HomeExpert AdviceArticleHow to cope if you break down with horses

You’re driving to a show or lesson with your horse in tow then suddenly, your horsebox stops working. What do you do? Shearwater Insurance advises the best course of action in this situation

horse in the trailer

In the winter months, horseboxes and trailers can stay idle for prolonged periods and the cold can wreak havoc on all motor vehicles. So, when travelling your horse, it’s especially important not to risk getting stuck without breakdown insurance. But what happens if you find yourself in the situation where your vehicle packs in? Equestrian experts at Shearwater Insurance have five key pieces of advice to share to help you know what to do in the event of a motoring breakdown.

  1. Safety first

If you’re on the road when a breakdown occurs, seek the first available place to stop. Ideal spots could include a verge, hard shoulder, or gateway (if you’re not fully obstructing it).

  1. Warn and inform

In the first instance, switch on your hazard lights to warn other road users. If safe to do so, place a warning triangle 45m behind the vehicle. If you’re in a dangerous position, inform the police and Highways Agency by calling 999 or 112.

  1. Call your breakdown provider

Always make sure you carry your breakdown policy details with you. To streamline your breakdown process, ensure that you have the following details to hand when you make the call…

  • Name and policy number
  • ID – a bank card or driving licence is ideal
  • Vehicle make, model and registration
  • Exact location, including the road name and closest junction. Using an app like What3Words could help give further information
  • Phone number you’re calling from
  • Cause of the breakdown so the right sort of assistance can be arranged
  1. Keep calm

While breaking down is a stressful situation, try to stay as calm as possible. Check that your horses, should they be with you, have access to hay and water, ventilation and the relevant rugs. Avoid getting them off the horsebox or trailer at all costs, unless there are concerns that the vehicle isn’t safe to inhabit.

  1. Stay safe

If you’re stranded on the motorway or a busy road, it’s recommended that passengers stay outside of the vehicle, on a verge away from other traffic. Never use the doors closest to the traffic and always think of your safety first. We recommend keeping a high-vis jacket in your vehicle in case of emergencies.

Looking out

Shearwater offer a range of affordable and reliable breakdown policies. Car breakdown insurance offers support from the RAC from £57 a year, including roadside repair, onward travel and/or accommodation for passengers and European support. Horsebox breakdown policies are available from £84 a year – a small price to pay for your peace of mind.

To find out more, visit shearwater-insurance.co.uk/horse-and-rider


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