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

How Comfortable Are You Maneuvering Your Horse Trailer?

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.


Whoa! Do you need to run through a truck and trailer safety checklist before hitting the road?


HEET Trailer Rodeo

Our local HEET – Horse Emergency Evacuation Team organization puts on a Trailer Rodeo to provide horse trailer drivers the opportunity to practice negotiating common driving and parking predicaments. Often, CHP officers may be on hand to inspect rigs for safety and road compliance. Discussion may also including getting up to speed on understanding what kind of driver’s license is needed to drive what kind of a horse rig.

All attendees drive away with new knowledge and new skills. Demonstrating the ability to perform several of these skills is necessary for passing a Class A license exam.


HEET will be conducting a horse trailer rodeo in San Luis Obispo at La Cuesta Ranch on April 10, 2021.


How Comfortable Are You Maneuvering Your Horse Trailer?

Trailer Pole Bending

Turning in tight spaces is a common predicament we’ll be finding ourselves in 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. Practicing this skill involves 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 a HEET Trailer Rodeo.
  • 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 HEET 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!!”

HEET 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 Photos

Get ready to hit the road with your horse in tow. Developing your trip pre-check of your horse trailer and truck is made easier using our downloadable checklist. You can bring it up on your phone to use as a guide. Also you can print it out, slip it in a plastic sleeve and mount it inside your tack room door. Using a wet erase pen, you can then mark on it every time you haul horses.   We’ll continue to add horsing around stories to our website. You can stay up-to-date by becoming a SLO Horse News herd member. Get your Horse Trailer and Truck Trip Pre-Check Checklist here >.


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1 Comment

  1. 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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