5 Must-Have Horse Trailer Accessories for Happy, Healthy Hauling

horse trailer accessoriesWhat makes a great horse trailer even better?

High-quality horse trailer accessories.

Even just a handful of strategically chosen horse trailer accessories can help make the trailer a comfortable and personalized space for both you and your horses.

But we know there’s a lot to choose from.

With decades of experience using and selling horse trailer accessories, the Blue Ridge Trailers team has collected five items that we absolutely can’t live without.

We’ll also point you to some “honorable mention” accessories that can make your life even easier on the road.

5 Must-Have Horse Trailer Accessories

1. Auxiliary Battery

horse trailer accessoriesAn auxiliary battery can make the difference between an inconvenience and a seriously dangerous situation.

It’s happened for me. I was once stuck under a tunnel with my horse trailer for 2.5 hours due to an accident ahead of us. As you can imagine, it was incredibly hot and uncomfortable. My auxiliary battery allowed me to run fans and pump water (more on those below) without draining my tow vehicle battery.

This kept my horses cool and hydrated–and kept me from panicking about their safety.

2. Water Tank

horse trailer accessoriesA water tank allows you to carry your home supply of water on long trips. That means you won’t need to accustom horses to drinking an unfamiliar water source. You can also wash off hot horses due to exertion or stress (be sure to carry extra buckets and a sponge).

Blue Ridge Trailers offers a variety of water tanks from 18 to 40 gallons and designed for a range of trailer shapes.

You can add a 12-volt pump to most water tanks, making for more efficient use of the available water (here’s where that auxiliary battery comes in handy!).

3. Trailer Fans

Trailer fans are a simple, affordable solution to promote airflow in your trailer. Horses generally become hot in a trailer in most temperatures—in fact, it’s relatively difficult to make a horse cold in a trailer unless he/she is wet and there’s a cold air draft.horse trailer accessories

It’s dangerous to a horse’s health not to have adequate ventilation and cool temperatures inside a trailer. Trailer fans, when appropriately placed, can provide the ventilation and cooling often needed.

For the best results, mount fans at the front of the horse area, facing to the rear and open all the windows. The fans will create a vacuum sending air from the front of the trailer, over the horses, to the rear, even when standing still. If you have a long trailer for multiple horses, mount additional fans, also facing to the rear, mid-way in the horse area.

4. Trailer Cameras

horse trailer accessoriesOnce you start driving with a live view of your horses inside the trailer, you’ll never want to go back.

A camera system lets you keep an eye on your horses even while in route. The camera monitor typically mounts on your tow vehicle’s dashboard or windshield. The camera is mounted in the horse area and is powered by the trailer running lights.

Blue Ridge Trailers recommends staying away from shoddy “bargain” camera systems that’ll cost more in the long run. After decades of experience with a wide range of camera brands, today we only install proven, high quality camera systems, that last for the long-term.

5. Jiffy Jack

Unlike a regular trailer jack, a Jiffy Jack allows you to fix a blown tire safely while your horses are still inside the trailer.horse trailer accessories

It’s a sturdy tool with a unique design. You can just drive the good tire over the Jiffy Jack, which keeps the bad tire off the ground. Big secret: loosen the lug nuts on the bad tire before driving up on the jiffy jack.

Blue Ridge Trailers sells Jiffy Jack lifts in steel and plastic.

Honorable Mention

  • Horse trailer door organizer
  • Boot box for tack room storage (plus a step up into the gooseneck area, if you have a gooseneck trailer)
  • Mesh window guards for drop-down windows in the horse area
  • Electric or electric/hydraulic jack
  • A trailer lug nut wrench, since lug nuts on a horse trailer are different from lug nuts on a car

 

Ready to give your horse trailer an upgrade? Check out Blue Ridge Trailers’ full inventory of horse trailer accessories here.

Your Guide to the 2018 Virginia State 4-H Championship (UPDATE: Postponed)

Virginia State 4-H ChampionshipThe next generation of equestrians will gather in Lexington, VA this fall for one of the most exciting and challenging events of the year: the Virginia State 4-H Championship Horse and Pony Show.

It’s always inspiring to watch these young, dedicated riders put their skills and months of hard work to the test. They’ll be competing in a diversity of events from showmanship to Horse Bowl, while making new friends and strengthening the future of our horse industry.

Blue Ridge Trailers is proud to have been a Virginia State 4-H Championship sponsor for more than a decade.

Our sales representative Julie Williamson and her husband Bob, who have been involved with the event for more than 25 years, were even inducted into the Virginia 4-H State Horse Show Hall of Fame last year!

This year, you’ll find Blue Ridge Trailers owner Donna Martin volunteering in the East Virginia State 4-H ChampionshipArena, helping run the ingate for all hunter classes, as well as helping with Senior Showmanship in Waldron Arena.

It’s always a magical time, seeing some 400+ 4-Hers working so hard and enjoying such a top-shelf show in all respects.

We hope to see you there!

Your Guide to the 2018 Virginia State 4-H Championship

Event Details

Nov. 29 through Dec. 2, 2018 (New date! Event was postponed due to Hurricane Florence.)

VA Horse Center
487 Maury River Road
Lexington, VA

Free to the public.

How Many Attendees Are Expected?

Program associate Leona Ransdell estimates that about 2,000 people will attend the Virginia State 4-H Championship Horse and Pony Show throughout the four days.

These will include more than 400 riders, more than 100 volunteers, 20 educators and hundreds of parents and viewers.

What Events Are Held During the Show?

You can find a little bit of everything at the Virginia State 4-H Championship.

Showmanship events include hunter, western, dressage, and saddleseat/gaited. There will also be mini horse classes, a drill team showcase, and reining events.

Virginia State 4-H ChampionshipBut there are many non-mounted activities, too, such as a photography contest, stall decoration contest, and Horse Bowl.

“Our youth are so great and competitive in every event,” Ransdell said. “It is so fun to watch minis in one ring and turn around and see dressage and in the next ring see the western horses go. This is the 57th year of the show and to me it keeps getting better and better!”

A new addition is the Ambassador Program, where youth from all over Virginia apply to represent their district as the face of the 4-H horse program. They volunteer, conduct outreach and attend events throughout the year–during the Championship Horse and Pony show, they’ll participate in a community service event collecting items for Hope’s Legacy Equine Rescue.

You can view the full 2018 Virginia State 4-H Championship schedule here.

 

Want more equestrian news and horse care tips? Subscribe to the Blue Ridge Trailers newsletter.

Selling a Trailer? How to Do It the Easy Way with Consignment Trailer Sales

consignment trailer salesExercise. Parenting. Paying the bills.

There are certain things in life you just gotta do yourself.

Fortunately, selling a used trailer doesn’t have to be one of them.

With consignment trailer sales, you can get a great price for your used trailer by letting an expert handle the hard work of selling it.

Sound too good to be true?

Blue Ridge Trailers has two decades of experience finding fair deals and happy buyers for used trailers. If you’re thinking about selling a used trailer on consignment, here’s our guidance on how to do it right.

The Trailer Owner’s Guide to Consignment Trailer Sales

What Is Consignment?

When you sell your trailer on consignment, you let someone else take care of finding a buyer and pay them a commission of the sale.

Typically your seller will be a trailer dealer who has the experience and resources to find a buyer quickly and at a good price.

Benefits of Trailer Consignment

As hinted above, the main benefit of a trailer consignment sale is that an expert takes the hard work off your hands. Your seller markets the trailer, negotiates with potential buyers, and manages the paperwork–you sit back, relax, and wait for the check.

Consignment sales are typically much faster than selling on your own, since many more potential buyers will see your trailer–whether it’s on the dealer’s lot, website, catalogue listings, etc.

You can also rely on the dealer’s expertise when it comes to fair trailer prices. No need to worry about pricing the trailer too high or letting it go for too little. Experienced dealers like Blue Ridge Trailers also have the means to provide financing for the buyer, so you don’t need to wait around for someone who happens to have cash-in-hand.

What’s a Good Trailer Consignment Deal Look Like?

Commission fees for consignment trailer sales are usually a percentage of the sale or a flat rate. For example, Blue Ridge Trailers charges 10% of the selling price.

This is on the low end of typical commission rates, which span roughly 10% to 15%.

For ultimate peace of mind, look for a seller who can handle detailing and shop inspection of your trailer before marketing it. A dealer with a qualified trailer service team will ensure that it’s in its best shape to attract buyers.

Blue Ridge Trailers includes our one-year warranty on all consignment trailers as well, which not only gets trailers off the lot faster, but also means that we take care of any issues if the buyer returns after purchasing.

Consider the consignment contract length as well. You don’t want your trailer sitting on the lot for months on end. As a point of reference, Blue Ridge Trailers writes consignment contracts for three months. The trailer owner can end the agreement at any point with no charge, other than for trailer cleaning or inspection if it’s already taken place.

Be sure to work with a seller who can offer maximum exposure for your trailer, both on their lot and online, whether through their website, online inventories, social media, etc. This will translate to a faster, better deal.

Should You Keep Your Trailer Insurance?

Remember that accidents can strike anywhere. If you terminate your trailer insurance before it’s sold, your seller’s insurance likely won’t extend to you for certain types of damage such as flooding, fallen branches, etc.

Different trailer dealers will have different policies regarding consignment insurance. The most responsible ones will require you to keep some form of insurance in place, so that you’re protected in all circumstances.

Here at Blue Ridge Trailers we require trailer owners to maintain their comprehensive and collision coverage, since our insurance won’t extend to them for weather-related damage.

 

Selling a used trailer? Take advantage of Blue Ridge Trailers’ marketing expertise, wide network of buyers, and attractive financing and warranty options. Contact us online or at (434) 985-4151.

Scenic Summer Rides: The Best VA Blue Ridge Mountains Horseback Riding Trails and Tours

VA Blue Ridge Mountains Horseback Riding

Shenandoah National Park. Photo source: U.S. National Park Service

Some people like to party it up on noisy beaches over the summer.

Others prefer a cruise along the Caribbean.

That’s fine.

All the more trail riding for the rest of us!

For horse lovers and riders in the east, the Blue Ridge Mountains offer some of the most beautiful but perhaps underrated trail rides you can find. That’s especially true in Virginia, since many travelers flock to the Georgia side of the mountain range.

If you’re looking for a uniquely unforgettable trip this summer with your horse and family, the VA Blue Ridge Mountains horseback riding trails should be at the top of your list.

We’ve discovered the trails and tours below through our research as well as word of mouth. We hope they open you up to both the amazing riding in this area and the wonderful fellow equestrians you’ll meet here along the way.

Remember, if you’ve always dreamed of traveling with your horse but need the right trailer, contact Blue Ridge Trailers online or at (434) 985-4151 for personalized guidance.

You can also explore our horse trailer inventory here or our horse trailer rental options here.
The destinations below have not been visited by Blue Ridge Trailers owners Rob or Donna Martin. Feel free to let us know what you think of these destinations in the comments, should you visit!

Self-Guided Trail Rides

VA Blue Ridge Mountains Horseback Riding

New River Trailer State Park. Photo source: VA Dept of Conservation and Recreation

New River Trail State Park

Once a railway, this scenic horseback riding trail winds through southwestern Virginia for nearly 60 miles. There’s a gentle slope and you can come or go with numerous access points along the route. Other popular activities on or along the trail including biking, boating, and fishing.

George Washington and Jefferson National Forests

There are more than 1,290 miles of trails within these scenic woods, including several that are closed to motorized traffic seasonally or permanently.

Better yet, if you’re traveling with your horse, there are parking areas and campgrounds where you can stay. Check out details for all the horse campgrounds, including location, fees, access to bathrooms, and more from this page.

Shenandoah National Park

Located north of Charlottesville, VA, Shenandoah National Park offers 180 miles of trails open to horse riding. Trailer parking and campgrounds are available to those traveling with horses, while guided trail rides are also offered (more info on those here).

Moses Cone Park Carriage Trails

Whether you’re winding your way down the Blue Ridge Parkway to Georgia, or just looking for new mountain views, Moses Cone Park Carriage Trails is a nice option in upper North Carolina.

There are 25 miles of multi-purpose trails, including one very unique horseback riding opportunity: the winding Cone Manor Maze along Bass Lake.

Guided Trail Rides

Graves’ Mountain Lodge

This favorite among Virginia locals sits within the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. They offer one-hour, half-day, and full-day rides led by accomplished equestrians every day. Lead lines are provided for kids.

Oakland Heights Farm

Another local favorite! Oakland Heights Farm offers daily guided trail rides rain, snow, or shine. Lessons and horseback riding summer camps are also available. Horse lovers might even want to plan a trip around one of the farm’s horse shows.

Appalachian Horse Adventures

Whether you want a short ride or full immersion in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian Horse Adventures is a great option. They offer rides from an hour to eight hours and even a trail ride-and-overnight cabin combo.

North Mountain Outfitter

Located in the Shenandoah Valley, North Mountain Outfitter keeps trail ride groups small and personal. You’ll hear local lore from experienced guides while riding for a half or full day. All the riding is on mountain trails.

Rebel’s Run @ Afton Mountain

How about a wine tasting with your trail ride? Rebel’s Run offers a trail ride up the Blue Ridge Parkway to a local Virginia vineyard. But if wine’s not your thing, you can also choose the Summit Ride up Afton Mountain.

 

Did one of these wonderful trail riding opportunities catch your eye? Blue Ridge Trailers is happy to provide our trailering expertise as you plan your trip. Contact us online or at (434) 985-4151 with questions about choosing a trailer, horse safety on the road, or anything else.

4 Irresistible Horseback Riding Vacations on the East Coast

East Coast Horse VacationsSummer is here—finally!

For horse lovers, this season is glorious.

It’s a time to get out and ride with no cold weather to deter us.

And as a team of longtime riders and horse lovers, we here at Blue Ridge Trailers know that heading out in search of new trails is half of the fun.

So we wanted to share with you four exciting horseback riding vacations on the East Coast that we discovered through our summer research.

We hope they inspire a wonderful vacation for you and your horse this summer!

Remember, if you’ve always dreamed of traveling with your horse but need the right trailer, contact Blue Ridge Trailers online or at (434) 985-4151 for personalized guidance.

You can also explore our horse trailer inventory here or our horse trailer rental options here.

All of the destinations on this list are on the East Coast and have not been visited by Blue Ridge Trailers owners Rob or Donna Martin. Feel free to let us know what you think of these destinations in the comments, should you visit!

4 Irresistible Horseback Riding Vacations on the East Coast

1. Shangrila Guest Ranch, South Boston, VA

horseback riding vacations east coast

Photo source: Facebook

We wanted to start right here in our wonderful state of Virginia.

Shangrila Guest Ranch is known for its personal service, down-to-earth atmosphere and year-round trail riding opportunities. You can choose from an all-inclusive horseback riding vacation package, wagon rides or hourly and day trail rides. You can bring your horse or ride with one of their great horses.

The ranch is ideal for a family vacation, girl’s weekend, or business retreat. There are plenty of activities to keep the kiddos happy, from gathering chicken eggs, to feeding ducks and other farm animals, to gathering by the campfire for s’mores!

Learn more about Shangrila Guest Ranch here.

2. Rocking Horse Ranch Resort, Highland, NY

horsebacking riding vacations east coast

Photo source: Facebook

WOW! Rocking Horse Ranch Resort was voted a Trip Advisor U.S. Top 10 Family Resort so it’s definitely a place to put on your bucket list. The list of activities and family fun is unending, plus there are horses. What could be better?

For the family you can enjoy: children’s programs, award-winning gardens, an exotic wildlife exhibit, free wi-fi, and all-you-can-eat meal packages.

Of course, there are miles of trails and beautiful scenery to ride, barn tours, horse-drawn and tractor-drawn wagon rides, and horse shoe demonstrations. We’ve also heard that the indoor water park is summer all year long at 85 degrees.

Need we say more?

Check out Rocking Horse Ranch Resort here.

3. Southern Cross Guest Ranch, Madison, GA

Travel + Leisure Magazine voted Southern Cross Guest Ranch one of America’s Best Dude Ranches. One of our staffers visited there a few years back and really enjoyed it.

It’s nestled just outside of Atlanta in beautiful Madison, GA. The sunsets there and the horseback riding is stunning. You’ll feel relaxed and well-fed at Southern Cross, that’s for certain!

You’ll find nothing but quality Paint and Quarter Horses at this Georgia ranch, which is known best for its hands-on riding program, comfortable settings, and the ability to ride out on your own.

After a long day in the saddle, the rooms at Southern Cross are all furnished beautifully and are decorated uniquely. You’ll feel right at home and the kitchen is just a few seconds from your room. Fresh cookies and milk, too!

The horses at Southern Cross are outstanding and the hospitality is second to none! If you are looking for an affordable, relaxing getaway look no further!

Learn more about Southern Cross Guest Ranch here.

4. Marriott Ranch, Hume, VA

Last but not least, we finish up our list right in our backyard—the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

You can load your horse up or ride one of theirs over the beautiful 4,200 acre working cattle ranch. It’s trail riding at its best as you experience hills, creeks, woods, and pass along grazing cattle.

You have the option of many horse-related activities, from guided trail rides to private rides, group rides, vacation packages, and cattle drives. The sky’s the limit here with the amount of fun you can have with your horse!

The accommodations won’t let you down either. Each room is unique and the dining options will blow your socks off!

Read more about the Marriott Ranch here.

 

These horseback riding vacations on the East Coast are just the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds of unique riding destinations for you, your horse and your family. We’d love to learn about the places you’ve visited that your family enjoyed the most! Please feel free to share in the comments or on our Facebook page.

The 4-Step Horse Trailer Ventilation Guide for Safe, Cool Hauling

You’ve got the air conditioner on blast.

Your favorite shades are at the ready.

An ice coffee is in the cup holder.

It’s time for a summer road trip and you’re ready to ride in style.

But are your horses?

Summer travel poses a range of health risks to your horses–without proper horse trailer ventilation, they can become stressed from the temperature or even develop an illness like heat exhaustion or shipping fever.

Whether you’re looking for a new horse trailer or considering how to improve one you’ve already got, these horse trailer ventilation tips will help both you and your horses enjoy relaxed, cool rides this summer.

General Tips for Summer Hauling with Horses

Before we get to our horse trailer ventilation tips, be aware that there are several other important ways you can keep your horses cool on the road.

The 4-Step Horse Trailer Ventilation Guide

1. Look for Windows in the Front and Back

When it comes to ventilation, window placement is even more important than the number or type of windows in your horse trailer. They won’t do you any good if they’re not positioned to create a flow of air throughout the trailer.

Make sure there are windows at both the front of the trailer and the back. The back window or windows should be large–you can put screens or bars over them so they can be kept wide open without posing a safety issue for your horses.

If there’s a dressing room or tack room wall at the back of your trailer, it should have a window, too–otherwise the air from the front gets blocked, preventing a current as you drive.

2. Install Fans to Promote Airflow

Trailer fans are a smart, simple way to increase ventilation in your horse trailer.

Common sense would tell you to point the fans at your horses. The whole point is to cool them off, right?

Well, yes–but positioning your fans that way won’t help.

Again, it’s all about creating a current of air throughout the trailer. Make sure that your back fans are facing out of the window (in other words, pointing at the cars behind you). That way, the fans will pull air from front to back, cooling your horses as it flows by.

3. Wire Your Fans to an Auxiliary Battery

I discovered the beauty of horse trailer fans a long time ago. But I had to learn this extra step the hard way.

It was July and I was enjoying a hunt trail ride with friends. It was a great day, but we ran late–partly because we caught a horse headed towards the highway before we left–and partly because, well, of course we had happy hour after the ride!

When I finally got back to my trailer, my fans had been running for 4.5 hours.

How do you think my tow vehicle battery way doing?

Yeah, not great. There I was in a town with no cell towers and a dead truck battery. My friend went to fetch my husband several counties away–and I set my mind to getting an auxiliary fan battery as soon as possible.

4. Already Have a Trailer with Poor Ventilation?

If you already have a trailer with inadequate windows, you can use fans to boost ventilation–again, just make sure to point the ones that are furthest back out towards the road. You won’t get the same cooling effect that you would with proper window placement, but it can help.

If possible, consider adding windows to your trailer. Depending on how it’s framed, a solid dress wall can sometimes have windows added to it. You might also replace your back trailer doors if they don’t have windows.

 

Have questions about choosing or improving a horse trailer ventilation system? Blue Ridge Trailers is always happy to offer our expertise. Contact us online or at (434) 985-4151.

The Ultimate Packing Checklist for Summer Horse Show Essentials

Photo by Lily Banse

Nothing can dull the excitement of a summer horse show like realizing you left something essential at home.

You just want to get your horses settled and start enjoying the event, but now you have to worry about replacing it!

Then there are the items that you didn’t even realize you should be bringing with you. If you’re new to the horse show scene, it’s hard to avoid—if you’re a veteran, you probably remember having this experience once or twice.

To save you this stress, Blue Ridge Trailers has put together a comprehensive packing list of summer horse show essentials. We’ve drawn on the insights of our staff members who have decades of experience in the horse industry and attending horse shows.

But first, a pro packing tip:

Pack at Least One Day Ahead

The last thing you want to do is scramble around the night (or morning!) before your event.

Start packing at least one day before you leave, so that you have time to locate any missing items, replace or repair anything that hasn’t lasted since last season, and safely load and hitch up the trailer.

Here’s our guide to ensuring an even weight distribution within your trailer, among other hauling safety tips.

If you feel comfortable, ride your horse(s) at home, clip, bathe, and band/braid them there (if necessary). These are all things you then won’t have to do when you get to the horse show—you can relax when you arrive!

Summer Horse Show Essentials Packing List

Paperwork

Keep a binder of these items in either your horse trailer or truck. Don’t forget to update it before every show.

  • Coggins: you must have a current Coggins to transport your horse anywhere. You can keep extra copies in your truck, car, horse trailer, and purse or backpack, just in case!
  • Registration papers: depending on the type of event you’re going to, you’ll likely have to show your registration papers before checking in and signing up.
  • Health papers: depending on which state you’re traveling in, you may have to provide health papers upon arrival. Check with the show organizers if you’re not sure.
  • Relevant association membership cards

Trailer Items

Some of the more specific items we’ll touch on below could certainly be kept in your trailer as well, but these are the basics that should always be in there.

Remember to secure these items in an easily accessible area of your trailer.

  • Leg wraps
  • Extra halter and lead rope
  • Water bucket: depending on the length of your trip and the space available in your trailer, consider bringing a bucket or tank of water from home. (If you won’t be able to, you’ll find tips for helping your horse acclimate to an unfamiliar water source in this article.)
  • Feed
  • Bedding: this could be provided by the show—make sure you find out ahead of time
  • Tail wrap: if your horse rubs his/her tail in the trailer, this is a handy tool
  • Spare tires
  • Toolbox: including flares and flashlights with new batteries
  • First aid kit: equine and human, each kept in plastic or otherwise waterproof material. Some suggestions for what to include in your kit are below—you can find our full first aid checklist for horses here.
    • Phenylbutazone (bute) / Banamine paste: these anti-inflammatories provide short-term pain relief for horses. You will need to get this from your vet.
    • Triple antibiotic: for both people and horses
    • Gauze
    • Bandaging tape
    • Scissors
    • Liniment
    • Vet wrap

For safety, avoid overloading your trailer. Bring the appropriate amount of feed, bedding, water, etc. for the length of time you’ll be away from home.

If you have questions regarding safely hitching, loading, or towing your trailer, Blue Ridge Trailers is always happy to offer our expertise. Contact us online or at (434) 985-4151.

Horse Care Items

  • Grooming tote
  • Fly spray
  • Fly sheets: if you use them
  • Sheet: weather permitting, you may want to cover your horse up at night just in case he/she wants to lie down. But if it’s too hot, you may want to skip this and be prepared to spot-wash in the morning.
  • Mane tamer
  • Mane and tail brush
  • Tail bag
  • Bands / yarn
  • Hoof pick
  • Curry comb
  • Dandy brush
  • Body brush
  • Grooming towels: you’ll thank yourself if you bring more than one!
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Sponges
  • Sweat scraper
  • Hose: you might need this depending on the facility, so again, check ahead of time
  • Small bucket for bathing supplies
  • Treats

Other Useful Tools

  • Hooks for buckets
  • Hay bag
  • Pitch fork
  • Small or folding wheelbarrow
  • Clippers with batteries and sharp blades

Tack

  • Lunge line
  • Splint boots
  • Saddle
  • Saddle rack
  • Saddle pad
  • Girth
  • Headstall
  • Reins
  • Bridle rack
  • Bit: bring an extra!
  • Chicago screws: this is mainly directed at the western riders
  • Screw driver

For You

  • Clothing: make sure you have an idea of what you’re going to wear for each class. Try on clothes ahead of time so you know you’ll be comfortable.
  • Hat / helmet
  • Gloves / pins: if necessary
  • Boots
  • Spurs / spur straps
  • Safety pins / yarn: for your back number
  • Hair net / bobby pins / ponytail holder / hair brush: if necessary
  • Mirror
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Folding chairs
  • Paper and pencils: this will come in handy when copying down patterns or other things you may need
  • Bottled water: lots of it!
  • Snacks: if you don’t want to be confined to the concession stand

 

This may seem like a long list, but don’t let it scare you! If you run through this checklist before you leave for your show, it’ll make your life a lot easier. Nothing is better than being able to relax and enjoy yourself at the show—that’s what you came there for, right?

When Should You Replace Trailer Tires? Follow This Safety Checklist

I’m the type who can almost never throw something out.

I wear my shoes until they have holes. I reuse tea bags. I keep my phone until the day it stops turning on.

But when it comes to trailer tires, I’m a different person.

Old or worn tires pose a substantial danger on the road. They can lead to blowouts, a terrifying experience for you, your horses if you’re carrying them, and other drivers.

So it’s vital to know when to replace trailer tires. We’ll walk you through a checklist to determine whether yours are ready for an upgrade.

But first, are you keeping your tires safe and strong day-to-day? Here’s how:

Quick Tips for Trailer Tire Longevity

  • Regularly clean out pieces of debris or foreign objects that may have gotten lodged in your tires.
  • Fill tires to the maximum PSI (which is always listed on the sidewall of the tire) when the tires are cold, before you travel. Check your tires’ pressure levels, including the spare!
  • Check tires’ load range (also listed on the sidewall) to make sure you’re not putting more weight in your trailer than the tires can handle. Remember to calculate the total weight including the trailer itself, or ask a trailer professional to confirm that you have the appropriate tire size and load range on your trailer.
  • Make sure your tire valves have valve caps.
  • As always, drive slowly and keep an eye out for foreign objects or potholes in the road. If you can’t avoid a pothole, drive over it as slowly as you can. Try to avoid rolling against the curb when parking.

How to Know if It’s Time to Replace Trailer Tires

1. Confirm That Your Tire Matches Your Trailer

Check the side of your tire for the letters ST.

LT tires are designed for “light truck” use and P are designated for “passenger” cars, while ST tires are designed specifically for use on a trailer.

As US Rider explains, this distinction has to do with how rough of a ride they can take. LT tires are meant to accompany vehicles with a sophisticated suspension system to create a smooth ride. Horse trailers don’t come with this type of suspension so they need ST tires, which can endure more bumps on the road.

2. Measure Your Tread Depth

Legally, your tires need to be replaced when they have 2/32” of remaining tread depth. The common piece of advice here is to insert a penny with Lincoln’s head facing downward into your tire’s tread groove–if part of Lincoln’s head is still covered, you have enough tread depth.

3. Check for Uneven Tread Wearing

Make sure the tread isn’t worn just on the outer edges of the tires or just down the center. Uneven tread wearing can indicate a number of safety issues with your tires or trailer:

  • Overinflation (worn in the center) or underinflation (worn on the outer edges)
  • A bent axle or spindle
  • Axle alignment problems
  • Hauling weight that exceeds the trailer’s load capacity

Check out this article for an in-depth discussion of those issues and how to diagnose or resolve them.

4. Get a Dry Rot Check

Moisture and heat are tires’ worst enemies. Over time, they can break down the tire rubber and cause dry rot.

Unfortunately, dry rot is not always easy to find. A tire that looks smooth and intact might be hiding dry rot within the sidewalls. So it’s important to get a professional check about once a year. A professional has special lighting tools and can flex and bend tires in a strategic way to reveal possible dry rot.

5. Consider Your Tire’s Age

Generally speaking, a tire’s lifespan is five years–whether it’s being used or not! Heavy use will of course reduce this lifespan, which is why it’s important to weigh your tire’s age along with the factors above.

 

Want ultimate peace of mind on the road? Contact Blue Ridge Trailers online or at (434) 985-4151 for a professional trailer and tire safety check.

Local Trailer Rental Options for Low-Stress Moving, Delivery, and More

local trailer rentalYou know what they say. It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey…

But is that always true?

When you’re moving, delivering something, or doing basically anything else that requires a trailer rental, it usually is about the destination. You just want to finish up and unpack!

So let’s get you on and off the road quicker with a local trailer rental from Blue Ridge Trailers. Our trailer dealership is one of the only places in the Central Virginia area that offers this service. We’ll help you choose the right trailer rental from a range of options, so you can enjoy your journey and reach your destination safely.

Who Should Consider a Local Trailer Rental?

  • People moving within Virginia or nearby
  • Families moving kids into or out of college dorms
  • Farmers hauling equipment or other cargo to or from the farm
  • People picking up, delivering, or moving livestock and/or horses
  • Local businesses bringing equipment to job sites or events

What Are the Advantages of a Local Trailer Rental?

Trailer variety: A family-owned trailer dealer like Blue Ridge Trailers can offer a more personalized experience than the big-name moving truck/trailer companies. As you’ll see below, we offer a variety of trailers for rent that you can choose from.

That means you’ll get the right size and type of trailer for your needs, and won’t have to overspend on a big moving trailer just to fit your cargo.

Towing expertise: You’re not on your own when renting from a local trailer dealer. Blue Ridge Trailers draws from decades of towing experience and knowledge to ensure each customer has a smooth ride. We’ll determine the right trailer for your tow vehicle and hauling needs and help you get it hitched up and safely on the road.

What Trailers are Available for Rent at Blue Ridge Trailers?

Whether you’re hauling equipment, furniture, horses, and more, there’s likely a Blue Ridge Trailers rental option for you. We have:

  • Enclosed two-horse horse trailers
  • Enclosed cargo trailers (perfect for moving with furniture)
  • A 6 x 10 single axle utility trailer with a rear gate
  • A dump trailer with a 7,900-pound cargo capacity
  • A landscaper with a rear gate
  • An equipment hauler and a car hauler

See our full local trailer rental inventory here. Rates are dependent on the type of trailer, but are available for 24-hour, weekend, or week-long rental periods.

What Do You Need Before Renting a Trailer?

You should come prepared with your driver’s license, current proof of insurance for the tow vehicle, like an insurance card, and a valid credit card (first $500 of damage that may occur is the renter’s financial responsibility).

As with any trailer rental or purchase, one of the first things you should consider is your tow vehicle. It should have a towing capacity that exceeds the weight you’re planning to haul plus the empty weight of the trailer. You can generally find your vehicle’s towing capacity in the owner’s manual.

The Blue Ridge Trailers team will help you pick the right rental for your vehicle depending on a number of other factors. These include the type of trailer hitch your vehicle has, and whether it has a brake controller or the right setup to work an external brake controller.

 

Ready to find the right local trailer rental for your needs? Contact Blue Ridge Trailers online or at (434) 985-4151.

An Expert’s Guide to Horse Trailer Financing: How to Get a Good Deal

horse trailer financingYou’ve found the one.

That perfect trailer for your horses, your tow vehicle, and your hauling needs.

We get it–you just want to hitch it up and hit the road.

But for most buyers, there’s one more hurdle to get through: horse trailer financing.

With nearly two decades in the trailer business and a staff comprised of lifelong horse lovers, Blue Ridge Trailers understands the horse trailer financing process inside out. Thanks to our broker relationships and our experience, we’re able to find competitive pricing options for our trailer customers.

Today, we’re going to share some of our financing insights with you, so you can spend less time with the paperwork and more time enjoying your new trailer.

How Are Horse Trailer Loan Applications Evaluated?

There are a handful of factors any lender will examine and compare right off the bat:

  • Your credit score
  • Your debt-to-income ratio
  • Your income
  • Requested loan amount

None of that should come as a surprise. However, things get tricky when lenders start looking at the trailer itself.

Many lenders misunderstand or don’t know how to categorize horse trailers. They assume it’s a discretionary or “luxury” piece of equipment, and they price their loans accordingly.

They don’t realize how well trailers hold their resale value. Unlike cars, which start losing value the minute they leave the lot, quality aluminum trailers hold their value for decades.

That’s why it’s so important to buy from a trailer dealer who has relationships with brokers and lenders in-the-know. Blue Ridge Trailers works with a stable of lenders who understand the nature of trailers and can therefore offer appropriate, competitive financing options. That goes for utility trailers as well as horse trailers.

Horse Trailer Financing Pitfalls to Avoid

Prepayment penalties:

A lender who understands the longevity of trailers will give you a longer term to pay off your loan. That results in a lower monthly payment, which is especially helpful for farmers or other people with volatile month-to-month income.

However, we typically advise buyers not to wait the full length of the term to pay off the trailer, in order to avoid building up tons of interest. When you have a good month, you can pay a little more towards your trailer, and start working down the loan faster.

That strategy is not possible with prepayment penalties. As the name implies, prepayment penalties punish you for paying down your loan early. Avoid them or you’ll get locked into significant interest costs.

Not filing jointly:

Do both you and your partner have an income? If you don’t file jointly, you’re unnecessarily weakening your application.

Filing jointly will bring down your debt-to-income ratio, instantly making you a better candidate for a loan.

You should also consider whether you and your partner already have other loans in both names. If you do, but you don’t show your partner’s income on your horse trailer financing application, all those loans will be counted against your income only. It’ll make it look like you’re much less prepared to pay off your loans than you really are.

Ask Your Dealer About Their Lender Relationships

Before you file a loan application, ask your trailer dealer whether they work with loan brokers on behalf of their customers. As noted earlier, a dealer with a stable of knowledgeable brokers will be able to find you a more competitive deal.

You should also ask whether they’ll send your application to multiple brokers (which means multiple credit checks–not ideal).

Instead, Blue Ridge Trailers asks a handful of strategic questions to determine each customer’s situation, and therefore which broker will be best to send their application to. In turn, after running your credit, that broker can pick the optimal lenders to receive your application.

Do You Have Farm Income?

Then you’ll also want a dealer who is Farm Credit approved.

Farm Credit is a national organization that provides loans to people with farm income. Unlike standard lenders, they understand the unique situation of farmers and ranchers, in that income can be variable from one year to the next. They also consider horse trailers, utility trailers, dump trailers, and equipment haulers to be farm equipment–not “luxury” items.

Blue Ridge Trailers is a Farm Credit approved dealer, so we’ve seen firsthand how this different mindset that can result in a much more reasonable loan.

 

Have more questions about horse trailer financing? Contact Blue Ridge Trailers online or at (434) 985-4151.