Horse Trailer Visibility

By Terry Golson

After the accident in June (which could have been much worse), I’ve been thinking about trailer safety. I keep my trailer in perfect working condition. I have a check list that I follow every time that I hitch up. I’m a careful driver and I make sure that I use my turn signals. Still…

My trailer is plain white. It could be more visible, and it should be more obvious what cargo I’m carrying and why I’m driving so conservatively.

Two years ago, I was almost front-ended by an on-coming driver who was looking down and texting. Would a CAUTION HORSES sign have helped? Not likely. But maybe it would have explained why I didn’t swerve into the ditch, but laid on my horn (the driver got back into her lane just in time.) My trailer now sports this reflective signage.


I’m well aware that people who tailgate aren’t going to stop doing so just because I have a caution horses sign on the back of my trailer. But maybe it would help ease the frustration of other drivers who don’t understand why I’m not barreling over potholes. I wanted a way to ask them politely for understanding. I found what I wanted on Etsy in this large and reflective sticker.


Tonka’s butt looks cute in there, don’t you think?

Do you have a horse trailer? What safety features have you added?

10 thoughts on “Horse Trailer Visibility

  • GIN

    I have a 20 ft. gooseneck, and it’s dark blue, so I have that red and white reflective tape down the side and a lot of it on the back doors. I do think Tonka’s butt is cute, I think they are all cute.
    And, I did like your post on the bareback/walking exercises you were doing. Hope your re-done saddle fits well.

  • deb odom

    I’m a safety fruit loop. when we got our trailer, i spent a lot of time putting reflective tape all around, as well as the Caution, and Patience Please stickers. I have an extra lead rope and halter always hanging on the back door and inside the tack door in the event my horse gets loose or something breaks so I can get to it fast. My trailer didn’t have a butt bar or safety chain (and its a new good quality trailer) so I added a safety chain. Its an indirect safety sort of thing, but I was concerned about heat, and being caught on the highway, so I added a fan and always have extra water, even if its a short jaunt. (florida). I always put a reflective collar on my horses, with ID’s, when they travel. It helps with my “loose horse” worry. Really enjoy your posts. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and love.

    • Terry Golson Post author

      I also carry a spare halter, lead, and horse first aid kit. The reflective collar with ID is a brilliant idea. My trailer is used. The last horse got his legs over the front bar, so the owner had it modified with a quick release bolt. I’m grateful for that.

  • Karen Pryor

    Nice! Safety signs front and back on the trailer should indeed slow some people down and calm them down because they want to be nice to the horses.


    • Terry Golson Post author

      I wear a “slow please and pass wide” safety orange vest when riding on the road. I’ve notice a difference when I wear it. Not with all drivers, but with some, and that’s better than none! Like you, I think some drivers will want to be nice to the horse in the trailer, even if they’re annoyed with the driver 🙂

  • Chicken Carol

    I think the signs are a great idea (very smart too) and I would hope people would have more patience if they know there are horses on board. I too think Tonker looks cute from behind.

  • Gin

    Just an afterthought, especially if you tie your horses in the trailer, I carry a sharp hunting knife just in case one of them should get tangled by getting down in the trailer or whatever, you have something to cut the ropes to free them.

    • Terry Golson Post author

      Good suggestion. I do have scissors in the truck, but a knife would be better. I only use breakaway halters and leads, and I have the leads on breakable baling twine

  • deb odom

    The comment about having a sharp knife available reminded me to include that I have a military/ems rescue rope/seatbelt cutter secured just inside the trailer door. I use breakaway trailer ties, but they would still have on a halter.

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