Horse trailer refurbishment

We currently have two horses, both thoroughbreds. One was supposed to be a race horse, but was too slow or so goes the story. The other was a race horse who won or placed in every race until he was injured. They are both would not fit in the bumper pull two horse trailer we had, as they are 16.1 and 17.1 hands. The trailer was from 1978 and had been sitting out in the desert sun most of its existence.  So the task fell upon me to refurbish it so it could be sold.

  1. Replacing the floors. The floors were in bad shape, someone (not me) put flooring in that was not up to the task, then put plywood on top of that with a bunch of screws to hold it all together. Not something I would want to put my horse on, so it came out and was replaced with treated wood planks.
  2. The inside walls and back doors are covered thin plywood but the edging is welded in place. I was not going to go so far as to cut all that out and have to re-weld all that metal. So the inside got new rubber panels to cover the areas where a horse might hit or rub.
  3. The floor mats looked like an old door mat from my childhood. Those found their way into the trash and new rubber mats were installed.
  4. The lights and wiring were in a bad state, patch work had been done multiple times. All the wiring was torn out and fresh wire installed. Lighting fixture both inside and out were replaced with new units. Also, a connection box for the wiring was put into place for future needs and ease of maintenance.
  5. The hitch had been “broken for years” along with the foot. The old hitch was cut off and a direct replacement was welded on. This was done by a friend that is a certified welder, I wanted it to be safe for live animals and wasn’t taking the chance on my skills along. The new hitch came with a primer coat, so a new base coat was put on the clear coated. Not a bad job.
  6. The windows were all intact but badly weathered. A good cleaning and polish and they were clear again. Well as clear as the old blue plastic could be, ah the seventies designs.
  7. The vents were non-existent. The downside to this is that they do not make them in the right size anymore. Not to mention that the surface they are mounted to is curved. So, adapter plates were made to secure them to the curved surface.
  8. The bright work was damaged and loose in some places. So they were re-attached and polished. Some of the damage could not be repaired but was only superficial.
  9. The paint had suffered the most. So three days of rubbing and buffing and the lacquer finish brightened up. It still had some patina, but would bead water easily and would reflect the sun. Looked like some of the “vintage” paint jobs that are so popular now a days.
  10. The tires were not road worthy with a load and the wheels were sad. I was able to find a set of four new bias ply trailer tires at the shop that would match the setup of the trailer based on its build time. The wheels were painted after a good run over with a wire brush.

In all it took about a month to get the trailer ready for use by horses. While I was glad to see it go to a new home where it would be used, I was sad that we could not use it ourselves. Next time we should get smaller horses.