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The HGV Training Centre offers more than just commercial HGV and PCV training. We also teach horse owners how to safely operate horsebox lorries and trailers. In light of a recent accident in Hampshire, we want to remind our readers that an important part of learning how to transport horses safely is learning how to check the floorboards of your horsebox.

Horse & Hound reported on 23 February (2016) about an incident that happened just two days earlier. According to the magazine, a horse owner had just arrived at Mayhill Stud in Hants when she decided her vehicle needed to be moved slightly. She checked the camera in the horse area of the lorry to discover that her horse appeared to have sat down on the floor. She immediately stopped the vehicle to investigate.

It turns out the animal had actually fallen through the floor of the lorry, with one leg being caught between the inner and outer wheels of the vehicle. The horse had to be sedated by a veterinarian while the owner waited for fire and rescue to arrive. Thankfully, the animal was freed from the horsebox without serious injury. That is not to say the event was not traumatic to the horse, but a full recovery is expected.

Vehicle Previously Inspected

Horse & Hound says that the owner of the horsebox had the vehicle serviced in December prior to plating it. There was no reason to believe that it was unsafe in any way. Furthermore, fire and rescue officials confirmed that a preliminary visual inspection did not indicate anything seriously wrong with the horsebox.

If nothing else, the incident demonstrates how important it is to check horsebox flooring on a regular basis. Even if the chassis, tyres, and side walls of a horsebox lorry or trailer appear to be in excellent condition, wooden floorboards can be another matter. These are prone to damage from moisture, insects, dry rot, and more.

Horse owners should make a point of inspecting flooring materials at least on a monthly basis. Perhaps every couple of weeks would be more appropriate for a horsebox that is frequently used. In any case, the weakest areas tend to be those subject to the direct weight of the horse during transport.

Learn How to Transport Horses Safely

If you are a new horse owner preparing for your first season of shows and exhibitions, we hope you will take the time to learn how to transport horses safely. We include such instruction in our horsebox training programme. You can train with us by taking a short class, making it possible for you to take good care of your horses with a minimal investment of time and money.

Please bear in mind that anyone who operates a horsebox or horsebox trailer for profit must have an additional entitlement added to the Category B driving licence. If you are not sure of your situation, we would be happy to help you work it out.

Sources:

  1. H&H – https://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/is-your-horsebox-floor-safe-horse-survives-life-threatening-accident-warning-graphic-images-527589

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