You probably consider your horses as your children. Let's face it, when you shop for a new car seat for your little one, you will research, read blogs, and more importantly look at Consumer Protection Government reports which show results from testing. But who does the testing for the safety of your horse and which opinion matters?
Does your neighbor do testing on their trailer, or is their opinion flawed and only an opinion? Or is the opinion of the dealer you are buying a trailer that is correct, does he do testing, or is his opinion biased? Perhaps the manufacturer of the trailer does testing. Doubtful...most manufacturers use materials that are inexpensive and easy to produce which cut down on labor cost to boost efficiency and profit. Typically that is more of a concern than the safety of your horse. So who is really concerned about the safety of your horse? YOU ARE!
Most aluminum horse trailers use aluminum for the construction of the dividers. While aluminum sounds nice since it's marketed as being light weight and non-rusting, there can be flaws. Aluminum is a very bendable material, like a tin can. Unless it is really thick, it doesn't have much strength. And since you can't see the thickness of aluminum on your horse dividers, using another type of material that is light weight, doesn't rust but is much stronger can be a better solution. There exist technologies today using steel combined with zinc that prevent rust, are light weight and provide superior strength under stress. You may not think of your dividers as being stressed, but imagine what happens when you get rear ended. Or when your horse falls down and tries to get back up while caught underneath a divider, that can be messy. You may be thinking "well I have had a trailer for 15 years with aluminum dividers that haven't given me any trouble". That's fantastic and we are happy for you, but have you ever been rear ended or involved in an accident? Has your horse ever spooked and tried to go across the divider or gotten a leg thrown over. Until the divders have been truly stressed, you can't be sure how they will perform. Our testing shows that aluminum when high stressed can break, tear, rip or splinter causing severe injuries in some cases. This is one of the reasons we recommend materials other than aluminum such as zinc which will perform much better under high stress. While more expensive to produce, the safety benefit provided for your horses is worth the extra money.
In addition to the material of construction, keep in mind the following when examining dividers to insure they are safe for your horses:
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