What to look for when buying a horse float
Most people would agree that there are numerous advantages to owning a horse float. They offer a certain degree of freedom, allowing the owner to load up their equines and take them to competitions, to the vets or just to a different place for a walk, whenever they want. There’s no question that having a horse cart or trailer parked within arm’s reach is infinitely more convenient than having to rent or borrow it from a friend.
Buying a horse float for sale can be a very exciting time. However, with all the options available today, the horse transport market can be difficult to navigate. A few simple points should be kept in mind to make the buying process easy, enjoyable, and ultimately successful.
The first thing to think about is the type of float you need. If a small pony is the only animal traveling, a double float or even a single float will suffice. However, if the equine family is a bit larger, the owner can opt for a triple angle loader, which will carry up to three horses, with plenty of extra space for equipment. Remember, if you buy a large float, there is a restriction in New Zealand on how much weight can be towed on a full driver’s license. If the car, horses, and float exceed the 4.5-ton (gross weight) limit, the driver will need to upgrade to a Class 2 license.
Once the basic style of the float has been decided, the smaller details can be examined. For example, is a float with electric brakes required or can the owner drive one without brakes? Brakes are generally recommended. Without brakes, the float will push against the tow vehicle every time it stops, and if there is a sway, the horse float can pick up a knife because there is nothing to control it. However, floats with brakes cost more and some people feel they can do without them, especially if they are just towing small, light horses or ponies.
Other optional extras can include water tanks, tack boxes, awnings, hay racks, and even a full kitchen and shower. The more accessories a horse carriage has for sale, the more expensive it will be, so the number of additions will depend on the depth of the budget.
Once all the research and deliberation has been done, it’s time to start shopping. If the budget is unlimited, go to a professional float building company or dealer. They will have a wide variety of new floats on sale, with the latest amenities. Many of these companies will also be able to make custom floats, ensuring that the buyer ends up with a product that provides everything they need. The size, color and number of additional accessories will suit the owner and his horse or pony.
If you don’t have the budget to buy a new horse carriage, you can usually find good quality second-hand versions at a reasonable price. Online auctions and magazine classifieds are good places to start your search. It’s also worth keeping in mind that float rental companies sometimes sell second-hand stock at discounted prices.
If buying second hand, it’s worth taking someone who knows vehicles to look at the float. They will be able to check for things like wood rot or metal fatigue on the floor and ramp, damaged suspension, and faulty electrical. Also, have them look at the condition of the metal chassis and check the roof for leaks.
If the above points are taken into account, the horse owner will soon find the perfect float for himself and his equine friends. There are many horse carriages for sale, in all shapes, sizes and prices. It’s simply a case of understanding what to look for and then going out and finding it. The reward is the freedom to travel with your horse, whenever and wherever you want.