Preparing your horsebox for cold weather

Our advice is to avoid driving in freezing road conditions - unless, of course, you really have to! If you do decide to travel make sure you allocate time to plan your journey and spend time planning alternative routes and checking if there are any problems with it in terms of excess traffic or severe weather before you travel.

Pre-driving checklist

These are all things to always check off your list before driving in your horsebox, but they're extra important when driving in icy conditions. 

  • Check all exterior lights are working
  • Check that windscreen wiper blades are in good condition. If in doubt, always opt to replace them rather than risking them not working.
  • Check the levels of your oil, coolants and washer fluid levels
  • Make sure that you have the correct screen wash for cold weather conditions (never water it down) - and a high enough quantity - don’t adjust the concentration of pre made screen wash
  • Ensure that your tyres are in good condition and at the right pressure

    Things to have in your horsebox in freezing conditions

    In case the unexpected should happen, make sure you’ve got everything you need inside your horsebox before you set out:

    • Emergency breakdown contact number
    • Mobile phone and charger
    • Ice scraper
    • Torch and spare batteries, if necessary
    • Spare warm clothes and blankets – for you and your horses!
    • Boots
    • First aid kit
    • Jump leads
    • Shovel and reflective warning sign
    • Sunglasses for glare
    • Food supplies

    What to do if your horsebox breaks down

    Breaking down in freezing weather conditions is particularly dangerous for two key reasons. Firstly, rescue vehicles tend to take longer to get to you during poor conditions - and are busier than usual. Secondly - and relatedly - the longer wait means that you and your horses will be stuck in the cold for longer. For these reasons, it's important to make sure that you're well-prepared for a breakdown:

    • Ensure that you have breakdown cover before you set off. Keep the number of the breakdown provider stored in your mobile phone under something you will easily remember in the situation, such as 'Horsebox breakdown'. Call them as soon as you can.
    • Keep a reflective jacket, torch and warm waterproof clothes in the vehicle
    • Make sure you know how to use your phone or SatNav's GPS capabilities in case you need to share exactly where you are.
    • Always exit the vehicle through the doors on the left hand side and if there is a safety barrier stand behind it – it’s important to stay well away from moving traffic.
    • Don’t try to make repairs yourself, wait for a rescue vehicle.
    • Be patient – you may not be the first person to phone, and in cold weather there are always more breakdowns than usual.

    This is a marketing article by Towergate Insurance.

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