How Comfortable Are You Maneuvering Your Horse Trailer?

How Comfortable Are You Maneuvering Your Horse Trailer? | SLO Horse News

Tight places, tight turns, backing and parallel parking are all predicaments you’ll run across when hauling horses in your horse trailer. How comfortable are you maneuvering your horse trailer? If you don’t know how to maneuver the trailer in these situations you will find yourself in quite the quandary.

H.E.E.T. Trailer Rodeo

Our local H.E.E.T. – Horse Emergency Evacuation Team organization recently put on a Trailer Rodeo to provide horse trailer drivers the opportunity to practice negotiating common driving and parking predicaments. In addition, CHP officer Larry Hockman was on hand to inspect rigs for safety and road compliance. He also got us up to speed on understanding what kind of driver’s license is needed to drive what kind of a horse rig. We’ll cover safety and license information in future stories.

All attendees drove away with new knowledge and new skills. Several of these skills will need to be demonstrated to pass a Class A license exam. H.E.E.T. will be hosting another Trailer Rodeo at the Wranglerette Arena in Atascadero May 5, 2019.

How Comfortable Are You Maneuvering Your Horse Trailer?

Trailer Pole Bending

Turning in tight spaces is a common predicament we run across while hauling our horses. We must learn how to drive our rig through tight spaces so we don’t wreck our expensive trailer or damage someone’s property.

Trailer Squeeze Shoot

Pulling through tight spaces like between trailers at a horse show or camp out is another common predicament where we must be comfortable maneuvering our horse trailer.

Trailer Parallel Parking

A necessary skill when parking in tight places. This skill is on the CDL A License Driving Skills test.

How Comfortable Are You Maneuvering Your Horse Trailer?  | SLO Horse News

Trailer Docking 

Parking your trailer right next to another either at home or at a show is a very common task many equestrians must perform. This skill is done by backing the trailer to “dock” it and is a required skill on the CDL A License Driving Skills test.

Thinking you need practice to be comfortable maneuvering your horse trailer?

We all could benefit from practice so here are several ways you can get comfortable maneuvering your horse trailer:

  • You can set up cones and practice at home or wherever you can find room and permission to practice.
  • Come get assistance from fellow equestrians at the H.E.E.T. Trailer Rodeo on May 5 in Atascadero.
  • Get tips and see how the CDL A License Driving Skills are performed through this CDL Basic Driving Skills Test tip sheet.

Here’s what attendee Kathy Rosenthal had to say about the H.E.E.T. Trailer Rodeo. “THE best learning experience. Thank you all for putting the training together, being effective trainers (if you’d had taught me to levitate, I couldn’t have been more surprised to learn how to maneuver that big ‘ole trailer around), fresh doughnuts, good friends, beautiful day, time well spent. Highly recommended way to spend the day!!”

H.E.E.T. is here to help you in many ways from fire rescue to improving your horse trailering skills; get help and get involved.

Photo Credit: Sharon Jantzen


Former Pony Clubber, Eventer and Dressage rider who balanced training and showing with getting a college degree (from Cal Poly SLO), becoming a wife and raising a family. Presently she is enjoying riding a Rocky Mounted Gaited horse and exploring Mounted Archery. Her new baby is Whisper, a Connemara filly.

1 Comment

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    Reply July 9, 2019

    Ashley Johnson

    I liked that you said that one thing to consider when planning to tow a horse trailer is learning to parallel park with it hooked up to your truck. I would imagine that this would be an important skill to learn to use so that you can park in spaces that are tight. I would be sure to practice parallel parking while towing a horse trailer so that it would be easier to find a parking sport and I wouldn’t have to worry about needing to park far away.

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