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November 10, 2023

Become Roadworthy with the Horse Trailer Safety Online Course at TheHorsePortal.ca

Equine Guelph offers short online course on Trailer Safety. Photo Credit: Linda Shantz photography

Story by: Jackie Bellamy-Zions, Equine Guelph

Hauling a horse trailer is a steep learning curve if your experience is limited to coordinating just four wheels and not putting thousands of pounds behind your vehicle. The consequences of having the wrong tow package, insufficient towing vehicle or missing a safety step while getting hitched can be dire for the precious cargo and anyone else sharing the road. The second offering of Equine Guelph’s new online course, Horse Trailer Safety (Part One) will be invaluable to anyone who owns a trailer or is thinking of buying one. Registration is open on TheHorsePortal.ca for this important course running November 20 – December 1, 2023.  

Course instructor, Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue specialist and volunteer fire fighter, Dr. Rebecca Husted has responded to countless roadside incidents and instructed others on rescue procedure for horrific accident scenes involving horse trailers. Her expertise will serve course participants well to help them avoid becoming a trailer accident casualty. 

“WAY too many private horse owners tell me ‘they didn’t know’ after an incident with their horses and trailer/transport. Hauling horses is a serious responsibility,” says Dr. Rebecca Husted.  “Due diligence is required to make sure your set up is safe and emergency preparedness is essential. This course will ensure you do know how to effectively check your own rig.” 

Husted edited and wrote the only textbook available to the fire service and veterinarians on technical rescue of large animals, and several chapters in major veterinary books on similar subjects. One of her current scientific research interests includes a national survey of trailer accident causality. Emergency preparedness and best practices in safety before each trailer outing will be covered in the new Equine Guelph course, Horse Trailer Safety (Part One)

Students of the first offering have given glowing recommendations: 

“A rare privilege to have international authorities sharing their horse hauling wisdom in succinct and well-documented form. The course modules hung together very well, covering every conceivable aspect of how hauling is a serious responsibility toward others and our animals. As Rebecca emphasizes: Don't tell me you love your horse. Show me!” 

Sharon Cregier, PEI - Author (with Rebecca Gimenez) Non-commercial Horse Transport: The Need for Standards


“Course content and real life scenario discussions were nothing short of phenomenal - it really did feel as close to being in a classroom as anything on-line could have. What a fantastic course - so many excellent resources to take away. Course management, instruction, content and pace were just perfect. Fabulous rare opportunity to have instruction from industry experts Rebecca Husted and Kevan Garecki.” 

Betsy Sayers, Handy Horse Docs, Griffith ON - Horse owner 


“I would highly recommend this short course for anyone who owns horses. The information is on point, presented in an easy to follow format and is engaging. The quality of the instruction was outstanding. Anyone who owns horses and transports them has the responsibility to learn all they can about trailering safety for both their equine partner as well as all the other people who share the road.” 

Diane Wiber, Winding Fences Farm, Muskoka - Horse owner, guide, instructor 


“There is always something new to learn about horses, and that includes hauling them. The exceptionally detailed annual trailer inspection list provides assurance of a mechanic's competency, saving the conscientious owner thousands of dollars, not to mention "unplanned events" on the road, in one case with which I'm familiar. Every segment of the course was just as detailed. Built around the safest practices, the course will always be up to date and helpful.” 

S.C., Cheiron's Court Farm - Charlottetown PEI, Horse Behaviour / Ethologist 


Participants in this course will be able to make informed decisions about which towing package (truck and trailer) is right for their needs and will learn all about pre-trip inspections and general maintenance.  

Preview this a 10–minute video on a trailer circle check, guaranteed to change your perspective on safe hauling. Just one of the many resources in the course.

Whether you are looking to purchase a truck and trailer in the near future or want to minimize your risks while driving, this two-week online course will be well worth the investment. It will also cover preventative maintenance and regular inspections that can extend the life of your trailer as well as improve safety. Register today at TheHorsePortal.ca for Horse Trailer Safety (Part One)

Kristin Hoffman, a Health & Safety Consultant serving the agricultural sector with Workplace Safety & Prevention Services says it’s vitally important to know the risks and use safe practices. 

“Horse trailer incidents can have tragic results,” she emphasizes. “Stop. Think. Act. Prepare and protect yourself, your horse, truck and trailer.”

Thanks to Equine Guelph’s generous safety education supporter, Workplace Safety & Prevention Services, these online resources in trailer safety have been made possible. 

Equine Guelph is the horse owners' and care givers' Centre at the University of Guelph in Canada. It is a unique partnership dedicated to the health and well-being of horses, supported and overseen by equine industry groups. Equine Guelph is the epicentre for academia, industry and government - for the good of the equine industry as a whole. For further information, visit www.equineguelph.ca

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