If you’re relatively new to horse ownership, the thought of travelling with your prized mare or stallion can seem like an intimidating prospect. Whether you’re planning to attend your first event or simply fancy riding somewhere new, the logistics of moving your horse around the country aren’t always easy.
Yet while taking the plunge and buying a horsebox of your own involves a lot of consideration, with the right guidance, very rarely is it a purchase that comes with any danger. Thousands of owners take to the roads to transport their horse each day and although it’s an experience that takes getting used to, it won’t be long before taking your horse on the road becomes second nature.
For prospective horsebox owners, you’ll likely have an abundance of questions you’ll need answering. Below, we’ve attempted to answer some of your most pressing queries and help guide you through the horsebox purchasing minefield.
Do I really need one?
Purchasing a horse box can help save you a lot of money in the long run, but it’s important to consider how often you’ll realistically be using it. The comfort of transporting your horse within your own vehicle or trailer is something that appeals to all horse owners. Buying one just for the sake of it however, could potentially cost you a lot of unnecessary money.
If you’re only attending a couple of events a year or the odd annual foray across the country with your horse, paying a professional company to do it on your behalf could be a better option. The cost of acquiring and maintaining a horsebox against the cost of a hiring someone to do so, can be easily offset over a handful of journeys each year. Anything less than that however and it might not be worth your time.
Horse trailer or all-in-one – what’s right for me?
If you’ve decided that investing in a horse box is right for you, then deciding exactly what one to purchase can feel like a hazardous task.
All-in-one horseboxes remain the most attractive option to many horse owners. Vast, spacious and with plenty of room for both you and your horse, many horseboxes include a small living quarters for you to bed down in for those long weekends away.
Horse trailers are a more modest option for horse owners, but far from simply being a cheaper option, they’re also an extremely versatile one. With many horse owners already owning vehicles capable of towing trailers, you can transport your horse from the comfort of your own 4×4. It’s also worth remembering that leaving a trailer in the yard when you’re not using it costs a lot less than a 7.5 tonne commercial vehicle.
Are there any legal obligations for horse box owners?
While obtaining a horsebox is simple enough, there are a number of small guidelines that owners must comply with in order to stay on the right side of the law.
The most prominent guideline that horsebox owners need to look out for is in regards to possessing a category C entitlement on their driving license.
Drivers who passed their test before January 1st 1997 are entitled to drive a vehicle up to 7.5 tonnes and a combined vehicle and trailer with a weight up to 8.25 tonnes. Drivers who passed their test after this date will have to take additional tests to acquire the appropriate entitlements.
Where should I purchase one from?
Given the hefty financial burden that already comes with the upkeep of your horse, buying a brand new horse box will seem like a step too far for many owners. Yet sourcing one second hand can seem like an equally uncertain prospect.
Although while you’re unlikely to find much in the way of a warranty second hand, if you remain proactive during the course of the sale, very rarely is it a purchase that comes with any safety concerns.
Always seek an engineer’s report to ensure your horsebox won’t be beset by any potentially dangerous mechanical or electrical issues and always request a test drive as standard. When checking the interior of your horsebox, be particularly vigilant when checking the flooring and partitions. Your horse is going to be putting them under a lot of force, so don’t be afraid of stamping around to check its stability.
A horsebox is likely to be one of the most important purchases you make during your time as a horse owner, so make sure you give the buying process the time and care it deserves. But by following the right guidelines and remaining thorough throughout all aspects of your horsebox search, there’s no reason why you can’t be safely travelling the roads with your horse hassle-free.
This article was written by Adrian Flux, one of the UK’s leading specialist insurance firms. With over 35 years experience, Adrian Flux offer a comprehensive range of insurance policies of all varieties, including expert horsebox insurance cover.