What Kind of Breaks Do I Need For My Horse Trailer?

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What Kind of Breaks Do I Need For My Horse Trailer?

There are various reasons as to why someone may be transporting horses. Whatever the reasons, there are multiple safety measures that need to be met. There are licensing requirements, speed limits, competence certificates, insurance policies and more.

Those issues must be tackled before even getting on the road and transporting a horse. However, once on the road, there is one a particular precaution and issue that this guide is going to clarify. That is, the kinds of breaks that are needed for horse trailers. eBay’s selection of breaks will help allow safe journeys for horses and their owners/transporters.

Types of Breaks for Horse Trailers

Break requirements can vary according to location. Breaks on at least one axle are usually required on trailers that weigh over 3000lbs. Although some places require breaks on both axles for the same weight.

For those classified as ‘commercial’, four wheel breaks are mandatory for vehicles over 10,001lbs. This is due to the fact that breaks on the trailers reduce the possibility of an accident, making it safe for drivers, horses and, importantly, other people on the road.

  • Electric Breaks – These are the most common type of breaks used. When adjusted properly, the tow vehicle breaks pedal activates the trailer breaks slightly afterwards. Control boxes are located on dashboards, so the trailer breaks can be activated from the driver’s seat without stepping on the breaks pedal in the tow vehicle. Electric breaks are great for control if any swaying is experienced throughout a journey.
  • Hydraulic Breaks – These are activated when trailers push up against a vehicle when slowed down. If located somewhere that requires breaks to be accessible from the driver’s seat, these breaks will not be legal, especially for ‘commercial’ classed vehicles.

The Safety of Your Horse Trailer

There is other breaking/stopping equipment used in the transportation of horses. Not all equipment is necessarily a requirement by law, but is very useful and potentially plays a very important role to ensure safety. Below is some additional equipment:

  • Breakaway Break – The Breakaway Break is an independent device, and is located on the coupler of the trailer. It activates the trailer breaks if the trailer is to come off the tow vehicle for any reason. There is a legal requirement that exists within the use of this equipment. Breakaway breaks must have a fully charged battery that will engage the trailer breaks for fifteen minutes. It is common for breakaway breaks to be required for commercial trailers. Most come with this equipment as standard. Some newer trailers even come with a rechargeable battery.
  • Safety Chain - Safety Chains are attached to the frame of a vehicle or to the frame-mounted hitch. They should not touch the ground and be long enough to allow trailers to turn without any pulling. Safety chains are there to catch the trailer if it is to come off the ball. This can happen if trailers have not been hitched properly or if equipment falls.
  • Break Controller – Break Controllers areusually an aftermarket installed device. As mentioned earlier, they are mounted to the tow vehicle's dashboard area, and engage a trailer’s breaking system. They are either time delayed, or in proportion to the tow vehicle’s break engagement, when slowing down or stopping. A brake controller is needed when using modern electric devices.

Maintaining Breaks for Your Horse Trailer

Whatever the type of driving, breaks wear out. At what time they wear out usually depends on the number of miles driven, and the type of driving that has taken place. Below is a step-by-step guide to ensure breaks are in full working order (do this at least once a year):

  • Check if the lining is worn.
  • Jack up the wheel.
  • Give it a spin.
  • While it is spinning, have someone activate the break controller.
  • Ensure the wheel has stopped spinning.
  • If there is a loud noise, the breaks are in need of an adjustment.

The above was a quick and somewhat easy checklist that drivers are able to do themselves. There is nothing to say that owners cannot take their vehicles to have professional and more detailed inspections.

Regarding maintenance, the whole of a vehicle and trailer must be maintained to ensure safety for all parties. These include maintenance of:

Driving Precautions for Horse Trailers

In addition to knowing what equipment is best suited for a horse trailer, for example, the breaks that are needed, it is also useful to be aware of other issues concerning the transportation of horses and driving trailers. Below is a list of considerations, precautions and measures to be taken to ensure a smooth journey when driving a horse trailer:

  • Allow plenty of time for the journey.
  • Check weather and road conditions beforehand.
  • Drive according to the speed limit.
  • Avoid sudden breaking.
  • Take corners carefully.
  • Move off slowly.
  • Be aware and alert.

Buying the Breaks You Need for Your Horse Trailer Online

Buying online gives people the opportunity to explore many different products, brands and prices in the comfort of their home. Users are able to take their time to sift through information and items in their own time and at their own convenience. eBay makes purchasing simple, with its easy to use search filters and buying options.

Buying products online also gives people the opportunity to do their own research. When buying products specifically to complete a task, users can search for information on the most effective ways to do so. They have the opportunity to research brands, look at user ratings, get involved in discussions and even watch video tutorials. The more research undertaken before heading to eBay, the easier the search will be. Although, plenty of help is also available in filtering results to find exactly what users need.

Using eBay to Buy Horse Trailer Breaks

A large selection of horse trailer breaks can be found on eBay, but don’t be overwhelmed by the number of items on offer. eBay makes it easy to filter a user’s search all the way down to exactly what they are looking for. In this instance, a user will start by choosing the category, Sporting Goods. A selection of filters will appear on screen, and the user should click on the Equestrian option. On the next list brought up, eBay gives a specific option for Driving, plus a number of other useful equestrian-related options. It is as simple as that.

eBay gives the opportunity to purchase items instantly with the ‘Buy It Now’ option, or to bid on items in auctions against other users. There are various other filters to make purchasing easy, such as:

  • Condition (whether new or used).
  • Price (including maximum price a buyer wishes to pay).
  • Item location (including options to search locally or worldwide).

Be careful in filtering a search correctly to suit the needs of a purchase. For example, if a user has not searched specifically for new items, then used items will appear in the list. However, that is not to say that used or tested items won’t be suitable for purchase. Be sure to check the delivery conditions for urgent purchases, as there is an option for express delivery at an affordable rate.

If unsure about any further details, or require additional information about specific items then contact sellers directly. eBay will give options of subjects to choose from regarding sellers, to help find the right answers. There is an option for a copy of the contact message, and for alerts about messages from sellers to be sent directly to the email address attached to a user’s eBay account. Further information on using eBay’s search engine effectively can be found on the Search Tips page.

Buying Safety Considerations

Aside from individual products, there are safety issues to consider when using eBay. Check out the users that are selling products of interest. Look at their transaction history and take into account their feedback status. Do they have a lot of negative feedback? Negative feedback does not always mean that sellers will not be reliable enough to provide goods as described. Check out the actual feedback. In some cases the seller will respond to that feedback.

Have a look to see if anyone else has purchased the same, or a similar item. What did they think of it? Read the seller’s terms and conditions before purchasing, to avoid any confusion about the transaction being made. When confident about a purchase, use PayPal for a quick and smooth financial transaction.


With such a broad range of products, there is no reason as to why someone won’t find the breaks they need for their horse trailer. Once sure that all the legal requirements have been met, and that all the correct information about type, and safety is obtained, eBay will be ready to help a user to make the most suitable decision with their easy to use filters and search options.

In addition to the correct breaks, eBay offers other equipment used in the safety of operating horse trailers. Find out what is needed, and simply go get it at affordable prices. Be sure to become familiar with eBay’s terms and conditions.

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