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Safety Strategy for Traveling Equestrians
Horse owners are advised to carry a second spare tire when trailering their animals. "The side of the road is a dangerous place to be especially when you have horses onboard. As a conscientious horse owner, you want to minimize that time," said Mark Cole, managing member of USRider, a roadside assistance plan designed with horse owners in mind.
Statistics indicate that tire failure is the most common cause of roadside disablements. Cole added, "In our fourth year of providing service to our members, we have seen a trend of a high incidence of disablements where replacement of two tires on the same side of a trailer was required, either due to encountering the same road hazard or the failure of one tire causing the failure of a second."
With only one spare tire available, the disablement will take much longer to remedy. A second tire will have to be located and delivered to the scene, and the situation may require towing, if the appropriate tire cannot be found. USRider urges horse owners to begin carrying two mounted spares, which could provide a simple and prompt resolution to a disablement, and minimize the length of time spent on the side of the road awaiting assistance.
"While we are able to deliver service in these situations, it is sometimes a challenge for us to procure the correct tire. Horse owners can greatly enhance their safety and the safety of their horses by carrying a second mounted spare."
USRider recommends that only a qualified, trained mechanic change a tire. If, in an emergency, a non-qualified individual changes the tire, the vehicle should be taken to a qualified mechanic as soon as possible to ensure that the tire is properly torqued.
Cole added that when purchasing a new trailer, it would be advisable to purchase a second spare mount. For existing trailers, visit a reputable trailer dealer to discuss options for mounting a second spare.
With an annual fee comparable to that of other roadside assistance programs, USRider offers the typical flat-tire repair, battery assistance, and lock-out services, plus benefits designed with horse owners in mind, including towing and roadside repairs for tow vehicles and trailers with horses, emergency stabling, veterinary referrals, and more.
For additional safety tips, visit the Equine Travel Safety Area on the USRider web site at www.usrider.org. For more information about USRider, visit www.usrider.org or call 800/844-1409.