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How to Deep Clean Your Horse Trailer

Every horse owner will tell you there are a few chores they really don’t look forward to doing -- stuff like mucking out the barn or deep cleaning their horse trailers are usually way up near the top.  It’s not the most fun you can have with a shovel, but deep cleaning your trailer will keep it in like new condition for longer and reduce costly repairs during your ownership. 

Rotten or weak floors caused by lack of maintenance are a frequent cause of horse injuries serious enough to require immediate euthanasia.  Even if the cost of frequent floor replacements aren’t weighing heavily on your mind, the safety of your horse should be.  The floors in poorly maintained horse trailers are disasters waiting to happen.  It’s not a matter of if, your horse may fall through floors weakened by the slow damage caused by urine and manure accumulation, but when.


Trailer Deep Cleaning 

Deep cleaning isn’t something you have to do every time you take your trailer out as long as you remove wet bedding and shovel out any manure as soon as possible after a trip.  No matter what kind of floor your trailer has, the products that come out of the back end of a horse are going to be hard on it.  Along with regular maintenance, a deep clean every 90 days will keep your trailer safe and sanitary. 

Start by removing everything that’s not nailed down -- including rubber mats, extra hay, bedding and equipment.  Getting everything out of the way will allow you to better visually inspect your trailer for damage or wear that needs to be addressed.  Pay close attention to the gooseneck in your gooseneck horse trailer, especially if you use it for bedding or feed storage -- you’ll want to empty it completely as well.

With everything out of the trailer and the windows and doors opened, sweep up any debris that remains and liberally apply bleach water mixed at a rate of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water to every flat surface.  Once the bleach water has dried, raise the front of your trailer slightly and hit it hard with a power washer.  Make sure to pay close attention to the cracks where the floor meets the wall, joints at doors and any other spots where your trailer seems to accumulate a lot of dirt or debris.

While the inside is drying with the doors open, take a look at the outside of your trailer.  Road tar and dirt builds up outside, too, and can cause lots of damage to your trailer’s exterior.  Wash everything carefully, including the wheels and tires and the inside of your wheel wells.  Giving your trailer a good bath is more than simply making it look nice. Removing all that muck protects the paint and metal underneath from premature aging. 

Once your trailer is clean and dry, both inside and out, sprinkle a layer of baking soda on the floor to act as an anti-acidic before reinstalling your mats.  The baking soda helps neutralize your horse’s urine so that it doesn’t do as much damage to the floor of your trailer.


Deep Clean for Your Horse’s Comfort

Deep cleaning won’t take more than an hour on a sunny day for a reasonably maintained two horse trailer, and you’ll reap huge rewards for your effort.  Not only is a deep cleaning a good time to inspect your trailer’s floor and other structural elements for trouble, sanitizing helps prevent diseases transmission between horses who travel and eliminates fungus that can cause respiratory distress in sensitive horses.

A clean horse trailer is a horse trailer that’s less scary, too.  Even custom horse trailers with white internal paint jobs brighten up considerably when the dust is washed off the walls and floors.  If your horse is a hesitant loader, you may find that he suddenly walks right into the trailer after a good deep cleaning.  Not only will the added light from the removal of dust from walls and windows help tempt him, horses are clean animals by nature and he’ll be far more willing to go into a clean trailer than a dirty one.


Chores Between Deep Cleanings

You’ll make your deep cleanings a lot easier if you do a little tidying up between those big efforts.  Get into the habit of scooping out your trailer after trips with your horse, no matter how long or short.  Remove any manure, wet bedding and spent feed, even if you don’t have time to properly sweep out the trailer right away.  A basic two horse trailer can represent a huge investment -- by doing just a little cleaning between a deep cleaning, you’ll get a lot more miles out of your dollars, even more so when you have a larger, custom built trailer.

In the day or two after your horse trip, make sure you remove all the bedding, hay, feed and anything else that might spoil from your trailer and sweep the floor thoroughly.  The bedding, old hay and manure can cause disposal problems, but if you or a friend are an avid gardener, composting those materials from your horse trips creates a gift that keeps on giving.  You may discover that the same person who wants to compost your horse bedding would happily take all the stall leavings you have to spare, as well.

Another great way to minimize your work is to opt for a rumber floor when you’re having a custom horse trailer built to your specifications.  Rumber is a rubber and plastic composite material that carries a lifetime warranty against rot, unlike aluminum or wood that require frequent replacement, even under ideal conditions.  You don’t need to use stall mats with rumber floors, so you can skip all the heavy lifting and go right to the cleaning, speeding up the whole process.  After all, if cleaning was easier, wouldn’t you do it more often? 

When you’re in the market for easy to clean and maintain custom horse trailers, check with us first.  We’ll help you design the trailer that’s perfect for you and your horse, including adding features like rumber that can help cut chore time down significantly.  Our website is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for your basic questions, or you can give us a call at 1-888-244-2029. 

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