 5 minute haul


You know, every last one of them have read and internalized my sign line from years ago:

The definition of a horse is a four-legged mammal looking for an inconvenient time and an expensive way to die. Any day they do not succeed at their master plan, be afraid, very afraid…