Cleaning a horsebox or trailer isn’t exactly a glamorous job, but it’s a key part of horse ownership and needs to be done on a regular basis.

Keeping your box or trailer clean inside and out will help to prolong its life and keep your animal safe and comfortable as you transport them from A to B – and back again.

Before we share some of our top tips for a gleaming horsebox or trailer, you need to make sure that the precious cargo inside of it is insured.

A horse is a huge financial investment, with cost of ownership continuing to rise.

Horse insurance is therefore a very wise decision; it could help you to recoup costs associated with vet fees and hospitalisation if your equine fell ill or injured themselves one day.

The insurance experts at Equesure will take the time to understand the needs of both you and your horse, before finding a suitable policy for the right price.

Now, here are some things to consider when giving your horsebox or trailer a good spring clean…


Don’t neglect routine cleaning

First things first: clearing out wet bedding, dropped feed and manure should be done after every trip as this will prevent the floor of the horsebox or trailer becoming damaged or weakened.

It’s a good idea to hose the floor (using a gentle pressure setting) to remove traces of urine, which can also cause damage to the floor over time.

Keep a bucket or wheelbarrow close to where you keep the horsebox or trailer so you can easily get rid of the waste after each trip.

A wheelbarrow full of used hay and muck

Clear out

A thorough deep clean requires you to clear out as many items as possible from the box or trailer – including feed, bedding, accessories (like harnesses, leads and hay nets) and floor mats. Wash all of your tack separately as per their instructions.


Clean from the top down

When your trailer or horsebox is empty, you can rinse it using a hose set to a low pressure – starting from the roof, then walls and then the floor.

Once this is done, you can start cleaning using a bristle brush and suitable soap, working from the walls down until you’ve cleaned all surfaces, including the doors and ramp.

Scrub in small sections, working from side to side before moving down, overlapping each new section with the one that’s already been scrubbed.

It’s important for the hose to be set to a low pressure because blasting the interior with water can cause bacteria to become airborne.

Don’t neglect the smaller fixtures and fittings such as tie rings, divider mechanisms and latches.

You’ll need a smaller brush to tackle these or a softer cloth if you’re worried about the bristles causing damage.

When you’ve scrubbed all the interior, rinse off with water. You might need to re-scrub areas with stubborn muck or stains.


Disinfect the horsebox/trailer

Only when the inside is looking spick and span should you consider using disinfectant. This is because any grime and muck left in the box or trailer could actually reduce the effectiveness of disinfectant cleaners.

Using a product suitable for boxes and trailers, start spraying interior surfaces then use a bristle brush to work it in – not forgetting things like racks and latches.

Check the instructions to see how long to leave the solution to work its magic before rinsing off with water. The disinfectant may suggest repeating this process two or three times.

A dirty horse trailer with moss growing on its upper portion

Pay attention to the outside

With the interior gleaming, now you can turn your attention to the outside of the horsebox or trailer.

This will be a similar process to washing your car, using similar products and not forgetting to pay attention to the wheels and wheel arches, lights and windows (using the appropriate products).

You may want to consider a finishing wax on your horsebox or trailer to leave it sparkling clean and looking brand new.

In fact, a good wax every six months or so can help with the exterior’s longevity, especially if you have features sensitive to light such as vinyl graphics.


Inspect the vehicle

When you’ve carried out the deep clean but the trailer or horsebox is still empty, now’s a great chance to go around inspecting all areas to make sure that they are in good working order.

Consider replacing anything you find to be damaged, worn or broken, as they could pose a risk to your horse when you transport them.

Here are some areas to pay attention to:

  • Windows – inspect for cracks and rust. You should be able to open and close them with ease and the screens should be solidly set in place.
  • Flooring – check for signs of damage and make sure that any rubber matting is secure and isn’t coming away from the floor.
  • Latches/hinges – make sure they are functioning properly.
  • Lights – have someone help you to test that all the lights are working and replace any defunct bulbs.
  • Tyres – make sure they’re in good condition without any cracks or wear, with good tread depth and inflated to the correct pressure.

A horse lorry parked at a farm yard

Four quick-fire tips for a spotlessly clean and tidy horsebox or trailer

  1. Wait until the floor is completely dry before replacing the mats – a small sprinkling of baking soda can help to neutralise urine and prevent damage.
  2. One of the best ways to prolong the life of your box or trailer is to store it indoors. If this isn’t possible then consider purchasing a cover to use when it’s not in use.
  3. Consider investing in a truck box – these can store a lot of gear and help to keep everything tidy and organised.
  4. Think about building shelving to maximize unused space – or at least adding hooks that you can use for things like tails, halters, bridles and extension cords.

Before transporting your equine in your clean and tidy horsebox or trailer, make sure you’ve got adequate horse insurance in place.

Call the team at Equesure on 01480 220089 or get a quote today.

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