Horse trailers and horse boxes come in all shapes and sizes, but every trailer can be outfitted with accessories both practical and decorative to ensure smoother journeys and a more relaxed horse upon arrival – whether travelling to a sports event or just moving stables. With this guide, buyers will be able to understand the wide range of horse trailer accessories available as well as their different uses and how to go about buying them on eBay.
The process of buying horse trailer accessories can be split between accessories for the internal area and accessories for the exterior of the trailer. Internal area accessories are generally focused on items that make the horse's journey more comfortable as well keeping them safe and secure.
Ties are used to tether the horse to the trailer whilst it is in motion, often hooking from the horse's halter to a ring on the wall. It is very important that the tie is strong and short, to keep the horse secure.
Many horse owners also use quick release clips that run between the ties and the wall ring, which will break when given a strong pull. These are important in case of an emergency, as the horse can pull itself away from the trailer wall – which helps to ensure they will not become trapped if an accident occurs. Equitie is a popular maker of such breakpoint tethers and quick release clips.
Tie rings are a simple yet vital piece of equipment, as it is what the horse will be tethered to during any horse trailer journey. It is therefore vital that it be very strong and secure, with no chance of coming away from the wall and leaving the horse un-tethered. Though trailers may come with rings already included, buyers may wish to purchase another to put in a different place. This may be the case when the height of the horse is taken into account, as a different placement of the ring may ensure a more comfortable journey for the horse.
They are usually a round or D-ring shaped set on a square piece of metal, which is attached to the wall by screws, though sizes and designs may differ. Tie rings, designed specifically for horse trailers, are usually set inside a round disc, which takes away the sharp edges the horse may rub against during travel.
Mats are very important accessories to have in a horse trailer, particularly if it is going to be used frequently or for long journeys. Typically made from foam or rubber, these mats can be placed on the floors to protect the horse's feet and on the walls to protect the horse's sides, particularly during rough journeys, or with a horse that tends to lean when standing.
Depending on the type used, mats can be costly but are vital to preserve the wellbeing and comfort of the horse. Ribbed versions of mats can also be bought for use on trailer ramps and floors to give the horse's feet more grip.
The exterior of the horse trailer is different from the exterior in that much more emphasis is placed on appearance, as well as safety and legality. Various laws must be considered when buying items for the exterior of a horsebox, as well as outside appearance.
Also called transfers, these are used by horse owners across the world to mark out their trailer both as a decorative and practical item – with many trailers looking similar, and many people owning the same brand of trailer, it can be helpful to owners to be able to identify their trailer by sight.
Decals can be bought of images, but word transfers are available. Buyers can purchase ready-made transfers, but they can also buy personalised transfers – for example, giving the address of their riding school, or a decal indicating that other drivers should take care, as there is a horse on board.
Partitions or screens can be placed in horse trailers inside and outside the trailer to ensure the comfort and safety of the horses within. Screens placed on the outside of the trailer can be placed over the gap between the rear ramp and the roof to keep out dust and insects, while still letting air in to keep the trailer well-ventilated.
Screens can also be placed as partitions within the horse trailer when there is more than one horse inside. Screens will keep them separate to prevent any biting or kicking that may occur when two horses are in close quarters with each other and are unable to move away.
Hitching mirrors can be a useful aid to trailer owners who regularly have to hitch the trailer to their vehicle on their own, or who have trouble judging the distance between the vehicle's tow bar and the trailer's hitching gear. Judging distance can be a problem for those with large vehicles and trailers, whilst those hitching on their own will not have the help of a person outside the vehicle who can observe the coupling, and able to provide extra guidance.
Hitching mirrors are mounted on either front of the trailer or on the rear of the vehicle, and are angled to provide the driver with a clear view of the hitching from their seat.
Trailer lenses are as important as ones for a car or motorbike. It is a legal requirement that trailers have at least two red sidelights, two stop lights, a licence plate, two triangle reflectors and indicator lights on the back of the trailer, though requirements may change depending on the size of the trailer. These need to be linked into the electronics of the car so they light up correctly, and replacement lenses are also available for purchase online.
Although all trailers should have the necessary lenses included, some trailer owners add on additional reflective lenses and strips to their trailer to add extra protection, and also assist other drivers on the road. These include such things as adding wheel lenses, which can be placed on the wheel arches of the rearmost wheels – this can help other drivers in dim or dark conditions see how wide the trailer in front is, which is important when overtaking.
Wheel locks are a particularly useful accessory for any kind of trailer when unhitched, or even when parked up but still hitched to a vehicle. Wheel locks clamp the wheel in place and prevent it from being taken whilst locked, with some types featuring a square-shaped design that also functions as a chock to prevent the trailer moving on its own.
There are many different styles available from a full-face lock, designed to protect wheel nuts as well, to the very simplistic wheel clamps that lock around one part of the wheel. Whatever the buyer opts for will depend entirely on their trailer choice as well as personal preference.
Hitch locks are usually designed as boxes that lock around the hitching gear of the trailer whether it is attached to a vehicle or not. While hitched to a vehicle, the lock completely covers the coupling and is locked by a key to prevent the trailer being detached from the vehicle without the owner's permission.
Hitch locks also lock fully around a trailer's coupling gear when unhitched, preventing the trailer from being attached to another car and taken.
Buying Horse Trailer Accessories on eBay
Now that the buyer has seen a small handful of the various accessories available to them as horse trailer owners, they must begin to search for the items that will suit them. When looking for horse trailer accessories on eBay, the buyer should keep in mind:
- Price – this will be the main aspect of purchasing items for many buyers, and there are a variety of accessories available at a range of prices. The buyer can use the search preferences to adjust search results to match their budget, and with items available at both ‘Auction' and ‘Buy It Now' there is a great deal of flexibility when purchasing.
- Size – depending on the size of the trailer, some items may be more suitable than others. Bigger items such as screens take up large amounts of space and may not be suitable for certain trailers. Mats are also sold by measurement, so before purchasing the buyer should take careful stock of the amount of space certain items will need.
- Legal – purchasing a trailer is only the beginning of owning one, and the buyer should make sure that their trailer meets all legal requirements and that any accessories they buy are also legal. For example, their lights or transfers should not distract other drivers. Any driver who passed their driving test after 1997 also needs a licence to drive a trailer.
- Local Sellers – buying accessories from local sellers is an ideal way to keep shipping prices down.
If the buyer requires any more guidance when searching they should not hesitate to consult eBay's Search Tips page for more advice on how to get the perfect search result. And if they have any questions about any of the items they see listed they should make sure to ask the seller.
Horse trailers and boxes are an incredibly useful tool for equestrian enthusiasts to get their horses from place to place. With various accessories, owners can not only personalise their trailer, but also make the journey as easy as possible for their animal. With this guide, buyers will not only see the various kinds of accessory there are, but also consider such problems as security, safety and comfort and how to combat them.
When searching for accessories on eBay, the buyer should be aware of the additional benefits of using PayPal, eBay's recommended way to purchase, with bonus eBay Buyer Protection.