Monday, March 31, 2008

Virginia Horse Trailer Testimonial

Hi Brad.

I just wanted to follow up with you in regards to the delivery of my new Horse Trailer. It was delivered the Saturday before I was leaving out of town and I wanted to thank you and I believe, Johnny, for making that happen. Johnny ( I couldn't remember if he said Jimmy or Johnny as I was so excited!) was very friendly and delivered the trailer exactly when he indicated. He went through all the features of the trailer and made me feel very comfortable with it.

I returned yesterday from Alabama and finally have found time to go out and sit in it!!! What a great feeling. I even think the horses have taken a liking to it. The trailer is beautiful and all my riding buddies have stopped by, in my absence, to take a tour to of the new digs and they are impressed.

Johnny mentioned there was to be an adapter for plugging the trailer to an extension cord and into the house. He indicated he would let you know it was missing and have one sent to me. I just wanted to follow up on that as well. I really am not sure what he was talking about.

Thank you again for making this a great experience and the trailer is headed out on it's first trail ride this weekend!!!

Kelli K. Sherwin, Virginia

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Your Horse's Back - Careful How you mount up

Your Horse’s Back – Careful How You Mount Up, Horse Trailer Safety

We all know that back pain can really interfere with daily life. Having a sore back makes even the simplest chores difficult. So imagine how back pain can hamper your horse’s performance.

Equine chiropractors and massage therapists have become as commonplace as the veterinarian in helping to treat back ailments. Likewise, more riders seek the advice of professional saddle fitters when selecting a saddle for their horse, because it’s common knowledge that an ill-fitting saddle can be detrimental to how your horse responds during work.

But have you ever stopped to consider whether the way you mount your horse affects his back? One study has.

At the Mary Anne McPhail Equine Performance Center, a part of Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Hilary Clayton and colleagues performed such an investigation.

The experiment involved ten riders of varying heights and weights and one horse, a 14-year old gelding, who was clinically sound with no back problems. All participants rode the horse in a properly fitted dressage saddle.

The pad beneath the saddle was fitted with several sensors, each designed to measure the pressure exerted when the horse was mounted. Then, the results were analyzed to determine the overall rates of pressure.

Each rider took turns mounting the horse, first from the ground and then a mounting platform. The outcome of the analysis showed that the withers play a major part in stabilizing the saddle as the rider mounts. The force exerted on the wither area was greatest as the rider balanced in the left stirrup while swinging the right leg upwards. This force reached its highest measurement when the heaviest riders mounted from the ground. During the mounting process, the right side of the horse’s withers experienced the most pressure.

The outcome of this study may make you rethink how you mount your horse, regardless of your height and weight. If there’s a mounting block handy, try using it to reduce the pressure placed on your horse’s withers every time you climb on. And make sure your saddle fits well, especially over the withers to avoid inflicting any additional pressure.
Keep your horse comfortable and he’ll always be happy in his work.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Purchasing a Horse Trailer, learn the lingo, Part 2

Purchasing a Horse Trailer

Learn the Lingo, Part 2

Last week’s newsletter, for those of you who missed it, talked about terms you’re likely to hear when Horse Trailer shopping.

If you’re a first-time buyer, being able to understand and speak the language will make your shopping experience and purchasing decision easier.

So, to increase your knowledge and expand your vocabulary even further, we’re giving you some more terms this week.

Chassis – the frame that supports the structure of a Horse Trailer.

Galvaneal – what Double D Horse Trailers are made of. Galvaneal is galvanized steel which, when painted, provides superior, long-lasting corrosion resistance. The auto industry uses Galvaneal to build pickup truck beds. It’s less expensive than aluminum yet far sturdier and more durable, so better able to withstand the flex and stress of the road. (To learn more about Galvaneal, click here.)

Receiver Hitch – type of hitch used for pulling a tag-along trailer. Receiver hitches mount to the frame of the towing vehicle either by bolts or welding. Mandatory for towing and the only hitch legal in all states, use a Class III or IV frame-mounted receiver hitch to safely haul your tag-along trailer.

Sway Bar – a bar (or bars) attached to the trailer hitch to help control trailer sway. Sway bars are often confused with weight distribution bars, but they aren’t the same. Weight distribution bars help distribute the weight of the trailer between the trailer and the tow vehicle, making towing safer and easier. (See Double D’s blog post dated February 27, 2008 for an in-depth discussion on weight distribution bars.) Chances are if you need sway bars, your trailer has suspension problems, uneven tire pressure, or it’s not level. Correcting these issues should eliminate the need for them.

Undercarriage – the supporting framework that runs underneath a Horse Trailer. The axles attach to this. Also, the undercarriage is part of the chassis.

Unladen Weight – the weight of the trailer including the mats, spare tire, and other trailer accessories, but exclusive of its load (i.e., horses and gear.) You’ll often find the unladen weight listed on the trailer’s Certificate of Origin or on the Title.

Okay, before you reach overload, let’s stop here.

We hope the focus of these last two newsletters has been helpful. Did they answer your questions or raise new ones? Send us an email or post a comment on our Trailer blog. We’d love to hear from you!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Purchasing a Horse Trailer

Learn the Lingo

Purchasing a horse trailer, especially for the first time, can be a daunting undertaking. So many things to consider – aluminum or steel, new or used, bumper pull or gooseneck, slant load or straight load – the choices are dizzying! And on top of all that, there’s the horse trailer lingo.

Ignorance may be bliss, but not when you’re about to plop down a good chunk of change on a beautiful, new, living quarters horse trailer!

To help you out, this week’s newsletter defines some terms that you’re likely to hear when trailer shopping, yet may have no clue what they mean. So here we go…

Breakaway brake– an independent braking device housed on the trailer’s coupler and equipped with a battery. While hauling, if your trailer and towing vehicle become unhitched, the breakaway brake activates the trailer’s brakes so the trailer stops.

(You’re probably wondering how the breakaway brake knows that the trailer and towing vehicle have become separated. Good question. The battery has a removable pin that’s attached to a cable. When you hitch up, you’ll attach this cable to the vehicle or the hitch frame. Should the trailer break away during travel, the cable becomes taut, thereby pulling the pin from the battery, which activates the brakes.)

Coupler – the part of the trailer that "couples” or joins the trailer to the hitch ball whether the trailer is a bumper pull or gooseneck.

Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) – the weight of a trailer when fully loaded. Also known as Gross Weight (GW). Fully loaded means with horses, gear, and all trailer accessories such as mats and spare tire. Technically, your GVW can fluctuate depending on what you’re towing. Two 17 hand warmbloods will be heavier than two Shetland ponies.

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) – a value assigned by the trailer manufacturer which reflects the recommended maximum loaded weight of a single vehicle. The GVWR for a horse trailer depends on the axle and coupler capacity. So, a horse trailer with two axles rated at 2500 lbs. each and a two inch ball coupler rated at 5000 lbs. gives the trailer a 5000 lb. GVWR. It is illegal and unsafe to load a trailer in excess of its GVWR.

Okay. That’s it for this week; expect a quiz next week (just kidding!)

When making a major purchase like a horse trailer, you can’t educate yourself too much. The more you know, the better buying decision you’ll make.

Double D Trailers, Inc.